Hmm… If I had a million dollars, I would probably be able to purchase a 16th of a Didier Drogba, or quarter of Nicolas Anelka for my fantasy football club. It seems that the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City have become a stage where ridiculously rich people can pick their dream teams and hope that they win trophies in the process.
Mr Roman Abramovich’s investment in Chelsea F.C. has certainly helped the club perform during the past couple of years. One could even argue that he is the sole reason that Chelsea has won anything recently. He has been providing the funding for manager’s to be able to hand-pick a team of stars, while the other big name clubs have tried to do it the traditional way, i.e. invest in bringing younger home-grown players through the ranks and work on building excellent team chemistry.
So, while Chelsea can go ahead and pick their stars, clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal are starting to struggle to keep up.
Now, before you start freaking out and call me a bad loser, which I’ll admit, I am (avid Manchester United fan), allow me to finish. Rich clubs buying who they want is nothing new. Take Real Madrid as an example. At one stage, their squad consisted of the biggest names in the world, all playing for the club at the same time! I’m talking about the squad that contained the likes of Rául, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Ronaldo (The Brazilian, not the show-off). But even with this amazing squad, they failed to deliver on plenty occasions. Barcelona is currently dominating over the current Madrid team, that contain the likes of Káka, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo (the show-off) and World Cup winners such as Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos.
Make no mistake, Real Madrid are always a force to be reckoned with. And while Chelsea’s big name signings did not initially pay off, the club has now managed to forge a title-winning side, winning the double last year. So it seems that money can buy you success on the field, but, you need to buy a good manager as well. Cha-ching!
And even though Chelsea won the premiership last season, they only managed to finish a point ahead of Manchester United.
The point that I’m trying to make is that, even though the nature of the game has changed, the bare basics of football haven’t.
To build a successful team takes:
- Hard work, from players and managers on and off the pitch
- Naturally gifted players who are as committed as they are talented
- An excellent manager and accompanying coaching staff
- Dedication and perseverance from the whole club, including the fans
And while money will most definitely help you acquire some of these items, it’s still not a guarantee that you will win anything. Football is such an awesome sport that it almost always comes down to current form, and a wee bit of luck to decide the outcome.
And at the end of the day, the stars that grace the field, are still just human beings, and if they have an off day, all the wages and endorsements in the world aren’t going to help you win that match.