You want to give them the benefit of the doubt. You want to drop the cynicism. But this is ridiculous. Chelsea FC. One of the great clubs of the modern era. They've just hired a new manager. A man they hope (at least you would think) to build a dynasty around. To remake a fallen club. A crisis-hit team. And yet on Monday morning, for the announcement, all we had was a short press release and an even shorter reaction from the two owners.
How much has this club lost? This presentation. So underwhelming. So mediocre. This isn't Chelsea. This isn't the arrival of Jose Mourinho. Big Phil Scolari. Nor even Andre Villas-Boas. The fanfare. The electricity. Everything that should surround a new Chelsea managerial appointment. Everything that should be generated and encouraged by the club. It wasn't there. It was gone. Lost. Chelsea may as well have been announcing an academy signing. It really was that low key.
Check the club's website today and the news is buried. Scroll. Then scroll. Then scroll again... Did it even happen? Is Poch Chelsea's new manager? You wouldn't know from the official mouthpiece. Indeed, as crazy as it is, Harry Kane has offered more enthusiasm over his old Tottenham gaffer moving to Stamford Bridge than anyone connected to the club. At least, bar Raheem Sterling, that is. The England attacker being the one Chelsea player to welcome the new manager - via an outlet in the Middle East...
It's broken record time for this column, but we'll say it again. For all the bluster. For all the PR. These American owners have done nothing to improve the communication levels between the club and it's support. And this week is no exception.
Chelsea have just come off a disastrous season. The fans are on their knees. Embarrassed. Frustrated. Two years ago they were celebrating a Champions League title. Today they're witnessing the premature breakup of that team. A dismal bottom 10 finish. And a fourth manager in less than 12 months.
Any chairman. Any football man. Knowing the support. Knowing how fans tick. They would act. They would give their supporters something to latch onto. Some hope. Some aspiration. Some promise of better days ahead. You do Poch's presentation immediately. Get him in at Stamford Bridge. Fill the press room to bursting. Have him flanked by Todd Boehly and Bedad Eghbali. Generate that buzz. That electricity. And watch Chelsea FC dominate the news cycle for the remainder of the week. And more importantly give your fanbase something to cling to.
But no. We don't get that. More importantly, the Chelsea fan doesn't get that. Instead, you get a dull, lifeless media release. Indeed, we still haven't heard from the man in question.
So where is it, guys? The marketing. The pizazz. Everything Boehly and Eghbali have told their peers at all these investment conferences since taking charge. They'll talk to them, but not to the fans. Everything they've claimed Roman Abramovich failed at they were going to fix. That American marketing and communication expertise... just where is it?
We'll keeping banging the drum. This isn't Chelsea. This isn't the Chelsea of Abramovich. Nor Ken Bates. The glamour. The excitement. The connection. It's just not there. Proud. Unapologetic. Peacocking. It's gone.
This is no knock on Pochettino. Indeed, for this column, he deserves much, much better than such a humdrum welcome. But one critique is where is the Argentine? He has a popular Instagram account... Give them something, Poch. Give them a lift. A 60 second clip introducing yourself to your new support. After this past year, they need it. Are you enthusiastic about the job? Excited? No-one knows. You have a tool to speak directly to the fans. Use it.
This week was opportunity lost. These moments matter. Memories, even folklore, created. Again, Jose's arrival back in 2004 is all the proof you need how this club can create legend out of such occasions. Draw a line. Lay a marker down. So much excitement and goodwill could've been generated from Pochettino's announcement.
Instead, it was barely a whisper. A whimper. And was soon an afterthought. This just isn't Chelsea.