AVBs plan foiled by the pensioners

Chelsea are looking for a new manager. This is not a repeat from 2011, 2009, 2009 again, 2008, or 2007. Andre Villas-Boas, a man who arrived at Stamford Bridge in June with a growing reputation and a £13.3m bounty on his head, was handed his P45 on Sunday, less than 24 hours after seventh league defeat of the season at West Brom. Nobody will say that this hasn’t been coming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the sacking is deserved. AVB had a thankless task. The mix an ageing squad, massively inflated egos and unrealistic expectations formed the perfect cocktail…

AVBs plan foiled by the pensioners

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Andy

March 5th, 2012

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Chelsea are looking for a new manager. This is not a repeat from 2011, 2009, 2009 again, 2008, or 2007.

Andre Villas-Boas, a man who arrived at Stamford Bridge in June with a growing reputation and a £13.3m bounty on his head, was handed his P45 on Sunday, less than 24 hours after seventh league defeat of the season at West Brom.

Nobody will say that this hasn’t been coming, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the sacking is deserved. AVB had a thankless task. The mix an ageing squad, massively inflated egos and unrealistic expectations formed the perfect cocktail for failure.

Looking at the bookmakers odds, there are no real surprises. Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez are vying for favouritism, depending on your bookie of choice, with Pep Guardiola just behind. However, you can’t help but feel that, like the England job, they’d be better off staying well away.

Indeed, AVBs crime, it seems, was to have the gall to try and move the club forward. Frank Lampard is not as sharp as he used to be. Didier Drogba is not the 20 goal a season striker that the need and John Terry, hardly the greatest dressing room influence in the world, is still picking himself up after being shown a clean pair of heals by Rob van Persie back in October.

Unfortunately for Villas-Boas, having the temerity to suggest that the aforementioned trio isn’t quite as good as they believe they still are is a one way ticket to the Job Centre. Frank Lampard hasn’t taken kindly to being able to put his feet up on a Saturday afternoon. The likes of Drogba and Nicolas Anelka have failed to grasp the idea that a young whippersnapper by the name of Daniel Sturridge is performing so much better than they are and Terry has hardly made things easier for the Portuguese manager.

Has AVB got it all right? Of course not. He hasn’t managed to get any meaningful contribution out of Fernando Torres and the signing of Romelu Lukaku seems to have been £18m of dead money, for the time being at least.

But that, unfortunately, is the problem for Chelsea – they aren’t interested in the future, only the now. Terry, Lampard, Cole aren’t the future of Chelsea. Villas-Boas knows that, they know that and Abramovich knows that: It’s just that the latter two refuse to accept it – and they made their feelings known.

Andre Villas-Boas will be remembered as the most costly manager in Chelsea FC history. What will be forgotten is that he had the thankless task of trying to turn this team of pensioners into one capable of challenging for titles for decades to come.

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