When Roman Abramovich became the owner of Chelsea in the fine summer of 2003, the fortunes of the London club changed for over.
Besides winning a plethora of trophies, there was an owner at the club who always worked for what was in the best interest of the club.
Abramovich in his tenure at Chelsea would be pictured watching matches of the under twelve’s and fifteen’s with an umbrella from the sidelines.
The arrival of Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital might have initially saved Chelsea from disastrous consequences following Abramovich’s departure courtesy of the small matter of the Ukraine war.
Chelsea has since under Boehly spent over a billion pounds and yet the American has presented himself as an image of a headless chicken with money having virtually no idea of how to run a football club.
Pictures of Abramovich visiting academy games have been replaced with videos of Boehly hitting back from his seat at the spectators of Stamford Bridge going after him.
Why? Begovic’s recent scathing criticism of life under Boehly speaking to Alex Goldberg for the Byline Podcast on how dire the situation is for the club at the moment.
Asmir Begovic joined Chelsea in Mourinho’s second spell at the club, speaking of his time, he says –
I remember being with players like in the dressing room, world-class, world-class, world-class. Buying from Barcelona, buying from Real Madrid, buying from Bayern Munich.
It’s like, we’re buying from Brighton, potential players. And I get you need a part of that, but where are the top world-class players?
Begovic’s comparison of his time back at Chelsea and the circumstances now are very to the point and hold reason. Despite spending over a billion pounds, Chelsea still lacks a talisman, notably like the Hazard or the Diego Costa of the past.
There is an essential lack of a leader-like figure beside almost forty-year-old Thiago Silva at the club.
Pochettino’s squad lacks the presence of personnel whose stature would make opponents dictate their tactic.
Madueke coming on to save the match against West Ham is not what the situation should be for a club having spent historical amounts in the transfer window.
Begovic’s explanation of his understanding of the travesty unfolding at Chelsea was long and detailed. He continued –
Chelsea fans expect the best and expect to be challenging for trophies.
I don’t see Manchester City rebuilding. When I was there, Chelsea was the standard. From top to bottom. This was the standard. The first team squad I mean was a joke.
The standard of players – unbelievable. Then the 23s and the development squad when they used to come to train with us – some of those players and what they’ve become now is unbelievable.
And then not to mention the academy below that. But what is going on?
I could talk about it in attacking or not attacking – but the players at their disposal, I mean it’s a mid-table squad.”
Chelsea can indeed be touted as a mid-table team under Pochettino.
Despite all the huffing and puffing, Nottingham Forest have come back from the Bridge with three points after an eighteen-year gap, and Moyes’s West Ham have tasted victory in the derby.
It is indeed early days but four games in, Chelsea sits twelfth on the table with already two defeats as mentioned, and a solitary victory against much-perceived whipping boys of the league, Luton Town.
It is the same position Chelsea finished the campaign in the previous season.
So has there been improvement?
Boehly and Pochettino have both been insistent the club is going through a period of transition and that there will be some time required before they hit those searing heights of success again, and Begovic had much to say about this overtly used term by any club going through a crisis.
I mean the squad of players at Pochettino’s disposal, the amount of money spent is 12th in the league – it’s mid-table! It is mid-table.
If they were any higher you would be working miracles.
You have a bit of luck with Nkunku, I get it, he’s a top player. Cole Palmer has only just come in.
But what is going on with the recruitment of these players?
Why is Chelsea Football Club rebuilding? Why is Chelsea Football Club in a transition?
This is one of the best. I mean I’ve been there. I’m proud to have been there.
It’s one of the best locations to play football in the world. This is not Chelsea Football Club.
I just don’t understand. I don’t see Man City rebuilding. Even if they are rebuilding they’re like fifth, sixth at worst. That’s not even good enough, nowhere near.
But I’m lost for words. The last 12 months feel like it’s all been a bit of a blur.
And yeah that’s just my opinion and there’s my rant.
It would be interesting to see where Chelsea eventually finishes with Pochettino.
The Champions League does seem a far-off ambition but for a club of the standard of Chelsea that is a bare minimum.
Begovic might have truly reflected the sentiments of the fans at the moment –
For the football club I know, what it was and what it should be with the fan base, the stadium, and central London, this is a world-class organization but it has been anything but for the past 12 months.
Yeah it’s not the Chelsea I remember that’s for sure.