Chelsea is a club in disarray

2010-03-02 00:00

SO much for the flawless Blue machine. The off-field antics at Stamford Bridge are seriously undermining what it is they are trying to achieve on the field.

John Terry started the rot, with his private life becoming extremely public knowledge thanks to the wonderful world of tabloid reporters.

Not to be outdone, Ashley Cole has now trumped his skipper by acting so naively that he was shown the door by his popstar wife.

You sometimes have to wonder just what it would take to make these multi-millionaires content, because every other day one of them is doing something completely reckless.

Soapies aside, Chelsea is now a club in disarray. Just the other week, Terry was speaking of going for a treble and then winning the World Cup with England.

Well, those goals may need to be re-adjusted with relative speed.

For starters, the league race is fast becoming tighter than a meerkat’s sun-baked backside, and their European ambitions will be severely tested by the return of the Special One to the Bridge in a few weeks.

If Chelsea can somehow navigate a path past Jose Mourinho, then they may well go all the way. But I don’t see it happening.

Chelsea have lost several key men — some to injury, but others to just rank bad form.

Michael Ballack looks like a man on his last legs, yet Carlo Ancelotti keeps on indulging him. Even Nicolas Anelka is not the player he was a few months ago, and yet he gets the nod ahead of the more creative Joe Cole. Don’t be surprised if Cole walks away on a free transfer at season’s end.

It seems that the Chelsea ship is on autopilot, and they have failed to see the giant iceberg straight ahead.

How else do you explain a talent-laden squad suddenly going off the boil?

It is said that each manager who comes to the Bridge is rated according to the standards set by the Special One. It is no surprise, then, that the manager’s seat has seen three different derrières in the last two years since Mourinho departed so spectacularly.

Ancelotti will be feeling the heat, and the thrashing handed to them by Manchester City will only add to the strain.

All the while that this is going on, Manchester United are steeling themselves for an almighty final push. Almost home and hosed in Europe, and with the Carling Cup secured, United look like a side timing their run with all the good sense of a grizzled old runner.

They have been elevated to new heights by the brilliance of Wayne Rooney, and the results have been stunning.

Rooney is in the form of his life, and what I called a mere purple patch a few weeks ago now looks like the norm for the hottest hitman in England right now.

As long as Rooney stays injury-free, Sir Alex Ferguson will have designs on a fourth straight title.

If he pulls up, though, the cumulative efforts of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen may just buckle under the expectation.

United will keep looking to Rooney, and he does seem to have all the answers as we speak.

It is all set for a frantic finale.

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