With the latest change of the guard at Chelsea imminent, we looks at who hold power an influence in the Court of King Roman.
The 38-year reign of Henry VIII may be notable among schoolchildren for his proliferation of wives, but it was among his multitude of advisors that the power really lay.
Via the ever-ebbing influence of Thomases Wolsey, Cranmer, Moore and Cromwell, Henry’s empire was guided through its many successes and failures – and the latest favourite was always, vicariously, the most powerful man in the land.
The voracious appetite of Roman Abramovich for a progression of Chelsea managers has been likened to the Tudor King’s approach to dating. The Russian is about to make his seventh ‘permanent’ appointment to the Chelsea hot seat – one more than Old Coppernose ‘permanently’ appointed to the bedchamber.
But it is the change in his Archbishop or Chief Minister, likely to accompany this summer’s managerial recruitment, which may have most impact in where Chelsea’s fortunes next lie.King Roman of Chelsea – Eurosport
There is a feeling that for Michael Emenalo, for so long the focus of fans’ palpable discord, time may be finally running out. The affable, but quite calculating Nigerian has been blamed for many things while at Chelsea – some fair, some less so.
He bears the brunt of many fans’ ire because, unlike mere managers such as Jose Mourinho or Carlo Ancelotti, it is difficult to quantify exactly what he does. Judging him on results is tricky, because few can realistically say what initiatives or signings were actually his decision, and which came from either above or from some other nebulous quantity in the Court of King Roman.
Certainly there have been successes: he played a key role in the decisions to sign, for example, Kevin De Brune and Romelu Lukaku – both then moved out of the club under the influence of Mourinho, in decisions much regretted since. The unpopular moves lumped upon him – the appointment of Rafael Benitez, the failure of the academy to strike first-team gold, the signings of players not fit for the shirt – vary in terms of culpability between his stall, and several others close to the club board.
The biggest thing in his favour is arguably also the strongest point of criticism: that, like those who dealt with King Henry, Emenalo has learned in relations with his own superior that you can only go so far in disagreeing with the man at the very top.
There is a strong argument Chelsea would benefit from having someone in his position less concerned with simply doing the main man’s bidding, and more with challenging such orders with the benefit of actual relevant hands-on experience.Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich with his son Aaron – Reuters
The signs that Emenalo’s star is fading are subtle – but difficult to ignore. He is understood to have objected to two of the more controversial signings of the January window: the taking of Alexandre Pato on loan, and the buying outright of Matt Miazga.
Both deals bore the fingerprints of football agent and fixer Kia Joorabchian – who immediately before had managed to secure a remarkable £25m for Chelsea to ship fringe midfielder Ramires to China.
The unofficial position as Chelsea’s preferred agent, taken for the most part by Jorge Mendes during Mourinho’s tenure, seems to have been recently occupied by Joorabchian. And, with manager-in-waiting Antonio Conte apparently making noises about wanting his own man in at technical director level, the news for Emenalo does not look especially promising.
That is something he may be aware of, given that those schooled in reading his body language talk in recent weeks of a more closed and less effusive quality than normal in his manner.
Abramovich is famously a hard taskmaster – and this latest movement in his cloud of advisors is unlikely to be the last. Though at this stage Emenalo will be grateful that it is King Roman and not King Henry who is his employer: for one imagines any severance package might be slightly more personally beneficial than those handed out to all of those Thomases.
Source: Dan Levene @ Eurosport