Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughChelsea were wrong to sack AVB - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Chelsea were wrong to sack AVB - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Chelsea were wrong to sack AVB

A lot has been written about Andre Villas-Boas. Many assume the writing is on the wall for Chelsea manager AVB following their latest defeat. A 3-1 loss in Napoli wouldn’t have helped the young tactician’s cause, especially as it was their fifth on the bounce. The Blues faithful have been calling for his head for some time now. Poor tactics in the Premier League has seen them drop out of the Champions League places and the way he set-up his side against Napoli, an outfit many have dubbed the most exciting in Europe at the moment, in Italy was borderline catastrophic.

An out of form Jose Bosingwa starting on the wrong side of the shaky back-four at the expense of the experienced Ashley Cole was asking for trouble from the start, while hoping Raul Meireles and Ramires, both of which aren’t defensive midfielders, to counter-act the brilliantly labelled scalpel-sharp trident of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik was never going to work. Then, to ask an unhappy Florent Malouda to complete the midfield trio has seen the 34-year-old’s position at Stamford Bridge come under scrutiny from more quarters than just the Chelsea fans.

Credit to Villas-Boas, he has come out and proclaimed his position in West London is safe, citing private assurances from owner Roman Abramovich as his reason for doing so. However, it certainly hasn’t stopped the rumours gathering pace of a potential sacking before the season is up. Many feel he left FC Porto too early, but without giving him a season to really prove himself to the supporters, man of whom are already calling for his head, is the wrong way to aid the team pull out of their current rut.

It is evident that the Blues are heading through, somewhat, of a transitional period. The old guard of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba aren’t the player’s they once were. An ageing spine to the side is the sole reason Abramovich bought the Portuguese tactician. A much needed injection of fresh blood to help conquer England, and at a stretch Europe, once again was desperately needed within the squad, many of which Villas-Boas has inherited from many of the five managers, from Jose Mourinho onwards.

The football may have got the club results, but it was done in a negative, ‘anti-football’ manner, something that didn’t appease the Russian billionaire. Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti all failed to put a smile on the trigger happy owner’s face, although credit to Hiddink, he won them the FA Cup and only lost once during his interim spell at Stamford Bridge. But goalkeeper Petr Cech expertly pointed out he has now played under seven different managers in eight years with the club, after now Inter Milan manager Claudio Ranieri bought him to England from Rennes back in 2004.

Chelsea are simply lacking one important factor at the moment; stability. Whether Villas-Boas can offer them that, or Abramovich is willing to give him the opportunity to do so, is another matter altogether. However, it was clear the Russian had run out of patience with the manager, who opted to part company with the 34-year-old after the weekend’s 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. A rash decision by the oligarch, who has spent around £600k per game in the hiring and sacking of Villas-Boas and further hampered their chances of a top four finish and a trophy for a season, that many have deemed unsuccessful for the Blues.

The decision to sack the former FC Porto boss could have further repercussions on the club as a whole. With the impatience of Abramovich costing them countless managers in the past, a number of the early favourites could perceive the role as somewhat of a poisoned chalice with the Russian billionaire demanding instant success or, like many before a new man has been bought, face his wrath.

As previously mentioned, the club are currently facing a transitional period. A number of the older players need to be shipped out particularly swiftly if Chelsea are to move forward. Villas-Boas was bought in to oversee that period in order to improve the team in the long-run. However, the senior generation weren’t happy with what was happening, both on and off the pitch, and it was the player power that contributed to his downfall. Too many times the likes of Lampard and Terry went to the press regarding the tactics used by the manager and were heavily critical of his means of selection should they not be utilised to, what they believe, is their full capacity.

This player power must be kicked out of the club when a replacement is bought in, be it through selling the aforementioned duo to name but two members of the squad or with a strict disciplinarian named as the successor to Villas-Boas. The likes of Rafael Benitez and Fabio Capello have been mooted as potential incomers, while former fans favourite Jose Mourinho remains the overwhelming favourite to return to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues will now begin to struggle to find the man to restore them to their dizzying heights in the Premiership due to the intolerance of Abramovich. Many had assumed he had learnt from his previous mistakes, but with his latest debacle in firing the young tactician, Chelsea very much find themselves back to square one. Roberto Di Matteo will take interim charge until a new man can be bought in, but even that is a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

What next though for Villas-Boas? A hefty pay-out is guaranteed, but in terms of football, a return to Portugal has been heavily mooted. Personally, that would be the best option to take and it will give him the opportunity to regain his status in the footballing world. If that isn’t the case for the rising Portuguese manager, a move to a “lower” La Liga team will help rebuild his dented credibility. Either way, the now former Chelsea boss will come out of this the stronger of the two parties with his former club now scampering to find a manager that will ensure they retain their position in the Champions League for next season with the vein hope of landing some silverware before the end of a miserable season for the West London giants.

Ben McAleer

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