Emenalo's 10 years at Chelsea in review - FCNaija

EPL By: Ambrose Udeme | 06/11/2017

Michael Emenalo on Monday, November 6, 2017, shocked the football world and most especially his employers Chelsea FC by deciding to step down from his position as the technical director of the West London outfit.

While there have been speculations that his resignation may have something to do with the underfire Antonio Conte whose future at the Bridge has come under serious criticisms in recent weeks, sources have suggested that the former Nigeria international does not wish to engage in a three-way power battle with Conte and club director Marina Granovskaia who are known not to see eye to eye.

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Chelsea suffered a frustrating summer transfer window, which caused tension between Conte, Emenalo and director Marina Granovskaia. Conte is the 10th manager Emenalo has worked with over his ten years spell at the club.

Emenalo the Nigerian

Born in Nigeria, Emenalo moved to the United States in 1986 where he graduated from Boston University with a degree in international relations with political sciences.

Having played college football in America, his career continued in Belgium with Molenbeek and Germany with Eintracht Trier before moving to England to play for Notts County in 1994. During the same year he played in the USA World Cup for Nigeria and won a total of 14 caps for the Super Eagles.

Football administration

It was at his last club, Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, that Emenalo played under Avram Grant and that association eventually facilitated his move to Chelsea. The 52-year old football administrator first joined Chelsea with Grant in 2007 and worked as an opposition scout. The former defender who secured his Uefa Pro Licence this summer also worked as an assistant first-team coach under Carlo Ancelotti, replacing Ray Wilkins.

Abramovich’s decision for Emenalo to take over from Wilkins and sit on the Chelsea bench caused controversy and thrust the former defender into the spotlight. He was promoted to technical director in 2011 and has been largely responsible for player recruitment and Chelsea’s vast youth network.

His achievements at Chelsea

Emenalo has often been blamed for signings that have not worked out and the number of youngsters sent away on loan, but he has also enjoyed great success in his job.

Eden Hazard is one of his most successful signings, but Emenalo has also been responsible for the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku joining Chelsea.

With his help, Chelsea have won the Premier League title three times, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League.

Mourinho faceoff

Often remaining in the background, Emenalo made headlines after Chelsea sacked Mourinho in 2015 by blaming “palpable discord between the players and the manager.”

Emenalo was left frustrated that the likes of De Bruyne and Lukaku were not given a greater chance under former manager Jose Mourinho before they both decided to leave Chelsea.