Chelsea FC are still celebrating their latest triumph as Champions of Europe. Their journey has been saddled with many significant events on and off the pitch which can teach us a thing or two about success. Below are what we can learn from them;
1. Know Your Strength And Use It Efficiently: Chelsea’s style of football is not one you will call beautiful. It does not have a lot of smooth passes and dribbling. The team rather relies on its ability to hold-off and defend the attacking play of their opponents and then occasionally catch them in a swift counter attack. This style of play worked in their games against Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
2. Team Work: Chelsea was not expected to advance in the Champions League this season let alone win it. In their game against Barcelona, the whole team defended as one unit. They did not leave the defending to the back four. Even Didier Drogba came back to defend at certain points even though it was costly to the team sometimes (he cause a penalty in both the semi final and final games in his attempt to defend).
3. Get Your Needed Resources: Chelsea FC has a very big financier in the person of Roman Abramovich. This gives the management team the ability to buy players of high calibre to Chelsea. This ‘unlimited’ budget also allows them to get world-class coaches – Jose Mourinho, Filipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti – just to mention a few. The personnel and facilities at Chelsea is definitely top-notch; from physical trainers, doctors, team scouts, gym etc.
4. Focus: It is no secrete that Abramovich’s main desire was to win the Champions League cup. This usually resulted in many coaches being hired and fired from the club. Even though the team could only manage 6th position on the league table this season, they knew they had a much bigger target in the Champions League Cup and all their preparation was evidently pointed to the finals in Munich.
5.Thick Skin: Chelsea’s style of football has been heavily criticised and ridiculed. It’s been described as “anti-football” by some football commentators and analysts for its lack of flair. This criticism however never seemed to have bothered the coach or the players. The style was what produced results and so they stuck with it irrespective of what others said.
6: Luck: What are the odds that the world’s best player, Messi, will miss a penalty? Well he did. He missed a potentially match winning penalty that saw the exit of Barcelona from the champions league. Barcelona struck the goal posts several times while other scoring strikes missed the goal by inches. In Munich, Arjen Robben missed a penalty in extra time that could have seen Bayern Munich being crowned champions for the fifth time. They eventually lost 3-4 on penalties to Chelsea. Call it whatever you may, fate, divine grace, or luck but you definitely need an element of things just working for you even undeservedly.
The path to success is certainly not straight forward. There are many routes, conditions, elements and actions needed from the individual or team to reach that point where they are successful. These are the points we can learn from Chelsea’s success this 2011/2012 season. Are there any other learning points you think should be added to this list?