I deposited myself in front of the television screen, waiting for bed time. A match between Chelsea and Liverpool was in progress. There was prolific football on show and I watched. This was the era of the likes of Barnes of Liverpool, Zola Gianfranco and Mark Hughes of Chelsea. Liverpool was in control with four goals to one. Mark Hughes, who came in at the start of the second half, received a loop from the right flank to his head, controlled it with his knee and scored.
Ten minutes later he received a short pass from the middle of the pitch, dribbled into the goalkeeper box, dummied defenders and left the ball for Zola to score. It was three goals to four. By this time, all eyes of the defenders were stuck on Mark. He received yet a ball from within the big box and in the stampede he fell. It was a penalty kick and he scored from the spot. Zola scored and Chelsea sealed the game with five goals to four and they won my heart to this day.
Hose’ Morinho arrived at the Bridge and transformed Chelsea to become the star studded squad. Chelsea became the team to beat. When Abromovich took over as the owner of the club, that is when the troubles started and the cracks quietly started to show. Players like Michael Ballak and Shevchenko entered the club and it seemed that the obligation was to promote some of these European players, against the better stalwart African players, the likes of Didier Drogba, Solomon Kalou, OBI Mickel, seemingly against the better wisdom of the coach. The team fast lost form and slipped into erratic play to become less predictable. In the end Morihno left the Bridge and the ordeals started in all earnest. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when the club out of despair and perhaps in line with promoting European talent, bought Fernando Torres from Liverpool and started to bench reliable players such as Drogba, Kalou and Anelka. The team sloped from bad to worse and in the end traded coaches as if they were disappearing from fashion.
Since the departure of Morinho, a good four coaches have come and gone, but all declined to reverse the disaster that befell this once top team on the British League. The owners of the club have cultivated the seeds of own destruction by allowing the team to be experimentation grounds for aspirant coaches. Since Morinho left, none has come close to emulating the standard he brought to the club and it seems that the owners are left with one option only. To lure Morinho back to the club, or to witness its steady decline to the finish. Evidently this will cost the owners of the club much in terms of pride as this will call for magnanimity. Whatever will happen, the choice remains with the owners of this London club?