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Chelsea an ‘embarrassment’ to league and next manager faces ‘hell’

Published: March 5, 2012 | 10:10 am
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Chelsea have come under fire from both the League Managers’ Association chief executive, Richard Bevan, and their former manager Luiz Felipe Scolari following their decision to sack André Villas-Boas after only 256 days in charge.

Roman Abramovich was today searching for his eighth manager since taking control at Stamford Bridge in 2003, and while Bevan claimed the club is becoming an “embarrassment” to the Premier League, Scolari warned it would be “hell” for whoever Abramovich appointed next.

Bevan told Radio 5 Live: “What’s for sure is the club, despite unlimited wealth, haven’t yet worked out how to build a successful football club. Looking for what is an eighth manager in nine years is a serious embarrassment to the owner, the club, the fans and the league.”

The assistant first-team coach, Roberto Di Matteo, has been put in charge on an interim basis until the end of the season, and Bevan added: “He [Villas-Boas] was very disappointed, frustrated, saddened, but his thoughts were for the club, the fans and indeed Roberto Di Matteo, wishing him well for the rest of the season. He’s obviously a man who played six years or so for the club and has got good managerial experience with West Brom in the Premier League.”

Bevan claimed the frequent managerial changes at Stamford Bridge did not help Villas-Boas develop a relationship with the squad. “Players need to know that the manager’s strategy and his job is not in question, there’s a clear remit,” he said. “You get success if you get time, and stability will come from that. Otherwise it’s very difficult for a manager like André to impose his philosophy and build a team.”

Villas-Boas had the lowest win percentage of any Chelsea manager since Glenn Hoddle, but Bevan believes the results would have turned around over time: “After only eight months you can’t build that sort of success. The club’s still competing in the latter stages of the Champions League, the FA Cup and fighting for a top-four position. If you want success you must look at the longer term.”

Meanwhile Scolari, who like Villas-Boas was dismissed by Chelsea following reports of a dressing-room revolt, said: “England has clubs like Arsenal, where Arsène Wenger has been for several years, yet has won only two or three championships. Chelsea’s culture is very different, but this move is strange – although it’s not so strange to me because of what I went through there.

“Some things are known, like the relations with the owner, who has the relationship with some players before the coach. Villas-Boas was a champion and he will continue to be. He needed to replace at least seven or eight players, even since I was there, but he failed. It will be hell for whoever succeeds him.”


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