We also still have the likes of West Brom and Bournemouth hot on our heels, and we are still watching certain players putting some pretty shoddy performances.
So it’s as we were. I wonder if those in charge are regretting not backing Jose in the transfer market at this stage? Drogba’s book gives us a glimpse into why we find ourselves where we are. He explained that Mourinho demands so much from his players, both physically and mentally, that the level he makes them achieve can only be maintained for so long before they burn out. He estimated that window to be around three years. That’s why he needed to inject fresh blood — especially after winning the league, where the intensity of both physical and mental demands would have been at their most extreme.
Any money saved by not investing will have gone numerous times over from paying off Mourinho’s contract and by trying to entice players which they now desperately need.
My major concern is who is going to be occupying the manager’s seat next season? Who would want the job? Why would some of the names we are being linked with want to leave their high profile jobs to join possibly the most dysfunctional club in the world? Managers need their respective boards to trust them. That just does not seem to be in the ethos of our club. And what makes it worse is that most of those making the decisions have no background in football. It’s bizarre and another reason why elite managers will, in all probability, give us a very wide berth.
So let’s follow this thought process... We’re going to be one of those clubs looking at the second pool of potential managers — those that look like they may make the step up to the elite at some point — or one of those that managed one of the ‘also ran” clubs.
So a tier two manager and no Champions League football — what kind of players will we attract? This could lead to quite a few years in the wilderness. We will effectively be Liverpool. How depressing.
This season has been even more extraordinary because here we are in February, with a club many considered relegation fodder with a real chance of winning the title. Whatever happens, it really is an unmatched achievement, with the game where it is.
It is also a timely reminder that sometimes it’s not about necessarily having the best players, or even the best manager. It’s about the group being stronger than the individual — no matter how talented any individual is.
And it’s about that group giving it all they have, and leaving egos in the dressing room. It’s not about how much you get paid, but about earning whatever you get paid by doing what is asked of you to the best of your ability — week in, week out. I think there are a lot of so called superstar players could learn a lot from Leicester.
I said last week that I was, in a weird way enjoying the season, and that is still the case, but sitting through some of our turgid football does make me nostalgic for the flying wing-play of Robben and Duff, or the ruthlessness of Drogba, the artistry of Mata, the excellence of Makelele, Lampard, Ashley Cole, and so on.
I should be grateful we had those years but it’s like having got used to drinking vintage champagne and then being forced to drink a cheap rip off.
We are where we are, and those that have created this mess need to get us out of it Worryingly, I doubt any of them know where to start.