Recently the media has gone bonkers with the news that Mourinho and the club management disagreed on transfer policy. In truth, that sort of disagreements happen at every club (rich or not), and to consider that Mourinho would be driven out or would leave because the club said they already have the players to make things work is ridiculous.
Seriously, if this was not Chelsea, would anyone have made such a big fuss about it?
But because this is Chelsea, because this is Roman’s billions, because this is a team that everyone in England love to hate, and because this is a team that has driven the media to madness (most of whom are Arsenal or Liverpool fans), we have a situation where every little tiff and argument is blown up to outrageous proportions.
Every manager wants certain players that he’s not able to get, because of financial constraints or because the management considers that they are not necessary (or, in many cases, the management thinks they’ve already invested enough in the team and want to see a return on their earlier investments).
Liverpool and Manchester United have both had such problems in recent years – why is it considered improbable that Chelsea, despite their billions, would say the same?
Mourinho is never going to fall out with the club management over lack of funds or control over transfer policy. The only potential issues I see that could affect Mourinho’s dealing with the club is the Peter Kenyon (and Frank Arnesen) factor and the Andriy Shevchenko factor.
Peter Kenyon was brought in to make Chelsea financially agressive and to achieve their goal of making the club self-sufficient in a fixed period of time. Problem is, Kenyon is and always will be a cunt of the highest order, and
Frank Arnesen is another one of those people who can cause trouble. Recent reports in the media suggest that Arnesen is interfering in player transfers – the way I see it, Arnesen was brought in not only to handle the youth system but also because of his scouting contacts in Europe, and if he’s involved in shaping transfer policy that is only because of his network of information.
But if both Kenyon and Arnesen go against what Mourinho says, and if Mourinho is eventually refused any transfers because of such internal politics (as it has been suggested this time around), then there is a serious problem.
But the general feeling from Chelsea is not that the recruits Mourinho has targetted are not good enough – it’s more a question of looking at the investment Chelsea have already made into the squad so far (since Mourinho took over), and wanting to see a return on it before splashing 8 figure sums to attract unproven players such as Micah Richards, Craig Gordon and Jermaine Defoe (all have great potential, but are not ‘proven’).
That’s what Mourinho is referring to when he talks about Chelsea coming first – the club is right to ask for
Amy Lawrence (I think it was her) wrote last week in the Guardian about how Mourinho played the ‘sympathy vote’ with the media to perfection. I don’t think Jose did it deliberately – he’s had enough of the media already and all he wanted to do was to get the dogs off his back. In explaining the situation in his blunt manner, he made two things clear:
1) The club doesn’t want to bring in new players because they think they’ve already spent too much money on the squad.
2) The club isn’t willing to pay 10 mil plus for players like Richards and Defoe, especially if these guys could go to other clubs for less than that.
Now that there are indications that the club will release enough transfer funds to allow Mourinho to bring in cover for his defence, we know that the wrangling over tranfers is over. It still leaves us open to the possibility that the relations between the manager and the club have permanently soured, but I doubt that’s the case. Sounds more like rumour-mongering from people who can only wish that their clubs could do as well as Chelsea (I say this as a non-Chelsea fan) and while they spit on Roman’s money, they’d love their club if it was bought by a Russian billionaire too.