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When you look at the managerial roll under Roman Abramovich's tenure, from Claduio Ranieri to Rafa Benitez, two names really obviously jump out - Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, two of the most respected managers in the modern game. Yet Abramovich got rid of both. And while removing Mourinho is seen by many as the owner's daftest move, perhaps it was actually the sacking in May 2011 of the Italian that has been the most damaging.
This is not to say that the Italian is a better manager than the Portuguese. Rather, the point is that having snagged a manager of similar calibre to Mourinho - after employing Avram Grant and Luis Felipe Scolari and then Guus Hiddink short-term - Chelsea's owner not only sacked him but he did so at what was a critical point in the Chelsea squad's development.
The owner's short-sightedness has played a central role in the gradual decline on the pitch of his Chelsea play thing - and that decline could have been averted had the Russian put his faith in the more than capable Italian and allowed him to manage the kind of transition the squad was due two years ago. But Abramovich chose the opposite of football sense, and the club's continuing scattergun approach to the transfer market, youth development and managers has caused the club to slide from being one of the most consistent and feared in Europe to something of a domestic also ran.
In Aneclotti's second and final season, the rot had already begun to set in. Chelsea's core - Terry, Cole, Drogba, Lampard and Essien - had seen age and injury eat away at their powers on the field. However, the owner's proclivity for sacking managers and getting close to the players had allowed that core to develop a disproportionate power relationship with whomever occupied the managerial hot seat - encouraging the kind of player power that eventually did for AVB, for example.
Had Ancelotti been allowed to perform the kind of surgery the squad required after they rather meekly surrendered the league title to Manchester United in the final weeks of the 2010-11 season, Chelsea may well have been able to maintain the kind of competitiveness domestically and in Europe that has characterised the stable regime at Old Trafford.
And before you say it, yes, Chelsea won the Champions League last season - but they did so in one of their least convincing European campaigns and in a season where they finished fifth in the Premier League, 25 points behind champions Manchester City. Player power played a massive role in the European success - the core, no longer able to compete on both fronts, gave up on the bread and butter, took advantage of Roberto Di Matteo's light-touch approach and put everything into one last roll of the Champions League dice.
Their victory was indeed extraordinary, but Chelsea's inability to compete domestically over a 38 game season served to underline that future success could not be built on the club's old guard in the wake of their Munich success.
The lack of a consistent, knowledgeable and skilled hand at the tiller over a period when the club should have been carefully managing a crucial transition has left Chelsea with a talented but dysfunctional, confused and uneven squad that lacks a sense of direction and a clear playing identity.
Of course, suggesting that Ancelotti may have been that man is conjecture - but not only did the Italian have the pedigree to keep Chelsea competitive, he had the experience and the ability to work successfully with an overbearing and over-involved owner (think Berlusconi at Milan).
There are those who argue that despite Abramovich's meddling or even because of it, Chelsea have achieved levels of success unprecedented in the club's history. But you have to wonder just how fearsome Chelsea could have been if he had the sense to take a step back and allow a quality manager like Ancelotti manage what was clearly necessary.
Paul Little - follow him on Twitter