In sacking Villas-Boas, Chelsea show lack of guts
It cost Roman Abramovich around 28 million Pounds to sack Carlo Ancelotti and hire Andrew Villas-Boas. Seven months later, history has repeated itself at Stamford Bridge. Abramovich's appointment and sacking of the young Portugese manager of Chelsea has cost a whopping 50 million Pounds.
Hiring a 33-year-old with only a year of top club experience was an extremely a gutsy decision and it suggested that the Chelsea boss would give Villas-Boas his backing and look beyond the next set of trophies. It appeared Abramovich was looking down the road, long-term. However, his sacking of Villas-Boas has showed the world that Chelsea's owner lacks guts and is unwilling to look beyond immediate success.
The biggest reason that comes to mind is the player power in Chelsea's dressing room. That needs to end if the club wants to remain at the top in England and Europe. It was evident that Villas-Boas and the players had become incompatible.
One of them had to leave and on Sunday, after a two-hour-long board meeting at the club's training ground, Villas-Boas was informed that his time had come to a sad end (leaving aside the money that came with the news). He will get about eight million Pounds as compensation, a huge amount of money, But then this is football.
As I see it, the Chelsea players were the catalysts of this decision. The likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole never Villas-Boas and the season's failure has been attributed to a bad relationship between so-called senior players and the manager. But the biggest problem with Chelsea is that their owner is just not willing to give any manager time to settle down and, more importantly, let him make his own decisions.
Good managers are sacrificed because Abramovich will not accept failure, and managers don't have their say when it comes to transfers. The manager is not the highest authority on football affairs at Chelsea.
Even Chelsea's favourite son, Jose Mourinho, accepted that he did not have full say in Chelsea's transfer policies. From Andriy Shevchenko to Fernando Torres, all these players were forced onto the managers just because the owner had as obsession about them. Chelsea's sky is falling, and they are in worse shape than anyone could have imagined. They currently are ranked fifth, three points behind Arsenal, and keeping current form in mind they stand to slip even further.
Agreed, the Portuguese manager made mistakes and his dictatorial approach did not go down well with the players. But that was the right attitude needed to control the bad boys of Chelsea and make a statement that Villas-Boas was the boss of the dressing room. While he did not receive the same wave of sympathy that followed the dismissal of his double-winning predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, there is no shame in Villas-Boas' becoming - after Claudio Ranieri, Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Ancelotti - the sixth casualty of Roman's empire.
The biggest surprise in this whole case is the appointment of Roberto di Matteo until the end of the season. The main reason to dismiss a manager at this stage is to salvage a season through change, but then why responsibility to a man who has been at Villas-Boas' side throughout this whole business, and was sacked by West Brom almost a year ago? If there wasn't any other manager in mind to salvage this season, then why stick with the man who has been around for almost nine months?
At the end of the day, if Roman thinks that he will get Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola in charge from next year then he should stop kidding himself. Pep will never manage a club where the manager is a mere pawn.
More about Abhishek NandwaniNot a sports enthusiast by choice, Abhishek has been brought up with the passion as playing turned into scribbling.
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