Following the not so shocking announcement of Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking, top Chelsea fans have given their reaction to the decision as well as reflection on what the future may now hold.
Dan Levene, @BluesChronicle
Chelsea never learn, do they?
Ten months after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked in a corridor at Goodison Park; Andre Villas-Boas is given his marching orders following a final press conference in a corridor at The Hawthorns. If Roberto Di Matteo deserves any career advice, it should be to stick to open-plan offices.
While Villas-Boas may have lacked the dignity and respectability, and certainly the pedigree, of Ancelotti – he deserved better.
Brought in to re-shape, re-model and retire the fraying edges of the squad – he did pretty much what he was told. Results were not good – but perhaps that was because those whose noses had been put out of joint by his ‘project’ often looked like they couldn’t be bothered with trifling things like scoring goals and winning games.
Now, 10 months and £40m on from Ancelotti’s dismissal, Chelsea find themselves three steps back from where they started.
Managerial stability is over-rated: some clubs with very long-serving bosses win lots of pots (Manchester United); some do not (Crewe Alexandra). But club stability and direction are crucial. How many Champions Leagues are won by clubs that make up long-term direction, strategy, youth policy and the like on the hoof? Check out how many stars there are on the Chelsea club crest and you’ll find the answer to that one.
Despite appearances to the contrary, someone at Chelsea must know what they are doing. It is now time for them to impress upon those who run the club that pulling a handbrake-turn every 12 to 24 months is not the way to go about things.
Find a manager: give him the money; give him the time; give him the power. And, for once, let him do his job.
Tim Rolls, @tim_rolls
The sacking of AVB, sad but increasingly inevitable, ends yet another sorry chapter in Chelsea’s attempts to appoint a long-term manager who will provide stability and rebuild the team. What I find hardest to understand is the fact that when he was appointed last summer it was known a) he was young and inexperienced, especially in the working in the kind of goldfish bowl that is Chelsea in the Roman Abramovich era and b) over a relatively short period of time much of the core of the team would need replacing, meaning strong man management skills and a sure touch at spotting players were required. Added to this, of course, was the need for the team to compete on all fronts, especially the Premier League and Champions League.
Given the above, you have to make the basic assumption that AVB would have had tough interview questions on how he would handle these tricky transition issues, as well as ideas on the team and type of football he would like to play, and presumably he gave coherent answers that satisfied the board. When appointed, you would like to think he was promised support from the board if things got tough with the existing players (including mentoring/coaching in advising experienced players that their days as regulars were coming to an end without a major rumpus being caused), and also in dealing with the ever-attentive media.
Maybe I am doing the club a massive disservice and they did all they could to help, mentor, coach and support AVB, but it doesn’t feel that way. If senior managers in multi-nationals get personal mentoring on taking up a new post, why shouldn’t young, bright and brash football managers?
Originally I thought Villas-Boas should have been given the opportunity to bring in his own personnel. However given his recent team selections, substitutions, performances and the fact that no one could see what he was trying to achieve I can see why Roman had to make the change.
The whole manager thing is becoming embarrassing though and I think Roman should re-consider those who are advising him.
I have mixed feelings over the Andre Villas-Boas sacking. It seemed very evident to me that he was out of his depth and lacked the personnel skills needed to successfully over haul the team while maintaining acceptable results. He alienated many of the players through pretty basic mistakes – the treatment of Alex and Anelka as an example.
That said, his players could have done more to help him – and those above him could have done more to back him.
All in all he will have learnt some valuable lessons which I’m sure will help him develop into a successful manager elsewhere.
While Villas-Boas certainly failed, I reserve my greatest criticism for those who allowed him to fail. The club’s statement expresses their disappointment that his tenure ended so early, but without any acknowledgement of culpability in allowing the situation to arise.
Villas-Boas and especially the fans have a right to be disappointed too, but I wonder quite how much Abramovich realises HE has been let down. He made the decision that the manager should leave and we’re
told he let the players know they’ve contributed (or not contributed) enormously to this outcome but, in my view, the people who could have altered the outcome did little at the time and appear to have escaped unscathed. At this time, anyway.
Callum West, @CFCCallum
Following recent form which has seen some of the worst football at Stamford Bridge in the last fifteen years, the sacking of Andre Villas Boas was as inevitable as it was disappointing. Villas-Boas being charged with overhauling the squad but having not being given the tools or opportunity to do so by the board/ownership, his reign puts me in mind of Geoffrey Howe’s famous cricket metaphor from his 1990 resignation speech. Whilst, the club have enjoyed unprecedented success over the last 7 or 8 years, there are serious doubts as to whether this can continue if we continue to adopt such a short termist approach, but good luck Roberto Di Matteo.
Michelle Shaw, @GuddyTwoShoes
I really wanted him to work out but he didn’t and he had to go. It wasn’t the bad results that did it for me – it was the way he treated Alex and Anelka, players who could have been useful over December/January. If they’d been my colleagues treated like that, I wouldn’t have been happy either. And as for Lamps, you don’t disrespect a man who scores in double figures every season.
James G, @bringbackjose
Roman has a good strike rate at appointing managers: Jose/Carlo brought the Premiership, Avram and Guus did well as stand ins. Only Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas failed, so 4/6 ain’t bad.
But he has to get better at retaining successful managers and this main require patience and delegation, characteristics rarely found in Russian Oligarchs, I suspect.
And the job is getting harder – if I was Jose I wouldn’t return with less than (a) total control (b) a £50m personal contract and (c) £200m to spend on revitalising the team.
All of which suggests Roman’s strike rate may fall…