An Interesting Neymar Statement by Gary Watton
I observe on a daily basis the page on the BBC sports website entitled ‘football gossip’. It compiles the latest bullsh*t, lies and occasional truth from the newspapers and viewspapers near and far. One item which caught my eye was the following:
“Brazilian forward Neymar, who was linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid before opting for a move to Barcelona, says he did not want to play for a club that “changes coach every season”. Full story: Daily Express ”
If this is true, it perhaps confirms the worst fear of many Chelsea fans that the club’s apparent instability in terms of the revolving door of managers is a major factor in persuading many soccer superstars to look elsewhere for gainful employment. Let’s face it: Why would anybody reject Chelsea nowadays?
We are a club that constantly wins silverware [on almost an anual basis]; we are a major superpower on the European stage; the club pays its professionals a huge salary; while cosmopolitan London itself is a major draw for many overseas players.
Given these reasons, there appears little reason to overlook Chelsea. However, Neymar’s assertion that Chelsea, Manchester Mercenaries, and Fake Madrid are too liable to change managers is alarming and indeed leaves us wondering if Neymar is admitting in public what other soccer superstars have diplomatically kept silent about. Those who have snubbed Chelsea perhaps have done so for no other reason than they fear for their long-term place at a club where managers come and go.
Don’t get me wrong. I am one of those Chelsea fans who is now resigned to the fact that all our managers past and future are basically interim and not necessarily long-term. Abramovich’s idea of long-term after all is probably about one year.
I think that we’ve now reached the stage where we can laugh off the jibes and scorn from other supporters who mock our managerial merry-go-round by stating that we could appoint half a dozen different managers in the same season and still end up winning European silverware at the end of it! Besides, perhaps managerial stability is way over-rated. Arse-nil and Evercrap have had the same manager for the last eight years and they have won nothing between them.
Furthermore, Chelsea’s second manager, David Calderhead, was in office from 1907 to 1933 and Chelsea won nothing, not even an argument! Leslie Knighton then managed Chelsea from 1933 to 1939 and for all the stability here, Chelsea remained trophy-less. Billy Birrell managed Chelsea for several post-war years and again the cupboard was bare during all this lovely stability. Perhaps there is much to be said for managerial instability.
Gary Watton; football historian and sports statistician [http://gw930.blog.com]