Will Villas-Boas be divorced, beheaded or survive?

"Chelsea managers have become a bit like Henry VIII’s wives"

Will Villas-Boas be divorced, beheaded or survive?

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February 16th, 2012

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With calls for another body bag to be delivered to the Chelsea managers’ office, is now the time for Roman Abramovich to ditch his blood lust in return or a simple concept – stability?

Many fans have reacted angrily to a dire run of performances: culminating in the 2-0 defeat at Everton, and the singing of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing’ at boss Andre Villas-Boas. But what will the sacking of yet another Stamford Bridge coach achieve right now?

Chelsea managers have become a bit like Henry VIII’s wives. So far Abramovich has divorced two (Mourinho & Grant), beheaded two (Ranieri & Scolari), seen one pass-on with dignity mostly intact (Ancelotti), and been survived by another (Hiddink).

Even Henry didn’t make it to a seventh wife, so it’s anyone’s guess what will happen with Villas-Boas. The charges against him are familiar: that he is too inexperienced at this level, has lost parts of the dressing room, is unable to react to on-pitch events, and is too stubborn to admit he is wrong. All have been levelled at Blues bosses before. And despite the promise of sexy passing football, Chelsea are playing a dire, directionless game unseen at Stamford Bridge since the early ’90s.

But if Abramovich is to heed the demands of a sizeable portion of fans, and call for the executioner – what next?

Perhaps Hiddink could be requisitioned for another stint with the caretaker’s broom? But that is only a short term patch, and most indications suggest the Russian understands the need for enduring, structured change at the club. In paying £28m to replace Chelsea’s only double-winning coach with a comparative novice, the owner was for once looking at the bigger picture. And even if short-term concerns about Champions League qualification are highly relevant to the club’s financial buoyancy; there is a need to consider the practicalities of who would actually be willing to take the job if it became vacant right now.

Whatever Villas-Boas says, this is a season of transition. And therefore, the only logical decision is to stick with the young Portuguese for at least another year. Even if that is a year in which Chelsea fans have to get used to Thursday nights on Channel 5.

Words by Dan Levene

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