Since the sacking of Andre Vilas-Boas, Chelsea have won all four of their games, including an impressive 4-1 home win over Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League; however the Blues need look no further then Inter Milan to show that a caretaker manager and a half decent run of results, can’t paper over the huge amount of cracks at the football club.
Since Jose Mourinho (with the exception of Carlo Ancelotti) the club has struggled to repeat the ‘Special One’s’ heights, something identical in Inter Milan. Chelsea have coped with the loss of Mourinho; however Inter are still mourning. In the summer of 2010 Inter Milan completed the treble; yet four managers and 20 months later the club find themselves 20 points behind their city rivals AC and out of both cup competitions. The month of February saw the Italian giants reach a new low as the club went on a run of six games without a win (which included five successive goalless defeats), which all but extinguished their top three aspirations.
|The shadow of Mourinho still lurks over Chelsea and Inter Milan|
Roberto Di Matteo doesn’t have a managerial record to match his caretaker counterpart Claudio Ranieri, and despite being a club legend, many didn’t expect Chelsea to get the better of Napoli under his guidance, much in the same way not many were predicting an Inter Milan win away to their city rivals AC in the biggest match in Italian football. That win for Inter was in the middle of their best form of the season, as the club peaked at seven wins on the trot; however defeat to Leece and an incredible 4-4 draw with Palermo saw the clubs form nosedive (which is stated above).
Chelsea have to avoid falling into the same trap as Inter and if the club have a similar off the field pattern as Inter Milan, then their squad is also in a similar shape: Big centre forwards transfers have flopped as neither Fernando Torres nor Diego Forlan have gone close to justifying their moves; both squads have had their doubters over the amount of genuine quality in the side; both have a high amount of players reaching the end of their careers; both have spent big an attempt to regain domestic control.
I’m not saying Chelsea will fall so heavily from grace like Inter have; however if Chelsea hadn’t overcome Napoli (saying that I expect Benfica to edge out Chelsea in the quarter finals) then their seasons wouldn’t be too dissimilar. Chelsea, unlike Inter Milan, for a surprise change in this piece, were fortunate in the sense they got a favourable domestic cup draw meaning an FA Cup run has just covered over how far the Blues are behind both the Manchester clubs. The Chelsea dressing room is easily the hardest to control, with a number of huge egos at the club; and if Chelsea slip up soon I wouldn’t be surprised to see the wheels really fall of the Di Matteo bandwagon.