After watching the 3rd game on tour I’ve got the summer blues, we really have been quite disappointing on this tour of the USA. For all of those now up in arms that someone dare criticise the club and excuse me I’m nowhere near razor blade situation, a grasp on reality is in order and in very large doses.
This tour is above all a PR selling the brand tour, building up and consolidating our fan base in the US of A, actually nothing wrong with that at all, its boosting revenue streams which we desperately need to keep in line with the FFP scheme. Yes I mean scheme not plan, scheme for us older ones means something underhand (refer to scheming in the old Oxford dictionary). Gazprom is maybe the best signing of the summer, it being undisclosed amount, or amounts gives us the opportunity to refresh the team, and Roman is taking full advantage of it while he can, the later years of FFP it will become much more difficult to get away with Sugar Daddy spending.
Anyway back to the tour in 10 days we have five flights 2 of which are long haul, and maybe the one from Seattle to New York being over 4 hours is another, then we have 4 games a day or so later after each flight. I’m lucky enough to have done a fair bit of flying so understand the demands on the body, it can be no fun at all. It’s not your normal once / twice a year holiday to the Costas, it’s a bit more demanding, even if as Chelsea players going first class, flying buggers up the body clock. Having done that journey west several times, I know the first day there is a challenge, by 8-9pm the body just shuts down for sleep not much you can do about it, anyway even after a good sleep, the following day one will not be at their best, so there is training and preparation for a match…. give me a swimming pool and a sun lounger any day.
All this buzzing around you never get settled or acclimatized to where you are, it affects us all in different ways, but I can assure you having done what the club is doing now in a leisure capacity gives one a headache, disorientation and body sluggishness is very common. Now we are also introducing some new faces as well as changing our style so everything is up in the air as a wind of change blows strongly through the club. I liken this to the 1983-84 season when we introduced several new players and thus followed a successful season of promotion to division one.
On paper everything looks very promising, and I admit to being excited about the coming season, but its going to take time to get this new squad settled. What makes it worse is the biannual summer of competitions, be it world cup or Euro championships, it eats into a summer of which players do need rest. We’ve seen it time and time again, after a demanding league season our players mostly limp over the line exhausted and nursing injuries which need summer rest or attention. This year we also have the Olympics, Mata for example is burning the candle at both ends, he’s going to need at least a month off at the end of the Olympics. Please don’t forget the amazing emotional and physically demanding battle our players gave in their never say die in the Champions League Victory. The tell tail point is by the end of this extremely demanding season, extra competitions, more matches and more travel (World Club Cup in Japan) there is going to be a massive tail off on performance, so thankfully we do have a big squad, but it will tested to the limits.
Pre-season is important for getting not just fitness, but changing our style as well as introducing those new faces. Its quite ugly at the moment we are really out of sorts, caught between trying to be more attractive and expansive, as well as keeping our dogged defending, in short we are neither one or the other and look very sloppy (reasons given above). Thankfully all our rivals in the Premier League are in the same boat, nobody is having a great pre-season. We are also lucky that we are not dogged by players wanting away, we released or allowed to leave any players who wanted to take on pastures new without fuss, which can not be said by some others.
Our work at Cobham is going to be even more important, there are still faces yet to return, and maybe still another signing or two, on a personal view I hope another striker, we are light in this area and it leave little room on injuries or loss of form…. a fox in the box would be ideal.
So while its not a forgone conclusion either way on success or failure, our rivals are in a worse state, Man Utd have limited funds to reinvest, they have tried and failed to list their business in Singapore, Hong Kong and now the US, lots of talk and little action as their debt is really holding them back. They over performed last year, but still have Fergie’s influence on officials to gain them extra points when required. As per RF, he has a big future on twitter and facebook, well his playing career is on the slide he has to find something to do.
Arsenal’s lack of ambition is clear, the annual star player wanting out has really hit hard, the board have tucked up their fans big style, they sold the new stadium to the fans as a place to bring in and produce a world class team…. well they’ve been busted, for them money means more than silverware, and that’s been called by the second biggest share holder investor. RVP now has no squad number as well as being left at home from pre-season, exit door wide open.
Tottenham court controversy with AVB’s appointment ( who clearly shows he’s learnt nothing about PR since his disaster with us) Taking a pot shot at his previous employer, who has proved to be the most generous man in football was just classless, he’s belief of promoting Tottenham as potential league champions is delusional, and then supports the sale of want away Modric at a crazy price which few can afford. Levy won’t spend his own money, he will use others from player sales. We also have the Bale situation of playing for Tottenham and not for the Olympic team he was selected for originally, AVB calls him a beast, but not fit enough for Team GB…. work that one out if you can? A little bit of double standards maybe? They beg City for a cheap transfer of Adebayor but cough at paying his wages, they act like a man who’s first in the pub, but last to buy a drink!
QPR look to loan off Barton in a bid to reduce his ban time, bit sneaky from the self confessed club who fully support causing agro as a game plan to win games, forget football, just abuse and look to get the opponents sent off. They are very quiet and dodge the issue of controlling their players, Barton’s ban has been very hushed up. Now if they cut out the crap in the first place then the JT situation would never have happened, AF following JT giving abuse just to get a reaction…. Lovely fella, lovely family, bet Christmas is a jolly affair at their home.
Liverpool won’t be as bad again this season, some sound investments on a budget, plus Rogers is a fair manager, though it looks like he is trying to get realism in to the club about where they are and not where they dream they are. Their talisman Gerrard is like our own Frank and is winding down, so a massive problem is on the horizon. Carroll is not wanted by Rogers, but both wages and the big hit on the transfer fee is a very ice cold blast of realism.
Our biggest issue is our ground, we are in need more than ever extra capacity 55,000 should be enough, removal of the hotel and finding extra space at SB appears to be a non starter. So where to now? CPO is nothing more than a general irritation, the club can move to a new site and the pitch at SB becomes almost valueless, Plus the club can call in its loan at any time and CPO fails to exist…. time for some to wake up to the 21st century, why can’t we work together?
City will be the team to beat, and surprising slow off the mark in adding to their team, but still time… the Community Shield will be interesting.
Posted by Voltaire