March 6, 2012

Adios Villas-Boas

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

After only eight months on the job, Roman Abramovich couldn’t take the growing pains anymore at Chelsea and sacked Andre Villas-Boas. That’s only 10 months after AVB led Porto to an undefeated season and claimed the Europa League crown.

Talk about “what have you done lately?”

This firing signifies a complete lack of patience by the Russian oil tycoon and a lack of faith in a man that was supposed to rebuild the aging English giant. But how can Abramovich expect his club to grow if he keeps meddling like this and firing the men who are supposed to be in charge? Since buying the club in 2003, a stunning eight managers have worked for the team. That’s nearly one every season – although two were just caretakers.

It’s not like CFC have a bad team? It’s loaded with talent and they don’t mind throwing money around in the transfer market. But what has happened is that the veterans simply aren’t playing up to snuff and are usually injured. Frank Lampard may have scored ten goals this season, but he has done so with a perpetual frown on his face. John Terry has missed nearly as much time as he has played and he’s currently involved in a racial abuse trial – what a captain he is.

Then there’s the case of Fernando Torres – who is on pace to go down as the biggest transfer bust in football history. After spending 50-million pounds on the striker, he’s failed to deliver goals of any sort. Even worse, Abramovich has reportedly forced him into the lineup on several occasions to try to justify the price he paid.

What AVB really needed was time, some that Abramovich will apparently afford no one. The 34-year-old wunderkind manager was supposed to rebuild Chelsea from the ground up, but was opposed at almost every turn.

In hind sight, you could say that he was destined to fail the minute he signed on. It’s nearly impossible in any sport to contend for titles on multiple fronts while trying to restock with young prospects.

So now let the rumours begin about whom will replace him as Chelsea manager for the long term. It’s not often that two of the biggest managerial jobs in England – CFC manager and the English national team manager – are up for grabs at the same time. It’s just too bad that both look like poison chalices.

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