Will Villas-Boas be divorced, beheaded or survive?
"Chelsea managers have become a bit like Henry VIII’s wives"
February 16th, 2012
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