1972: Chelsea: Has a dynasty been fo
by : Jeremy Goodwin
3) David Moyes - Everton
Another team that couldn’t comprehend an injury-crisis are Everton. Their impressive injury-free season has allowed David Moyes to achieve one of the most impressive management performances in recent times.
Written off as relegation battlers at the start of the season, the Toffees are on the brink of getting into the champions league ahead of their local rivals Liverpool. All of this on the back of losing their star player – Wayne Rooney – and having to work their way through the season on a shoestring budget. David Moyes has worked miracles as Everton have sat in the top-four for virtually the entire season.
Perhaps the most impressive factor is how Moyes pulls his men together when things are starting to look down for the team. First of all there was the amazing togetherness shown by the team after Rooney’s departure. In the transfer window this was followed by the players upping their game when midfield playmaker Thomas Gravesen signed for Real Madrid.
Then of course, there is their never-say-die attitude. On numerous occasions Everton have picked up valuable points by scoring goals in the dying moments of games. This is more than just luck: they don’t know when they’re beaten and won’t stop trying to win until the final whistle has blown.
They also haven’t crumbled when everyone has expected them to. Having lost the biggest Mersey Side derby in years, many expected Everton to fall apart and allow Liverpool to steal fourth spot from them. But since that fixture, Everton have tightened their grip on fourth spot and are within touching distance of a Champions’ League position.
The fact that Everton have defied the odds throughout the entire season, with a very small squad and a tight transfer budget has to be one of the biggest surprises in the history of the Premiership. It is for this reason that David Moyes gets my vote for Manager of They Year.
Take a well known and generally successful football club with a strong history of winning knock-out cup competitions and of grooming top players but never quite realizing their potential with respect to winning championships, a team already housed in a well built stadium in one of London's most fashionable areas (Chelsea); add a Russian billionaire whose fortune is exceeded by a mere 20 people on the face of the earth who will spend just shy of $400 million on players in 2 years as well as write off a one year financial loss of $160 million, before that having already taken the club out of pending bankruptcy; then top it off with a winning coach paid more than any other in the land, full of confidence and vision, and what do you get?
Well, exactly what you asked for: a first national championship in half a century, another domestic cup, and a good chance at the European Champions League title to boot! Perhaps more importantly, Chelsea’s good ‘fortune’ broke the stranglehold of success of at least a couple of domestic teams, adding spice to the game of football in general and arguably the world of sports. But does it a Dynasty make? Or will the team implode under the pressure to again succeed and therefore ‘die nasty’?
Chelsea Football Club’s abrupt emergence to rival the names of Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Celtic, Santos, Boca Juniors, Corinthians, and River Plate etc., is undoubtedly good for the game and adds firepower to England’s claim that it has one of the three best leagues in the world. But new money is limited in some respects. It’s supply is not guaranteed without a track record or a self sustaining infrastructure and business plan (admittedly in the making), and it cannot replace the grandeur of the 50-60 years-plus years of greatness exhibited by many of the other teams just mentioned. However, it can certainly match them in the present. What of the future?
Has the baton of power truly shifted? This is a question that can only be answered in time. The formula for success is never that simple. There are other factors to consider. Arsenal's are moving into a new $750 million world class stadium and local area renovation project, Manchester United have newly revamped their yet to be expanded Old Trafford stadium, each 50-70% bigger than Chelsea's respectively, and of course the brand names of these teams and those of their peers are still the benchmarks that will take Chelsea a decade to equal. In other words, means it wont all be clear sailing for the Blues. Furthermore, more and more top teams from the top countries are moving (some say inevitably) toward a new super league that would dull the shine or future of those left out and make any one of the selected few unlikely to dominate their peers. It could even destroy the sport for reasons beyond the scope of this article.
This new Chelsea team is, in the big picture, no better than Arsenal’s or Manchester United’s, but they are as good (impressive in its own right). They came in first this year, but a single good year does not a dynasty make even if it lays the potential foundation for one. The press have been predicting the fall of Arsenal & United for years, essentially anytime they fell below their incredibly high standards (i.e. came in second), then glorifying them out of proportion when proven wrong. Such swings make headlines, selling newspapers and advertising space. It keeps people from getting bored or giving up hope for their own team.