Answer by Kevin Sunny:
TL;DR – Jealousy.
Obviously nobody in their right mind would deny that Roman Abramovich’s investment has elevated Chelsea from the plucky underdogs who used to snag a knockout trophy here and there in the late 90s to one of the most intimidating teams that have won almost everything.
That being said, here’s my take.
1. They’ve upset the established order. Look at Arsenal fans whining and complaining throughout this thread and elsewhere for the past decade or so. Chelsea have directly replaced Arsenal as the chief challenger for trophies in England. Arsenal and Liverpool fans have been left to sadly reminisce about their past winnings – while teams like Chelsea and City add trophies to their cabinet in the present. Frankly, I couldn’t give less of a rat’s rear end what was won in my dad/grand father’s time – Look to the present and the future.
2. New, Overseas Fandom. The victors get the praise / backing of the masses. I sure as hell don’t think that 300-500 million people live in Manchester – but that is the purported number of fans that United have. Chelsea can’t have that?
3. Excessive Spending. FYI, there was no such concept called Financial Fair Play when Abramovich came about. No rules have thus been broken. Spending has been curbed in recent years so as to comply with FFP, else we’d have Cavani/Falcao – the last pieces of the puzzle. (Concepts such as amortisation have to be considered while reporting amounts spent and received. Do check out Jake Cohen’s articles on SBnation which explains it a lot better than I possibly could.)
Recently 76 clubs have been ordered to explain their finances. Chelsea is NOT one of them. Well, well.
With the recent policy of buying highly rated talent and loaning them out, Chelsea are in a win-win situation. The best young talent make it into the team, and the ones who sadly couldn’t make it get sold for a profit. Thibaut Courtois – easily the young goalkeeper in the world was bought for approximately 7 million – an incredibly low value – seeing how good he is today. Kevin de Bruyne was obtained for about 7 mill and sold for 20 million Euros. Not bad, considering he didn’t score for Chelsea even once! And it’s not as though these youngsters are brought against their will – they’d still have had to make it at their original clubs.
And if God forbid, there was a financial crisis – after selling off the players with massive wages, there are plenty of classy young talent ready to fill the void.
After all, it’s cool if a team buys a bunch of stars, christens them the Galacticos, later breaks the world record for a transfer twice in one window, and eventually breaks the record again despite having the likes of di Maria and Jese Rodriguez at the same position as long as evil Chelsea don’t do it. Bayern Munich poaching the best talents of their immediate opponents in the Bundesliga is perfectly acceptable, isn’t it?
4. Paucity of English Talent. It is unfortunate that Chelsea doesn’t have a greater number of local talent – but it’s not as though England is the hotbed of such local talent. Look at the top young English talent at United – Welbeck and Cleverley. (Please muffle your laughter.) Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton have some highly touted talents – but the jury is still out as to whether they are good enough to win anything.
With Chelsea’s improved youth academy coming out relatively recently, it is insane to expect them to immediately make an impact in a team with ambitions of winning titles every season. That tactic holds good only at teams who are happy enough to attain 4th place in the EPL and reach the Champion’s League. And as far as buying English talent goes, the 18 year old Luke Shaw is valued at over 20 million pounds for just a season and a half of good play. He’s got great potential but that is incredibly exorbitant. Please excuse Chelsea for not being dumb enough to pay 20mill for a Jordan Henderson – who at best can be called a willing runner and a hard worker.
Also let’s totally ignore the 35 mill pounds spent by a certain club for Carroll, 20 mill for Downing etc. shall we?
With the youth squads winning at their respective age levels, we’ll hopefully see a few more of them in the coming seasons.
5. Tactics. No sane coach plays an attacking formation at the Nou Camp when their team is down to 10 men – having lost both their CBs, one to injury and the other to a red card. Arsenal parking the bus at home when down to 10 men against Bayern is conveniently forgiven – or United doing the same against Real Madrid. Perhaps the temerity of Chelsea to win on aggregate despite being handicapped is what incenses you all. Oh, and as for the CL final, you’d think it would be sensible to provide a defensive winger to back up Jose Bosingwa against Franck Ribery and David Alaba! Especially when 4 first team regulars have been suspended. I think the purists preferred Mesut Ozil lazing around when Robben, Lahm and later Rafinha torched Nacho Monreal time and time again.
Also, how dare Chelsea alter their tactics according to their opposition? Sacrilege!
Do not acknowledge the fact that Chelsea is the most effective counterattacking team in their league, too.
6. “Ruining” talents. Andrei Shevchenko, who couldn’t adapt to the faster pace of the EPL or oust Didier Drogba from the line up was somehow ruined by Chelsea. Because logic. Fernando Torres, who is the one player in recent memory for whom Chelsea adapted their style of play, bought a bunch of playmakers, sacked a number of managers etc was also somehow ruined by Chelsea despite being hopelessly mediocre. Losing your balance/not being in position when given a picture perfect through ball is Chelsea’s fault too, isn’t it?
Juan Mata who couldn’t adapt to Chelsea’s new intense pressing style was sold in the very next transfer window. Sure, he was the best player for two years in a row but those were not teams good enough to win the EPL title. Team over individual anyday – and as I write this, Chelsea are on top of the table. But hey, Mata was ruined by Chelsea 😛 Let’s conveniently ignore the fact that his wages were more than doubled, despite moving to a mid table side. It wouldn’t fit in with the Evil Chelsea narrative.
7. Controversies. Can’t deny them. But if Luis Suarez’s transgressions (his racist acts, biting fellow players twice and his diving) can be placed on the side burner over time; Giggs for his incestuous relationship, Giroud, Ribery, Benzema etc for their activities – why is Terry still bearing the brunt of the criticism? Rooney holding his club to ransom and getting massive wages is tolerable, eh? Selective media reporting too with the likes of former Liverpool players on “expert” panels, etc.
8. Jose Mourinho. Easy to hate – 2 defeats in nearly 20 games against Fergie, 0 defeats against Wenger, beat Barcelona at their peak (but imagine the furore if he had a winning record against them!), won two trebles etc. He says stuff that people with half a brain would realize and say among themselves yet is somehow called out for playing mindgames! But yeah, the whole Tito Vilanova incident was unsavoury and never should’ve happened. No defence there.
The whole Casillas incident is amusing because even Carlo Ancelotti prefers Lopez to Casillas!
Undeniable that Mou has a huge ego, but that ego has been earned, and players like Ibrahimovic have gone on record saying that they’d die for him! But it is entertaining to see die hard United fans still claim David Moyes is the Chosen One, despite coveting Mourinho’s signature.
Apparently, he also destabilizes the teams he leaves. (I couldn’t type that with a straight face.)
Hope this sparks off a healthy debate. 😀
[Picture Credit: Omar Momani]