Date: 6th November 2017 at 5:12pm
Written by:

I`ve just finished a piece about Michael Emenalo`s (ME for short) departure but my head is still spinning.

While, for the sake of journalistic focus, it was important to keep the story of a key Chelsea director`s resignation tight, the ramifications are potentially endless.

Everything that happens going forward can now be viewed through two lenses: what happened in the decade Emenalo was there, and what happened next.

When a key player (Costa) revolted the season before last, the technical director didn’t exactly seem to work his behind off to help patch things up.

Thus were the players permitted to ride roughshod over the former manager – and Emenalo almost seemed to dance on his grave with his (in)famous “palpable discord” speech.

In the case of the present manager, matters of and around Costa have threatened to do the same: the very latest word on Mr Abramovich`s feelings toward Conte was that the owner was “furious” at how The Don had treated the wayward striker to the point that the manager was not long for SW6.

Well, let`s see if that`s true and Emenalo was indeed tired of protecting Conte – or if the latter was in fact an Emenalo-massaged and -leaked ‘truth`.

Then there`s David Luiz.

With ME still there, pundits called Conte`s move to elbow Luiz from Saturday`s squad v United “brave”. They lined up to predict trouble for The Don with such a popular player in the dressing room upset a potential powder keg.

The usually sensible Gary Neville went as far as to predict that every time Chelsea let in a goal without Luiz on the field, the camera would cut to the Brazilian on the bench/in the stands.

I don’t think so – by which I mean that Luiz has been the main reason for Chelsea`s leakiness at the back this year; going forward, there may not be as copious an incidence of CFC shipping goals as the former Man United and England full-back thinks.

It`s important that The Don is clearly a far better PR man than the former one (though it doesn’t take much to be better than someone who`s one single PR ploy is to screech, “WAAAAAAAAA!!!” from his pram while throwing bricks): his high praise for the excellent young Christensen after the game on Saturday was accurate, yes, but also played right into the youth-loving attitudes of the owner.

In the end, however, no manager who ‘loses` the dressing room ever gets to stay – though such ‘losing` is only real and vindicated and lasting if it is matched by losing games.

The fact that Chelsea beat such a bitter and powerful rival on Saturday under The Don`s ‘brave` strategy will have sent everybody – but everybody: players, board, owner, even opposing teams – to bed on Saturday with a powerful respect for the Chelsea manager, irrespective of prejudice.

People like the former one know the truth about Michael Emenalo, I guess. Snake or saint? Or something in between? The intriguing thing is that we`ll clearly know soon enough.


60 Replies to “Michael Emenalo: Saint or Snake?”

  • Not a Saint. The coach is the one who?s job is on the line at the end as they are expected to win trophies. No players should ever be forced upon the coach. If the coaches choice is A is unattainable then it should be the priority to try and get choice B, C, D, heck maybe even E.

  • I’m guessing that people are going to move heaven and earth to make it seem like something in between. But like you say Stan, the proof will be right in our face if Don Antonio is suddenly fired/leaves. Either he loves Micheal’s resignation (and fought for it?) or he hates it. And we all know how effective the manager is at stopping things getting done that he hates, i.e. not at all – see Matic transfer for details. JC

  • I suspect you’re right, Pavel. This has all the signs of The Don making headway and Emenalo giving up and taking a job elsewhere. In the meantime, the same kind of slurs/gossip in the media that I believe were ALWAYS Emenalo’s stock-in-trade predictably accompany his departure. JC

  • Thank you JC. And just Incase I want to reiterate that I stated ?not a Saint? for anyone who is going to play the victim/sympathy card. I was careful not call him a snake, and just simply left it as not a Saint.

  • This is a tough one, the answer lies in what happen’s next ?, Marina has assumed ME’s duties according to the Guardian . Is this a temp gig or will someone new come in ?, another story doing the round is that ME paid the price finally for the sales without buybacks of Lukaku, KDB, and Mata to name a few .

  • Time will really tell what Emenalo has been doing for Chelsea. But my major concern now is Marina taking his place. I learnt she is just a lawyer who doesn’t know much about football. This is of great concern as winter transfer window will soon be upon us.

  • He passed his UEFA coaching licence, could it be that he just wants a career change.. Why does it always have to be wrapped up in acrimony? Sorry, but the British tabloids spin any news from our camp into a negative one and pigeon brain readers fall for it. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Conte wanted this. Let’s wish him well and move on.

  • Good point pancake. Funny if he ends up a manager – but by no means shocking with his political skills. Though I still contend that all signs point to this being a Conte victory and that we’ll know one way or the other sharpish.

  • Don’t even understand how the word Saint or Snake can be used to describe someone who dedicated 10 years to Chelsea. He was the one who resigned not Conte pushing him out. Everybody just suggesting conspiracy theories.

  • “When a key player (Costa) revolted the season before last, the technical director didn’t exactly seem to work his behind off to help patch things up.” – Jesus. Like Txiki did with Yaya Toure and Pep or Eto and Pep or Mourinho and Mata or Mourinho and Ronaldo or Fergie and Beckham. Come off it. That is just reaching too far. What can anyone do about Diego Costa’s attitude??? Nothing

  • Wrong KAKU mate. As Emenalo has it, he was the buffer, the peacemaker, and he has had enough. Hmmmm. What peace did he make between the Costa-led revolt against Mourinho and then Mourinho and the board? Zero – in fact his zeal at denouncing the former manager underlined by his not even mentioning the manager’s name (something we true Blues who despise JM’s ultimate treachery do) made it clear that – at least on that occasion – he was not the buffer or peacemaker but a pro-board and anti-manager protagonist. Wake up matey! There have been several columns lately by respected journalists pointing at something we on VC have been going crazy about for ages: how can this club and this club alone manage to follow magnificent victory at the end of one season with utter discord almost immediately after???!! Well, maybe it was a bizarre succession of managers – Mourinho (twice), Ancelotti and now Conte who simply enjoy turning victory into IMMEDIATE defeat (on which, I suspect the odds would be astronomical)… or maybe it was Emenalo…

  • Here comes the “true blue” propaganda… A “polite and gentlemanly” way of saying that you are center of your own universe, and alternate opinions will not be tolerated. We get it, Stan…

  • Am I the only one seeing a different mentality finally building up at the cfc heirarchy.Is it to do with some poor and shameful transfer window ox, Barkley,llorente and others.Or is it to have way for long managerial time with Conte?.when you had poor transfer window of papy ,baba,where he was made scapegoat for poor season,while it was emenalo to blame the other one last season,matic sale, missing out on number of targets.Just to clarify things even more when you came the second time emenalo knew mou wants utmost power at the club so emenalo offered his resignation.when Conte was recruited as first team head coach the club knew how notoriously demanding the don is,so it is likely mr.abramovich wanted to extend Conte stay as a manager,which led emenalo to realize he is of no much need at the club.However this is just theory,but Conte extension would augment that theory

  • Except the difference this time globe trotter is that allegedly Marina and Conte do not see eye to eye. If this is true it could be bad news for us .

  • Globe that seems plausible. I want to see how things go so we can have that hindsight conclusion. I personally am not going to fall for this good guy narrative, at least not yet.

  • Yes I was initially agitated a little bit when this news broke, but after reading the full transcript of Emenalo’s post resignation interview on chelsea website, and I have honestly decided not to read too much into any of these things and just wait and see what happens next. At 52 years of age and after spending 10 years working in a myriad of demanding roles at chelsea football club, Mike Emenalo has earned the right to take a breather – either to just rest or do something different. 10 years is such a long time to do the same thing over and over again and face the same crazy pressure at CFC over and over all again. Even in my professional life, I still dont think I can even spend 10 years in the same organization. I just want to wish him all the best with whatever he does next. Whatever the “Snake” or “saint” narrative, none of us can deny the significant level of success the club enjoyed during Emenalo’s tenure as the director of football. For that alone, I say a big thank you to him. Just to add, after a bit of thought, I do think this whole tension between Conte/Marina/Emenalo has been blown way out of proportion. Every top organization in the world has some politics/disagreements/tensions at the board level, it is perfectly normal and I can argue that most organizations actually thrive on these to get new ideas, innovate and move forward. So rather than waste time to create funny theories/themes/narratives on what could be happening at chelsea at the board level based on some baseless ideas from the UK Jornos, ‘ll prefer to stay calm and watch with interest how events unfolds. I believe the truth will be revealed one way or the other in due course. While I wait, I think its the right time to say Thank you to Mike Emenalo for the service and good times he shared with the club. Thanks Mike Emenalo and all the best.

  • @ Kaku.. I am suprised that you expect anything different from Stan. Thankfully now ME has decided to go, we will see less on Stans drivel about ME responsible for everything bad at the club. With his chronic baised, I onto be suprised if ME is held responsible for anything that happens in the club in 10 years time

Comments are closed.