Just a few hours after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked by Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, a development that will have dented the pride of the confident Portuguese coach, former Blues boss, Luiz Felipe Scolari, has warned that Villas-Boas’ successor will be put through hell at Stamford Bridge.
On Sunday, Villas-Boas became the eighth manager to be sacked from the Chelsea post since 2003, following in the wake of several world-class coaches, such as Carlo Ancelloti, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, and, of course, Scolari, who was at the Chelsea helm for less than a year, during the 2008/9 season. Those who bet on soccer games would hardly have been taken aback by these developments.
“[Villas-Boas’ exit] is strange”, Scolari said, before adding thatit’s “not so strange to me because of what I went through there. It will be hell for whoever succeeds him”. The Brazilian intimated that the football culture that persists at Stamford Bridge is the reason for the ‘revolving door’ of managers.
Scolari pointed to Arsenal, who have stuck with Arsene Wenger since 1996, despite enjoying only moderate success under the Frenchman, as a club with a “very different” culture to Chelsea. The Gunners’ board has demonstrated some patience with regard to lulls in success, whereas Abramovich is well known for his intolerance of failure.
It could be argued that Abramovich’s impatience with his employees is the reason for Chelsea’s lack of success in recent seasons. Giving a manager time to put a plan or ‘vision’ into motion is integral to a club’s success; few coaches can turn around a team’s fortunes in a matter of months.
Scolari said that Chelsea simply do not have the squad to compete with teams like Manchester United and Tottenham at the top of the Premier League, noting that Villas-Boas’ needed to replace “at least seven or eight players” to whittle success out of the Blues. Chelsea are particularly shaky in defence in the absence of John Terry.
Villas-Boas won 19 games in 40 during his time at Chelsea, compared to Scolari’s 20 victories in 36 fixtures. The latter coach was full of praise for the former: “Villas-Boas was a champion and he will continue to be.” Abramovich could yet come to regret booting the quadruple-winning manager out of the Chelsea camp soccer betting tips seem to suggest.