Chelsea need to be Rodgered

Published by The Sage.


Even before he was done up like a ‘Kepa’ by his goalkeeper, it was only a matter of time before Chelsea parted company with the hapless Sarri. The outrage that various commentators have expressed over the substitution that never happened has been a huge source of mirth, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the Italian manager. What was he supposed to do?

Many will remember from their schooldays that when a particularly truculent member of class was sent out by the teacher, and point blank refused to go, page 2, paragraph 4 of the teacher’s manual was brought into play. If the naughty student wouldn’t leave the scene of his or her crimes, then the rest of the class would be taken out to a different room for the lesson to continue, leaving the shamefaced miscreant to stew in his own juice. If only Wembley was a complex of stadia like Wimbledon, then this could have been enacted and officials, players, fans and all, could have disembarked to an adjacent arena. Surely this entered the head of referee Jon Moss as he trawled his mind back to his days as a school teacher and frantically searched his memory bank for the documents filed under the heading ‘how to deal with spoilt, disrespectful twats.’

Surely this entered the head of referee Jon Moss as he trawled his mind back to his days as a school teacher and frantically searched his memory bank for the documents filed ‘how to deal with spoilt, disrespectful twats.’ Click To Tweet

So if we are to assume that Sarri is on his way out, our thoughts must turn to his replacement.

“Roll up roll up! Job going at a once successful club who are currently slipping down the table. Transfer ban in place until the end of next season. Forty two players currently on loan to bolster the beleaguered ranks. A captain who thinks it’s none of his business to support the manager’s instructions on the pitch. Guaranteed football on Thursday nights.” The queue is unlikely to stretch very far down the Fulham Road.

The romantics say we need ‘Lamps’ to shine a light on the gloom of Stamford Bridge, but I believe Chelsea need to be ‘Rodgered’. Give Frank Lampard time to gain experience at Derby, just as Liverpool are doing with Gerrard at Glasgow Rangers. We both know they will be at the helm eventually, but it’s too soon. Brendan Rodgers is, for me, the only man that ticks both boxes that are required. Does he have the credentials to make a success of the job? Tick. Would he take it? Big tick. He’d take Leicester, and who wouldn’t want Chelsea over Leicester? Sarri perhaps. Maybe Conte as well, but I’d say Chelsea are done with Italians too.

Rodgers was, by all accounts, very impressive as youth team coach at Chelsea, so much so that Mourinho promoted him to reserve team manager. His CV was further enhanced by the style of football and success he achieved at Swansea. Promotion to the Premier League via the play offs, was followed by an excellent first season in the top flight where they comfortably defied predictions of relegation. His work at Liverpool culminated in the team being only a couple of slips ups away from winning the title. Throughout his time at Anfield he sought to promote youth, something that Chelsea fans are desperate to see. His demise was probably hastened by some of the decisions made by the six man transfer committee at Liverpool, some of which he has publicly distanced himself from – Balotelli being one.

The man’s record at Celtic speaks for itself – you can only beat what is in front of you, and no one can really expect a team from that league to compete in Europe. In actual fact his record in Europe is better than any of Neil Lennon, Gordon Strachan, Ronny Deila or Tony Mobray who preceded him.

He’s right for Chelsea, and the time should be right now. He knows the club. He knows the Premier League. He’s never had a player refuse to come off when his number’s up.

Who’s up for a good Rodgering?

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Shin Pads & Angry Dads

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