So on Sunday we saw Andre Villas-Boas sacked after an incredibly brief 27 league matches in charge of West London side Chelsea. The question remains, however, what exactly went wrong?
Having went the whole season undefeated in his solitary campaign as Porto boss, winning the league, Europa league and Portuguese cup on the way, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wasted no time in forking out EU15m for AVB, the highest price ever paid for a head coach.
There was speculation from the beginning that AVB would struggle to command the dressing room, with players like John Terry and Frank Lampard playing the best part of their careers at Stamford Bridge. What chance does a 33 year old outsider have?
Naturally, these rifts were denied by both management and players, even with Lampard benched despite looking Chelsea’s most dangerous player for most of the season.
However, I think the problem lies a lot deeper than just a young manger in an old squad. I think the problem is really their billionaire Russian owner, Abramovich.
Of course, Chelsea is his – he owns the club – therefore has the right to do whatever he damn well pleases with it. But has Abramovich’s ownership become more of a hindrance than a help over the last few seasons?
The Russian is now looking for his eighth manger in just nine years – a pattern that just isn’t healthy for any football club.
What chance do new signings have of settling into the club, city and quite often the country when the person who had brought them there is so often dismissed within months of them arriving?
With so much money being splashed on big name players by the owner, managers surely feel pressured into playing them even if they are out of form or simply not good enough (not to mention any names).
Of course Mr Abramovich has pumped a copious amount of capital into the team and has every right to demand some sort of success – but is his immediate expectation of glory now becoming detrimental to the side? I think it has.
It’s a double edged sword for Chelsea: They would be nowhere without Roman Abramovich; They are going nowhere with him.
What do you think? Is Abramovich the problem? Is it a case of bad management? An old squad? Fernando Torres? Something else? Let me know!
Also, I thought I’d double this week’s post with a ‘Goal of the Week’ feature, as I’ve been a bit late in updating the blog. Here’s Hulk’s thunderbolt against Benfica. If you think there’s a better goal, drop me a comment!