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Scolari fails to step out of Jose's shadow

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Phil McNulty | 17:38 GMT, Monday, 9 February 2009

If anyone ever doubted that Roman Abramovich still takes more than a passing interest in the affairs of Chelsea Football Club, then the brutal sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari on Monday provides the most compelling evidence to the contrary.

The sudden dismissal of Scolari just seven months after he was paraded in a barrage of flashbulbs and a blizzard of optimism in a plush Cobham hotel in Surrey has all the hallmarks of Abramovich's refusal to settle for second best.

Chelsea's hierarchy smiled in satisfaction back on that sunny July day when "Big Phil" charmed allcomers with his sense of humour and clever command of the English language. Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari

Abramovich was absent - but his fingerprints were all over the appointment of the man he wanted to bring the Samba touch to sterile Stamford Bridge.

It all seems an age away now as the coach who won the World Cup with Brazil in 2002, and looked like he would win everything in sight in the opening weeks of the season, is sacked with a ruthlessness that might shock even seasoned Chelsea observers.

As Scolari walked in for his coronation in Cobham - arriving between an advert for a Tom Jones impersonator and a "Legends Of Swing" tribute night - he was asked a question so loaded it almost groaned under its own weight.

"Are you a Special One?"

In other words, are you big enough and good enough to banish the ghost of Jose Mourinho haunting Stamford Bridge?

"So so" came the answer from The Modest One - and ultimately his failure to make Chelsea's fans and players forget the hugely successful Mourinho reign may have played a part in his eventual downfall.

The glorious opening to the season was punctured spectacularly when Liverpool ended an unbeaten home league run stretching back 86 games in October. It was as if a magic spell had disappeared with something as simple as Xabi Alonso's deflected shot.

Chelsea's iron-clad self-belief was gone. The aura of invincibility that gave Chelsea a huge psychological hold on opponents disappeared with it - Scolari needed to fashion a new start and failed.

But the decision to end Scolari's reign effectively in its infancy still comes as a surprise, even to those of us who have observed a succession of lifeless Chelsea displays in recent weeks.

It is also an ominous signal that the clock ticks for coaches at the game's sharp end at an almost preposterous rate once results start to slide.

I watched Chelsea's home defeat to Arsenal and defeats at Manchester United and Liverpool. No shame there - but it was the manner that came as a shock to the system.

Chelsea were lifeless and had a chronic lack of ideas and invention. Manchester United outclassed them, and while Frank Lampard's unjust dismissal gave Scolari a straw to clutch at in the defeat at Anfield, Liverpool were still too superior for comfort.

It may have been a single banner and a few jeers in the goalless home draw against Hull City on Saturday, but once the tide of fans' opinion turns it is almost impossible to reverse.Chelsea fans call for Scolari to leave the club during the game against Hull

I found Scolari charming, gracious in defeat and disarmingly honest, a breath of fresh air. But there were whispers backstage at Anfield that all was not well.

A former Chelsea player told me that some senior players were not convinced by Scolari's methods and it was showing on the field. There were suggestions he was finding the transition from the hit-and-run style of international management to day-to-day affairs in a new country a difficult one to make.

I also have sympathy for Scolari in that success in football management, as in good comedy, can often rely on your timing.

Mourinho came to Stamford Bridge when Abramovich was prepared to lavish any sum imaginable on the team to attain success. He did a magnificent job, but make no mistake the cash helped him.

Scolari arrived when the purse strings were drawn tight - a situation exacerbated by a Chelsea team that was in serious need of a transfusion of new blood. He also had little to work with from Chelsea's youth system, overseen by Frank Arnesen.

Chelsea looked like a team coming to the end of a great era and in need of freshening up to conquer new horizons. Scolari's tools were never going to be as powerful as those at Mourinho's disposal.

Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba looked more like expensive, ageing luxuries with every passing week, while the young and hungry Michael Essien could only watch injured from the sidelines.

And then there was the Mourinho factor.

Do some of the players who hung on his every word still pine for the great man's return? It is a theory I think has merit.

He raised the bar - and Chelsea's expectations - to unimaginable, and now perhaps unattainable, heights and his succesors are suffering.

Will every successor be compared to Mourinho? It has been the case so far with both Avram Grant and Scolari.

Indeed Chelsea may continue to struggle until those emotional ties are cut, or new players untouched by the magic hand of Jose arrive at Stamford Bridge.

I actually believe Scolari is desperately unlucky to lose his job so swiftly, but the signs have not been good in recent months.

Chelsea are seven points off the Premier League summit, still in the FA Cup and in the last 16 of the Champions League. Scolari's successor will hardly inherit a scene of football wreckage.

The Stamford Bridge hierarchy are convinced they can still claim those trophies - but not with Scolari at the helm.

Scolari, a dignified and personable man, will be a loss to the Premier League, but Chelsea obviously believe he will not be a loss to them.

Comments

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  • 1. At 8:24pm on 09 Feb 2009, throbbinrobin wrote:

    Sad. He's a true gent but was on a loser there. It'll be a few seasons before Chelsea are the force they were.

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  • 2. At 8:32pm on 09 Feb 2009, hero3279 wrote:

    Great article Phil. Blackburn fan here, not suprised with the sacking. As a football fan, I must admit Chelsea just didn't have that "edge" about them they possessed under Mourinho. Oppositions teams felt comfortable going to Stamford Bridge and that isn't the Chelsea we all know.

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  • 3. At 8:33pm on 09 Feb 2009, donchris34 wrote:

    This is the best decision at the best time.It has nothing to do with patient,because there is no confident in the team again.

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  • 4. At 8:40pm on 09 Feb 2009, screamingbluemurder wrote:

    c'mon chelsea

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  • 5. At 8:42pm on 09 Feb 2009, mylittledonkey wrote:

    Yes, Mourinho was a tough act to follow. Yes, Scolari might have done a bit better.

    But the fault lies with the board for promising Scolari time and then denying him both time and money to turn things around. The squad was a little past its sell-by date, and Scolari needed some continuity.

    But, as this article suggests, sure enough he didn't get anything like it, and who's to think the next person in can do any better than a World Cup winner?

    http://sportwithoutspin.com/football090209scolarisacked.htm

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  • 6. At 8:45pm on 09 Feb 2009, shantul wrote:

    It is apalling that the manager always has to bear the brunt of the brutal axe that swings precariously over the premier league setups.

    My only question to Roman is, why is Kenyon, who should and would have had a role to perform in bringing Scolari to Stamford Bridge, who so publicly botched up Robinho's signing and failed to provide an alternative, still at Chelsea?

    Why is Frank Arnesen, whose academy quite frankly has produced zilch as yet still there? Yes Stoch, Kakuta, etc. look promising but Stoch is 20, so are Sinclair, Sahar, Woods I presume and yet Arsenal and Manchester United have first team players of that age.

    Sacking Scolari is not the answer, I hope its just a part of the answer.

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  • 7. At 8:46pm on 09 Feb 2009, screamingbluemurder wrote:

    it just didnt work out. life goes on.so will chelsea
    we really need steve clark back and with zola does seem attractive but i cant see it happening soon.
    c'mon chels

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  • 8. At 8:48pm on 09 Feb 2009, shesh_666 wrote:

    Surely this is going on to prove that those two titles were down to Mourinho, rather than RA's millions. When will he learn that money isnt the be all and end all of creating a fantastic team.

    I would also like to say this would also prove the difference between international and league football.

    I wonder if we are seeing the creation of another Newcastle, top players, masses of money spent but no return.

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  • 9. At 8:49pm on 09 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    im as shocked as any1 around, just logged on to get back onto 606 n this news greeted me (to b fair being a liverpool fan, im quietly happy for my team)

    but im desperately dissapointed for scolari, i honestly dont kno wot abramovic thinks it will accomplish, i cant c any1 coming in and sorting this out, n things i think with or with out big phil are going to get from bad to worse for the rest of this season.

    i dont think its the management that was a problem, its the players, the ones that came clearly for money, that play like they dont care, ballack, drogba, deco, malouda, kalou to name a few have to have the finger pointed at them for getting a great man sacked b4 the season is out, its just tottally shocking from a football sense

    all sed, jose, having money n clearly having a lot of nouse got out when he above every1 else could c that it was a sinking ship. the bubble had burst n jose knew it, they punched well above themselves last season to get to wer they did, but wer found out at each real test.

    money on frank rijkard next for the job... n another manager serendipidly put to the sword by the big wig at stamford bridge. after that the biggest bubble of em all will pop wen abramovic himself has enough

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  • 10. At 8:49pm on 09 Feb 2009, diggsgiggs wrote:

    Big Phil's problem is (was) his boss. Abramovich wants to be top, but apparently he's no longer prepared to shell out to achieve that.

    This isn't a squad that was developed, it was for the most part bought. Nothing wrong with that, could be said of many big clubs. But if you go that route (and Real Madrid is probably the prime example) you need to be prepared to maintain it by letting big names who are underperforming go, and bringing in other star players who are "in form". Deco was underperforming at Barca, not sure why anyone thought he would rejuvenate the club- but, he was probably seen as a "bargain". Once you start down the path of assembling "Galacticos", if you want the results, you have to keep going. It doesn't matter who comes in to manage Chelsea, as the blog suggests until some housecleaning happens (and Phil you're right, Ballack and Drogba are definitely on the list) and fresh talent is brought in, the results will be the same.

    I also think the lack of Essien is hurting Chelsea. He's the motor and the impact of his absence is there for all to see. Lampard's a wonderful talent but he needs someone like Essien on the pitch to round out the midfield.

    I don't think we've seen the last of Big Phil, and I expect he'll be a success wherever he lands.

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  • 11. At 8:49pm on 09 Feb 2009, Gilo wrote:

    Total lack of loyalty. Who would bother take this club from here. The problem lies with inheriting arrogant, outspoken players like Drogba who said many things but deliver little. He had no money, and is still in two majoy competitions, a slim chance of a title.

    Based on this just this season Scolari has done more than Wenger. On the same merits if Rafa hadnt fluked a win on Saturday he should be sacked as well.

    Why dont we sack every manager who is not top of the league....Ridiculous...

    Sir Alex & recently Moyes, two managers who proved worth a bit of time after some early problems.

    Drogba/Anelka, about 6 others and the board should have all gone before Big Phil.

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  • 12. At 8:50pm on 09 Feb 2009, 5ForKeeps wrote:

    Hi phil, decent blog...

    I replied to you in you're blog at the start of the season where you criticised me for calling Mr. Scolari the next Christian Gross: you might remember this post,

    "He might have the charm of Mourinho and humility of Grant but he could end up been the Brazilian version of Christian Gross.

    This is a big moment in the Chelsea Ambramovich reign. He can sign all the Robinho's, Ronaldinho's and Deco's of this world but he will have to turn to the likes of Lampard and Terry to lead Chelsea.

    The fraility of Cech should be a worry and the mindset of Drogba if he does stay. Who will take Malouda, Anelka, Wright-Phillips and of course the enigma Shevchenko. Chelsea shot theirselves in the foot by getting rid of Mourinho and i don't see how this man can top even Avram Grants achievements after taken over from Jose.

    Chelsea fans can be all happy about his appointment but there should some sceptism. Time will tell. This time next year we could be talking about another new Chelsea manager if Scolari doesn't match at least a Champions League Final."

    I do feel sorry for Scolari, but I think he failed not due to the Mourinho factor. The man although a World Cup was out of his debt after being so long out of the club managerial scene, like Christian Gross before him unfortunately for Scolari, he couldn't handle the big players at a big club day in day out.

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  • 13. At 8:52pm on 09 Feb 2009, bluecueball wrote:

    I certainly agree that a degree of sympathy should be awarded to Scolari. He tried his best and attempted to play football in the way that he saw best. It could also be said that lack of funds did not aid him in his quest for brazilian style football, and so it was essentially a squad built with an ethic to counter rather than to press. However, there are points against Scolari - by several accounts his training methods were antiquated and disliked by players; his lack of a coherent tactic; ability to change a game with a substitution or two. You would think that a WC winner would have the tactical nous to omit a holding midfielder when one is clearly superfluous against Hull at home for example.

    I liked him as a character and hope he finds a job that suits him. However, it was the right time for the board to move him on - he wouldn't have turned it around.

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  • 14. At 8:53pm on 09 Feb 2009, highthief wrote:

    Chelsea - I hate to say this, but you're turning into a joke team. This firing is wrong on too many levels to list.


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  • 15. At 8:54pm on 09 Feb 2009, starchildsplay wrote:

    Yea,yea! It seems Chelsea don't have the patience to wait for Scolari to deliver the goods. Every club has their ups and downs in a season and it's always difficult to guage when that might happen. I feel that they should have given him more time to get his team tactics together and he would have delivered. Poor guy!

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  • 16. At 8:54pm on 09 Feb 2009, masterEccles wrote:

    Pathetic and short sighted decision.

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  • 17. At 8:56pm on 09 Feb 2009, shesh_666 wrote:

    I think its not just Scolari who is unlucky but everyone associated with the club for having a greedy, self centred 'i created this team' owner.

    Liverpool are showing what can happen when big money takeovers go wrong - luckily for them, the fallout started early before becoming to reliant on the money.

    I hope Man City and other clubs don't go down this route.

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  • 18. At 8:56pm on 09 Feb 2009, Alonso_must_stay wrote:

    he wasn't good enough. better suited for international football imo

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  • 19. At 8:58pm on 09 Feb 2009, John Bennett wrote:

    Just another shameful decision that disgraces Chelsea and football in general. Have no lessons been learned from history? Alex Ferguson would definitely have been sacked early on in the current climate, and the whole dynasty he has created would never have happened. Think Arsene Wenger, David Moyes, Martin O'Neill. Managers need time. Only shortsighted spoilt little rich boys with no sense will see any good in this sacking. It is another nail in the integrity of English football. The banking system collapsed because of short sighted short term thinking, football will go the same way, make no mistake. And I'm getting to the point where I no longer care what happens to the game I used to love.

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  • 20. At 8:58pm on 09 Feb 2009, Dazz wrote:

    Abrahamovic was mad to have sacked Mourinho. That decision will haunt him for a long time to come. An owner who is not ready to stay in the shadows and who becomes uncomfortable if his manager seems more popular than him is always bad news for a football club.

    Put in perspective, the number iof trophies Mourinho won in the short time he was at Chelsea is unbelievable. Better even than Sir Alex's when measured against time.

    Yes he spent money, but then so did we, Tottenham, Liverpool and even Man. City (I am a united fan by the way) and who were his major purchases? Michael Essien and Didier Drogba.

    People who say Mourinho had money to spend and that was that are either mad or blind. Man City and Tottenham have spent like crazy and this is yet to be transformed into results on the field. Villa have not spent quite so much, but are performing fantastically.

    It all boils down to management. Mourinho won the CL with a Porto team whose budget is not greater than West Ham's (before the credit crunch).

    Show me how many other people have done thos.

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  • 21. At 8:59pm on 09 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    Phil, you say
    "It is also an ominous signal that the clock ticks for coaches at the game's sharp end at an almost preposterous rate once results start to slide."

    But that is just not the case, at Manchester United and Arsenal, they both have a policy for stability. Arsene Wenger is still held in high esteem by Arsenal despite the void of trophies in recent years, and Ferguson was allowed to go three years without winning the premiership title, during which time his job remained secure, allowing him to rebuild Manchester United into the force they are today.

    The problem is that Chelsea Football club is run as a dictatorship by Roman and his henchmen and I really hope the club is sold sooner rather than later, because the current ownership and management regime have shown they have not got what it takes to achieve sustainable success.

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  • 22. At 9:00pm on 09 Feb 2009, Redwal1 wrote:

    It seems to me that no manager has a chance at Chelsae until the so called "professional" players get over Mourinho and start playing for the club rather than pining for "The Special One". It's pathetic. Scolari should have been given funds to bring in players to freshen the squad up and been allowed to get rid of the whingers that are being paid huge amounts to represent the club and the fans. But the worst aspect of it all is the lack of respect shown to the club, the manager and the fans by the overpaid, egotistical "professionals".
    SHAME ON YOU ALL.

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  • 23. At 9:00pm on 09 Feb 2009, gokes_in_zar wrote:

    Very shortsighted move by Chelsea! If there was any chance of silverware this season it is now very, very slim. Sure, results over the past month have not been good but can a 'bad' manager win 10 on the trot? Who's to say they wouldn't have turned the corner in the next game or two? Surely teams above Chelsea will drop points. Hopefully not too many by Man Utd. I also believe that some of Big Phil's players have let him down badly.
    Man Utd have only taken 4 of a possible 12 points against the 'big three' yet sit 2 points clear with a game in hand! Can help but think that that the 'instant mentality' has prevailed. I suppose one can afford that with piles of cash.

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  • 24. At 9:00pm on 09 Feb 2009, PastorGeek wrote:

    England is the only place where a man can be a world cup winner or have massive managerial credential worldwide and suddenly be deemed a bad manager by media 'experts'. (see Sven, Big Phil, Ramos, and probably soon to be Capello).
    Everyone with a pen wants to be a backseat manager. When will it end?

    Its to the detriment of the league and the national team

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  • 25. At 9:01pm on 09 Feb 2009, wulfran wrote:

    Once again the manager takes the blame for his players' poor performances. Who gets paid the huge sums of money, not the manger!!

    Chelsea have got what they deserve this season, they are an overpaid and overhyped group that are no longer a team and it shows. They all seem to think they all should play every week. Let the manger do his job and grow up boys!!

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  • 26. At 9:06pm on 09 Feb 2009, CarrowSparrow wrote:

    I'm stunned. Top bloke, treated like that by Chelsea. When a manager can be sacked for being 4th in the PL and still in the Champions league and the FA Cup then you know that football is becoming crazy, I said the same last year when Avram was sacked, he basically came runner up in everything.

    You only need to look at the number of managerial departures of late to realise that football management is going down the pan.

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  • 27. At 9:10pm on 09 Feb 2009, usedtobequitegood wrote:

    As always. Phil McNulty is spot on.

    The problem isn't with Scolari, a world-cup winner, but with Abramovich. He's shown he knows nothing about football and is leaving Chelsea, and its supporters, hanging out to dry.

    Also, as Phil accurately remarks, Frank Arnesen, has done next to nothing with the youth team at Stamford Bridge.

    Chelsea need to make changes throughout the organisation from the Chairman, Chief Exec., throughout the 1st team and coaching staff.

    This should be lead by, or based around a coach who knows what they're doing. But now they've got rid of him...good luck Chelsea. This is a sad day in your history.

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  • 28. At 9:10pm on 09 Feb 2009, Trojansmotorcar wrote:

    The players have to take a long hard look, at themselves for their part in this, however that said the sacking is 100% right.
    Big Phil is a manager that as everyone points out has a wealth of experience, so the lack of money is not an excuse, he had a very good squad even if they were not his players and should have been able to get something from them. Something was very very wrong on the training pitch and Scolari did not have the backing of the players.
    As a Chelsea fan I like the guy and really wanted him to succeed, but the manner of Chelseas play was too much to bear .... 1 shot on target in 180 min. against MU and Liverpool is a statistic that tells the story of why he was sacked ........... less of the Jose factor that is not the case, he is long gone.

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  • 29. At 9:14pm on 09 Feb 2009, a_proud_devil wrote:

    When a certain manager made a certain comment which stated his doubts about the the hunger of a certain team, certain people in the media miscontrued his words ... and made it seem like he was calling them old.

    No matter: 7 months later, that certain manager has been proven right yet again, as he usually is.

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  • 30. At 9:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, Fred wrote:

    The sudden sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari has probably come as a shock to many. However, to those who pay regular attention to the goings on at Stamford Bridge, the shortcomings so glaringly obvious in Chelsea's recent performances probably told them that something had to give sooner rather than later.

    Was this the right decision? Well, yes and no. My opinion is that the problems at the club go far deeper than simply the poor judgement and questionable tactics of the Brazilian World Cup winning coach.

    Firstly, he inherited a deficient squad of players with very little in the way of true quality. Sure, there are some big names in there. However, most of these big names have either simply not been performing to the levels we're accustomed to (Cech's increasingly frequent hesitant performances spring to mind), some are quite clearly well past their sell-by-dates (I'd put John Terry in this group who, without the drive and inspiration he's currently failing to provide, becomes just a slightly above average central defender, but especially the lacklustre Michael Ballack who, to me, looks as if he's washed up as a top flight player). We also can't leave out the players who were just overrated to begin with Florent Malouda and Ashley Cole coming immediately to mind. And we haven't even dealt yet with the enigma that is Didier Drogba, a fine and capable footballer who is also the owner of one of the worst attitudes of any professional sports person I have ever witnessed, something more akin to that of a 14 year old secondary school girl. Unfortunately for the club, the other striker, one Nicolas Anelka, is cut from very similar cloth. Not ideal.

    In short, the current Chelsea squad is quite simply ill-equipped to challenge the very best teams. There is no getting away from this fact. We only have 2 or 3 players in the squad who I would consider to be world class with no go-to-guys who have the ability to turn games in the way say a Robben used to do or a peak Drogba. We therefore need to start a re-building program as soon as is humanly possible to get rid of the deadwood and bring in some new young fresh faces. On that basis, we need to forget any chance of winning silverware this season. Sure, we could perhaps sneak an FA Cup win if things go our way. However, the Premier League is now out of range and we have absolutely no chance whatsoever in the Champions League. We have to be realistic.

    My idea of immediate action would be to make either Carvalho, Essien or perhaps Lampard captain. My preference would be for Michael Essien whose absence has never appeared more stark than it is now and the one player to get the respect of every single member of the dressing room.

    As for who we keep, who we get rid of and who we sign, all three items are worthy of being individual topics here on their own right. Suffice to say though that Messrs Ballack, A Cole, Terry, Drogba, Anelka and Malouda would be shown the door if I had my way.

    Moving away from the purely playing side of things, the other piece of this particular jigsaw that doesn't quite fit here is the issue of the club management structure. And by that, I'm really talking about Peter Kenyon.

    I don't think I'm alone in questioning just what Mr Kenyon brings to the table. I know he's meant to have a marketing role within the club. That said, my feelings are that he's just not a football guy and that cannot be. Any major club needs someone at the helm who understands the game and he's never given me that feeling.

    For example, our forays into the transfer market during his tenure have, to all intents and purposes, been disastrous with only the odd success to show for it and it's clear that he's had major involvement despite his apparent job description telling us otherwise. The money we've wasted on bad purchases - think Shevchenko, Crespo, Ballack, Deco, Ashley Cole, Mutu to name but a few - is unbelievable and most of these deals backfired spectacularly. In some cases, we've then further eroded any potential sell-on value by sending some of them out on long term loans. He wasn't necessarily responsible (or even at the club) for all of the above purchases but he was there at some point during their spells at the club.

    If I was Roman Abramovich, I'd be seriously questioning whether or not I was getting good value for money here and the answer has to be a resounding no. Sure, there have been some trophies, making this the most successful period in the club's history. However, if the truth were told, we didn't win any of these trophies by playing great football and it's about time we did.

    I'd have kept Scolari for the time being but he's now gone. I hope we now take our time to find the right person(s) for the job and that he/they are given enough time and resources to do it properly. That means giving them a suitable and able Chief Executive and a talented and driven squad of players to enable them to get the job done. We currently have neither.

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  • 31. At 9:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, Saccas wrote:

    A Shock? yes. But not a surprising one. The rumours of unrest behind the scenes at chelsea, entwined with the poor performances on the pitch, all but ended his reign. The difference between Mourinho and the rest is that the special one was able to control the big egos that exist in the chelsea dressing room.
    The best replacement for me would be Rijkaard. He's in the Mourinho mould : young and successful. He was able to bring success to barcelona, along with keeping the stars happy.
    But the point remains. Abramovich should never have got rid of Mourinho. The biggest mistake he has and ever will make, for which we are still paying, and one which he still regrets.

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  • 32. At 9:17pm on 09 Feb 2009, remarkabledermiebutt wrote:

    I am gobsmacked
    How on earth can a football club treat a manager thus?
    Chelsea's season has now ground to a halt. No more can I have respect, sympathy or reason to listen to so called "fans" after their treatment of a manager who deserves respect for what he was trying to do. Abromavich should be hounded out, though I realise that is an impossible dream, but, Hey, What are you thinking of?
    J.C. You Chelsea fans deserve nothing. Have you ever heard of "the long term objective"?
    SAF and other do. That is why a glitch in the season will be rgarded as just that; A Glitch. But to sack a successful, charismatic and technically sound expert manager for a what he has achieved????
    Shame on Chelsea FC
    RIP

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  • 33. At 9:18pm on 09 Feb 2009, PloKoon13 wrote:

    Why are you so convinced that the shadow of Jose Mourinho is still hanging over Chelsea?
    Scolari was a completely different manager and had a completely different style. I didn't expect us to win the league this season, but the consistent abysmal displays put in by most of our team as well as Scolari's lack of ideas and often [near always] terrible decisions, on top of his chronic inability to motivate anybody made this tame draw against a side widely tipped to go down at the beginning of the season the final straw.

    We even managed to outclass Liverpool before Abramovich strolled in... so to expect us to even try to win under Scolari's so-called attacking football is hardly too much to ask, is it? The only problem now is we need a successor...

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  • 34. At 9:19pm on 09 Feb 2009, fritzybaby1 wrote:

    Nobody is ever going to be able to come out of Jose's shadow unless Chelsea fans can finally accept that he is gone and isn't going to be coming back.

    Everyone is gunning after the next manager before he even gets both feet in the door, the media especially, i think they miss Jose more than anyone!

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  • 35. At 9:20pm on 09 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    why post this late at night wen the mods are gonna b out n about... not moderating

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  • 36. At 9:21pm on 09 Feb 2009, Brummerdickens wrote:

    Scolari to Birmingham City!

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  • 37. At 9:24pm on 09 Feb 2009, over_there wrote:

    Apparently the BBC can't moderate comments as quickly as Chelsea sack managers.

    I suggest reappointing Ranieri. Given what he managed with all those knives in his back, I wonder what he might have achieved with the support of the owner!

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  • 38. At 9:25pm on 09 Feb 2009, delabosh wrote:

    Bad move - hes a good manager but the team lacks quality up front the like of which man utd have. Only joe cole buts hes injured, maloudas a waste of space, drogba is lazy, ballacks too old now though he was impressive last year. Shame for scolari and chelsea i feel. I think it would be better for abromavich to go. Scolari didnt really have his own team with no money. Cant compare mourinho and scolari or mourinho and avram grant for that matter as mourinho spent millions whereas the other 2 havent. Though tbh chelsea shouldnt have gotten rid of grant.

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  • 39. At 9:25pm on 09 Feb 2009, abdulmismail wrote:

    Scolari was a true gentleman manager. As a Liverpool supporter, the way he greeted Benitez prior to the game where we won 2-0 was heart warming. It's doubtful that Ferguson et al. would have approached Benitez in the same way (ignoring the 'Rafa rant' took place!).

    Since Rafa won't be renewing his contract with Liverpool, I'd like to see Scolari as a contender to join us.

    So, athough I think his dismissal as Chelsea manager is unfortunate, perhaps this has come at a good time for Liverpool to bring on board a world class manager.

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  • 40. At 9:26pm on 09 Feb 2009, Culo wrote:

    What helped to tip the balance was the signing of that useless show-pony, Quaresma. If your major signings are a player who hasn't given a monkey's for at least 18 months (Deco) and a player who never even had a monkey to give in the first place, then you're looking for trouble.

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  • 41. At 9:26pm on 09 Feb 2009, Gunnerbode wrote:

    It is a pity that Scolari's achievement at Chelsea does not merit a high mark.
    However, that does not mean that Mourinho is a better coach than Scolari or the latter better.
    Mourinho is a lucky coach who has been successful at Club level while Scolari is a success at the National level.

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  • 42. At 9:28pm on 09 Feb 2009, nothingventura wrote:

    A wise man said many years ago (after being sacked for winning what is now called The Premier League): 'You could put a monkey in charge of that team and no-one would notice for twelve months'. That team went on to win what is now called The Champions League. The wise man was Ron Saunders, the team was Aston Villa. My point here is that for 12 months after Jose was forced out, the team continued under its own momentum and only fell marginally short of success on three fronts... but now it's all unravelling.

    Avram isn't the answer and he never was, it's all mirrors and smoke-screens.

    Get someone new in, invest where he wants to invest and let him get on with it.

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  • 43. At 9:29pm on 09 Feb 2009, The Unused Substitute wrote:

    In all honesty, Scolari had to go. Yes, Chelsea managers are always going to get compared to Mourinho - after all, he set the standard for us. If Scolari had remained in charge however, we'd undoubtedly be heading for UEFA Cup football.

    It's easy for an outsider to say things like "this is a terrible decision" and "Scolari wasn't given enough time." The fact is that he was tactically naive. He had a system that involved the full backs bombing forward. Well, that worked great for a few weeks but, unsurprisingly, everyone got wise to it and we suddenly became predictable. Scolari didn't have a plan B, and it seems as though he never even tried to implement a plan B.

    Scolari deserved to go. Given Chelsea's expectations under the Roman era, this season simply hasn't been good enough thus far.

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  • 44. At 9:29pm on 09 Feb 2009, HTFCVillain wrote:

    The problem was losing Steve Clarke and the constant thing throughout Avram and Mouriniho's reigns was Steve Clarke and I think that shows something. Although Grant's teams never played the most beautiful football he did manage to get Chelsea to a champions league final did Mouriniho do that with Chelsea no. If Chelsea are to succeed I reckon they need someone experienced but I think the best man for the job could be Didier Dechamps!!!

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  • 45. At 9:34pm on 09 Feb 2009, TotalKO wrote:

    This is a typical decision of people who know nothing about football.

    I will say this because I've maintained this view for awhile now.

    Mourinho, Grant and Scolari are fantastic managers. None of which deserved to get sacked. As Sir Alex said in response to Scolari's departure, he had a one month slump. That's all. JM was sacked for drawing against Champions League minnows. Grant was sacked because Terry slipped and Grant wasn't manager from the beginning of August (had he been, he would've won the EPL that season. That is, if you base it on his form when he was at Chelsea).

    Look at the trends. Ferguson has managed United for 20 years and won loads of trophies, as has Wenger (12 years). O'Neill and Moyes have been around for ages and have been in the top six almost consistently, not to mention that Villa will probably qualify for the CL this year. Benitez too has had a lot of success.

    I think the deserved return of the mid-table Chelsea we're used to will come around sooner as opposed to later.

    The boards of these clubs should be focusing more on keeping their club out of administration and debt (like Liverpool, Chelsea and United are plundering further into.) rather than trying to dictate how to manage a team properly, which the boards aren't qualified to do.

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  • 46. At 9:34pm on 09 Feb 2009, woahhokeycokey wrote:

    one word: ridiculous

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  • 47. At 9:42pm on 09 Feb 2009, masterEccles wrote:

    Are any of these going to be shown today ?

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  • 48. At 9:48pm on 09 Feb 2009, Cruyff Wannabe wrote:

    Rediculous sacking him now, why not at the end of the season when we have a chance of bringing Zola in.
    We need a new back room staff setup, especially a decent youth coach and talent scout.

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  • 49. At 9:50pm on 09 Feb 2009, AndiBilalKrasniqi wrote:

    This is a definite shock are Chelsea mad ? i mean i was expecting this to happen but not around this time.

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  • 50. At 9:52pm on 09 Feb 2009, rapidstretfordender wrote:

    i am suprised LFS got the sack so soon, i might have thought he would be given a season at least, but avram grant got them to the champions league final.. within 1 kick of winning (thanks again Terry) and he still got the sack.
    After the lacklustre manner in their defeats to liverpool, arsenal and united, i think abramovich had had enough. Its not what he expects of chelsea long term but thats as good as it gets for them.
    it wasnt structured for long term success, down to buying the likes of
    shevchenko
    ballack
    balletti
    crespo
    pizzaro

    its all good though because it means united will dominate for years to come as we invest in youth and see chelsea as the biggest threat.

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  • 51. At 9:53pm on 09 Feb 2009, 1990haggis wrote:

    Chelsea dont deserve Scolari. Whoever was chanting 'you dont know what your doing' should be shot. I feel sorry for him but hes better than that arrogant team and their impatient fool of an owner who knows nothing about football. Who would want that job now?

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  • 52. At 9:55pm on 09 Feb 2009, postniko wrote:

    Coincidence? I think not, Adams to Chelsea!

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  • 53. At 9:57pm on 09 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    Why hasn't Frank Arnesen been sacked?

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  • 54. At 9:57pm on 09 Feb 2009, Ninety6 wrote:

    Shame because of continuity but, bring on GLEN HODDLE, he has unfinished business at Chelsea.

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  • 55. At 9:59pm on 09 Feb 2009, elvirtuoso wrote:

    What the Yanks have long known by following baseball, that no matter how rich you are, you can no longer buy Championship teams.
    Here in North America, we have know this for a long time.
    Apparently in Britain, you are not aware of this story.
    If you follow the history of Chelsea, Spurs, Portsmouth, Liverpool and now Man City, history seems to be repeating itself. You may buy a Championship for one year, but it does not last.
    This is not a local story, but an internationa phenominum.
    Whe will people learn?

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  • 56. At 10:09pm on 09 Feb 2009, I belong to Nasri - But My name is Duke Heather Trott wrote:

    Great article

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  • 57. At 10:12pm on 09 Feb 2009, AndyPlowright wrote:

    Welcome to corporate football done the Kenyon way. Those at the very top don't take any blame for the problems within the club (ie. Mourinho left under a cloud, Grant was treated like dirt, Scolari has suffered likewise and the side in general lacks any real cohesion) but blame those appointed and not given full control. Grant was never given full control and neither was Scolari.

    Are there two bigger rats in football than Abramovich and Kenyon?

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  • 58. At 10:13pm on 09 Feb 2009, James wrote:

    2 sackings in one day. Tragic. The premiership has gone downhill. Scolari didn't deserve to be sacked, he was given a team full of players past their prime. And with a youth team full of players of not top quality potential. I feel sorry for Scolari. It will be a downhill spiral for Chelsea from now on. They have the wrong people in the top jobs. Arnesen is spotting no good talent, and Kenyon is well...Kenyon. I think their needs to be a change in the structure of the club before Chelsea can move on and be successful again, and this time consider long term succes and not quick short term success. That would mean stop selling the talented youngsters we did have like robben and johnson.

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  • 59. At 10:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, Medieval-Evil wrote:

    I agree entirely with this article's main point - it's not been a good season to be Chelsea manager. The club has a whiff of a band of ageing rockers, still peddling the same tune we heard years ago - the other EPL clubs have heard it before and aren't impressed.

    Chelsea need new talent. They simply don't have the vitality to sustain the kind of consistency required to challenge for the title these days.

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  • 60. At 10:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, thegreatNEb wrote:

    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.

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  • 61. At 10:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, red_fab_fred wrote:

    Where are the mods?

    I said at the time sacking Grant was hasty and it has proved to be true.

    Despite no real track record grant did what 'the special one couldn't do and that was beat Liverpool oer two legs in the champs league.

    The person i believe is to blame (a have said it on many threads on 606) for a long time now is Arnesen. He was supposed to be the main man in finding the new Messi, Ronaldo. Aguero etc.

    As far as i was aware his role at tottenham was not only find 14 -16 year olds but also find 18-20 year olds who were ready to be involved with the first team squad. So far what has he produced on that front he has done nothing!

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  • 62. At 10:24pm on 09 Feb 2009, kinglofthouse wrote:

    Phil
    I know it sticks in your craw but everybody is second to Sir Alex and United right now. Mourinho has obviously been the best at Chelsea but he still couldn't win Champions League and he was judged on that. Liverpool can't win the Premier League. Between the other "top three" they have won everything. Just happens that United have won the lot in the last few years. That's the yardstick not Jose.

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  • 63. At 10:25pm on 09 Feb 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    Proves Abramovich knows nothing about football. His team aren't having a good season so he sacks a quality world cup winning manager and expects to be able to immeadiately replace him with somebody better and turn their season around, just by opening his wallet. It is a joke.

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  • 64. At 10:27pm on 09 Feb 2009, lionihatethisgame wrote:

    Why is moderation taking so long today?

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  • 65. At 10:29pm on 09 Feb 2009, subedeithemomgol wrote:

    Well, if I were Big Phil I certainly wouldn't be downbeat. A great big wad of money about to enter the bank account (but for God's sake Big Phil, make sure you transfer it into a proper currency, in a few years Monopoly money will be worth more than sterling), loads of sympathetic press coverage and a reputation more or less in tact.

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  • 66. At 10:32pm on 09 Feb 2009, petercarots wrote:

    As a Newcastle fan, I know all too well the story thats unfolding at Chelsea. Team wins nothing for years, has a couple of amazing years, then drifts backwards. Fans now expect success, no manager ever gets more than a year, before they get sacked. Ok, Newcastle were never as successful as Chelsea, but we had to come from further down. Chelsea will simply win nothing now, and drift back to mid table, And Abramovich will be out in 3-4 seasons, when he realises that his champions league dream will never be fulfilled at Chelsea. Lampard, Terry, sorry lads, you're time is over, time to move on.

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  • 67. At 10:33pm on 09 Feb 2009, collie21 wrote:

    Scolari isn't the saint you make him out to be. It was after all his advice that had Ronaldo pining to go to Real Madrid, if Ronaldo had left it would have been a major success for Scolari before he even took up the job.
    The whole affair stinks to high heaven and surely abramovic has panicked. Not good business at all, unless he is ordering the manager of the Russian National to take over!

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  • 68. At 10:36pm on 09 Feb 2009, elvirtuoso wrote:

    How could you possibly feel that big Phil could not get past Mourinho shadow?
    THe only shadow that Mourinho casts comes from his big mouth.
    Big Phil is a great coach/manager, while all of Mourinho's actions come from his mouth.
    Big talker, who will ocassionally win one title, when you break the bank.
    On his own limited football skills-afraid not too many.
    Let see how many titles Mourinho wins in Milan?
    One, maybe this year-not more.

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  • 69. At 10:39pm on 09 Feb 2009, thewelshboycott wrote:

    How quickly the memories fade! Mourinho left with Chelsea already going stale and off the pace.

    The rocket fuel of money got them into orbit but couldn't sustain it. So Chelsea have gradually been descending back to earth ever since.

    Avram Grant now looks to have done a very decent job, before he was sacked as well.

    It's absurd to think there are any better managers out there than Scolari.

    Who, exactly?

    Abramovich bought the title for Chelsea briefly, but could not create the sustained success that Man United have managed, or Liverpool in their great days.

    Winning is the easy bit. Sustaining that success is the hard part.

    You need an infrastructure of success, from the manager, down to the boot room and youth system - and continuity!

    Who would have have bet against Chelsea being Champions under Scolari perhaps in 2010 or 2011?

    Adams getting sacked and now Scolari shows that football has gone stark staring bonkers.

    There's a danger here that Chelsea will end up like Man City, or Newcastle, or Leeds...........

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  • 70. At 10:42pm on 09 Feb 2009, ikolton wrote:

    hi phil,if you read my comments last week,i was wright ,they got what they deseved.but know its not the time to look back,they have a chance to fix it one more time, the only man for the job is frank rickard,chelsea will not win the league this year,they have to put all there effort in winnig the campion league,rickard won it ,and he knows the job,but next year they have to give him total control of the team,the same power sir alex has in man u.
    if they dont do it they might wont make next year champion league,i hope avram grant id smiling wright now,he deserve some respect from chealsea fans and the media for what he achive last year.

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  • 71. At 10:47pm on 09 Feb 2009, michael wrote:

    Luis Scolari was a unique manager not a production line one. Maybe he was more suited to International Teams where he is not subject to the same overblown ego's in club life.
    I am a died in the wool M U fan but am missing the competition from Chelsea.
    Competition is what has driven the top clubs
    to be the best in Europe and the World.
    Good luck Luis, maybe you can find a club with a heart as well as a desire to win.

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  • 72. At 11:00pm on 09 Feb 2009, masterspudking wrote:

    i think scolari has paid the price today simply because of sir alex fergusons ruthless quest for trophies '(if fergie liked chocolate as much as football success he'd be 25 stone by now!), chelsea, and in particular roman abramovich dont like looking up at united ,throw liverpool and aston villa into that as well and our russian friend sees millions of roubles drifting out of his ever shrinking bank account, unfortunately he cant spend any of them on players until the close season so he's going to have to be very generous with his new managerial contract to the new man whoever he is. my money's on riijkard purely because he has been a successful club manager and is used to spending vast sums of money on top players and would give chelsea fans the attacking game they crave,hiddink has had more joy as an international manager and i dont think abramovich will go down that road again. i do feel sorry for big phil but i'm sure his huge payoff will help cushion the blow.

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  • 73. At 11:08pm on 09 Feb 2009, maserumike wrote:

    Its time to sack the owner.

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  • 74. At 11:12pm on 09 Feb 2009, U11846789 wrote:

    Mourinho?

    Anyone could have done what he did with all that cash.

    The only outstanding managers in the PL are/have been SAF, MON and Moyes. (And yes, quite probably Wenger too).

    Chelsea have done nothing but what money can buy.





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  • 75. At 11:13pm on 09 Feb 2009, mrronnes wrote:

    The man is a very confident human being. But he could sadly not provide the same form and style of play he produced at Brazil back when they won the World Cup in 2002. Farewell for now 'Big Phil'.

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  • 76. At 11:14pm on 09 Feb 2009, First there was one striker but now we have two wrote:

    Yet again a premiership Manager is sacked without been given enough time. Scholari was honest and proud in victory but magnanomous in defeat. Yes Chelsea Havent really seemed like the team they were last year but Abromovich doesnt keep his toys long enough to prove themselves. He wants everything won yesterday and football doesnt happen like that regardless of how much money you spent. I wonder if Mourinho is coming back?

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  • 77. At 11:16pm on 09 Feb 2009, PhilSandifer wrote:

    Ugh. Who would even take the job at this point. It's a poisoned chalice. Four managers in two years? Unless you're completely unemployed, you've no reason to take that. And even if I were someone like Rijkard, I'd look at Pompey as the more attractive job at this point.

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  • 78. At 11:18pm on 09 Feb 2009, PhilSandifer wrote:

    It's also worth noting that much of Chelsea's problem was that they were in a terrible tactical bind. Once they lost Joe Cole to injury, having sold SWP, they had absolutely nothing on the wings. Their wide threat was their fullbacks. Past that, they had to rely on a central attacking midfield to get everything. The modern game is a wide game, and that just doesn't cut it.

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  • 79. At 11:23pm on 09 Feb 2009, liv_pool_crazy wrote:

    I found Scolari charming, gracious in defeat and disarmingly honest, a breath of fresh air. But there were whispers backstage at Anfield that all was not well.

    ....................................................

    Eerm, am I alone in wondering what whispers at Anfield had to do with Chelsea's situation?!

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  • 80. At 11:23pm on 09 Feb 2009, THENUNNYFOXES wrote:

    I think this is the start of the major decline for Chelsea.
    Abramovich doesnt want to bankroll them anymore...the players want Mourinho back.
    It was writing on the wall...I cant see Grant coming back...he should have been made permament manager, instead Buck and Roman sacked him in a digusting way.
    The decline of Chelsea starts now.

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  • 81. At 11:28pm on 09 Feb 2009, SalemHanna wrote:

    Somewhere in Italy, Claudio Ranieri is laughing til his belly hurts...and I don't blame him.

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  • 82. At 11:30pm on 09 Feb 2009, Saccas wrote:

    And get rid of that useless, ridiculous Malouda !!!
    15 million for that? you must be joking !!
    worst thing mourinho ever did !!

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  • 83. At 11:40pm on 09 Feb 2009, Bendtner's finishing touch wrote:

    i had said at the start of the season that deco was a bad signing. a waning star to add to the list of waning stars at chelsea. in the final analysis that is where chelsea fell apart. they didnt have a solid replacement for joe cole and malouda is mid table fodder. deco also proved a false dawn. i doubt mourinho could have done much better with the current crop of players. most are simply past their prime like ballack and deco. chelsea just dont have the excellent scouting system that machester united or arsenal have. they just seem to be unable to find young talent that can move into the shoes of the older talent as the move past their prime.

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  • 84. At 11:40pm on 09 Feb 2009, RedBlueDevil wrote:

    A dignified man? Really? Remember when he announced he was taking over at Chelski right in the middle of Euro 2008? How unprofessional and insulting to his players is that, acknowledging that he's basically spent the 1st half of such an important tournament negotiating his next pay packet. He even said this job would give him financial security for life showing himself to be a total mercenary. I hope he's happy with his buyout.

    Hardly the actions of a dignified man.

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  • 85. At 11:47pm on 09 Feb 2009, RampantRed1138 wrote:

    It's not unreasonable to compare new managers to old ones, especially if they were massively successful.

    You can bet the manager that takes over at Man Utd once Sir Alex Ferguson retires will be endlessly compared and high expectations will be set.

    Mourinho was extremely successful, and Grant didn't do badly. All managers that come now are going to have to produce nice football and results.
    Scolari's biggest fault I think was losing the undefeated home record

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  • 86. At 11:54pm on 09 Feb 2009, presentimperfect wrote:

    When will clubs realise that foreign managers who don't speak English and don't understand the English game simply cannot do the fundamental thing - motivate their players? The only consistently successful foreign club managers have been Jose Mourinho (anyone could have succeeded with £300m to spend) and Arsene Wenger, and he spoke better English than most of us. The Premier League managers with the best track records relative to their available resources have been Redknapp, Curbishley and O'Neill. It's an insult to keep importing foreign names when we actually have talented people here already; British jobs for British people??

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  • 87. At 11:59pm on 09 Feb 2009, Scott Coe wrote:

    Following Scolari's sacking, all I can say is that nobody with a passing interest in forming a football TEAM should want the Chelsea job. Abramovich simply cannot understand that we live in straitened times. Instability is helping to kill off such teams as Charlton (remember their manager-go-round season of 2006/07 which saw them relegated from the Premiership?) and, in all probability, Chelsea should now struggle to keep Arsenal back from 4th spot. No football chairman seems to have learned a thing.

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  • 88. At 00:06am on 10 Feb 2009, mufc50494 wrote:

    this is a shock. he needed some time to adjust to club managing and i think was doing a fair job considering the circumstances. abramovich is not patient enough, mourinho spoiled him. but i shouldn't complain, united are helped by this

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  • 89. At 00:09am on 10 Feb 2009, anfieldtobrisbane wrote:

    Good report Phil. As a Liverpool supporter I take no pleasure in this. Rather it is a sad indictment of much that is wrong with our game. The man only had 7 months in the job! How many years did Fergie have at OT before he won a major trophy? Was it 7 or 8? Should the MU board have sacked him at the end of his first season? What about the brains trust that appointed Scolari? Are they really such poor managers that what they thought was a whizz-bang idea 7 months ago is now a bad one? Where is there liability in all this? I know little about Abromavich but his actions to me are that of a spoilt rich man who believes his money entitles him to everything he wants the moment he decides he wants it. Well life, and football, just aren't like that.

    My sympathies go to Scolari, who seems a decent and honest man, and to Chelsea supporters. It looks to me like your club is under the control of a megalomaniac. Good luck with that.

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  • 90. At 00:10am on 10 Feb 2009, AlbanScot wrote:

    Guus Hiddink is without doubt the man for the job - here's his CV

    - fairly crap as a player (an underestimated quality in a manager)

    - won the treble with PSV Eindhoven including the European cup
    - the most successful Dutch coach in history with six Dutch League titles, four Dutch Cups and that european cup
    - also managed Fenerbahce, Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Betis
    - won Club World Cup (previous version) with Real Madrid

    - led Netherlands to 4th in 1998 World Cup
    - led South Korea to 4th in 2002 World Cup

    - led Australia to 2nd round of 2006 World Cup; their first appearance in the tournament for 32 years (at the same time as managing PSV in his second spell). Australia only lost 1-0 to Italy through a highly controversial penalty kick eight seconds from the end of normal time (btw -their match against Croatia was Graham Poll's infamous 3 yellow cards against a Croatian)

    - manager of Russia since 2006 and led them to semi-finals of Euro 2008, Russia's best performance since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

    Russian background, european club experience and the guy even has a stadium named after him - the Guus Hiddink Gyeoggijang Stadium in South Korea!

    I rest my (well researched) case

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  • 91. At 00:11am on 10 Feb 2009, northernsuperspur wrote:

    If any managerial decision was insane, its this one. Lets get rid of a World Cup winning, title contending, European Cup contending, FA Cup contending, coach.

    Yes,that sounds clever. I personally think that Guus Hiddink will be the next Chelsea manager, but really you wonder why he would take the job.

    And for those alleged Chelsea "fans" that want Zola and Di Matteo in charge, oh dear, just oh dear.

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  • 92. At 00:14am on 10 Feb 2009, thefrogstar wrote:

    One thing's for sure:
    The next manager at Chelsea will be getting paid a pretty handsome sum as insurance against his inevitable lack-of-performance.

    Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the Fergie vs Mourinho show.

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  • 93. At 00:27am on 10 Feb 2009, chlsgaz wrote:

    I started getting concerned about 2 or 3 months ago and I thought we needed to give him time. The season started so well, there was an incredible buzz as we were winning 5 - nil at times. Since then things have taken a turn for the worse. Our amazing home record vanished and has since been getting worse. And now our away record has vanished as well. I was hopeful that in the January transfer window Ambramovich would finally let Scolari build his squad with the players he wanted. This didn't happen and that is the real issue here.

    Every manager has his own style and some player suit that style better than others. The core of the chelsea team are still Mourinho's and I believe many of them are not suited to Scolari's system.

    While I've mixed feeling about Scolari's sacking it's a true shame that we will never know what his capabilities really were if given the chance to build a team of his own. Let's hope that the new manager is given that opportunity.

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  • 94. At 00:30am on 10 Feb 2009, Spooks123 wrote:

    There's one thing that I can't understand in all this carnage - Chelsea wouldn't increase their offer for Robinho in the summer transfer window - which in my opinion, was the beginning of the end for Scholari - yet they can now pay off his very lucrative contract, and yet again no needed transfers in, apart from a loan, and players out, in the January window. It really doesn't make sense!!

    Yes it seems that AB is concerned about our plight, by the sacking of Scholari, but it seems he is going about it in all the wrong ways!

    Can somebody, maybe you Phil, please square the circle for me!!

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  • 95. At 00:30am on 10 Feb 2009, WanabeeHack wrote:

    It would not suprise me if the people who run my beloved Chelsea Football Club, Bruce Buck, Peter Kenyon and in particular Roman Abramovich continue with their cavalier aproach to running a Football club.

    I have nothing but contempt for those that have risen my expectations to a level I never knew, only to allow them too fall so low.

    I would have rather we went Bust under Bates and ended up like Leeds in Division One than see the rapid dismantling of a Clubs persona.

    Such is the need for the Chelsea hierachy to have the Brand name of Man Utd, the trophiy cabinet of Liverpool and the flashy attractive style of play of Arsenal they have forgotten the Chelsea fans right to walk into work today like I have and be proud of what their club represents.

    I have attended matches since 1985, I will not however claim to have clear memories of the real bad times at Chelsea, the save the Bridge campaign , losing to Middlesborough in the play offs.

    What I do have is clear memories of a whole host of people that for me eppitomise the progress that Chelsea have made in the last 10- 15 years.

    The following is a list of formers players and staff that despite them playing an integral part in our progress in this time, have been either overlooked or undervalued.............................................
    Mark Hughes, Dennis Wise, Gustavo Poyet, Gianfranco Zola, Steve Clarke, Brendon Rodgers, Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton. I am sure there are others that I have overlooked and am merely scratching the surface.
    It's all well and good talking about the great success we had under Mourinho, I will always look back fondly at his time at the club with a smile, however with one foreign manager after another with no real connection after another being installed at the club are we not recreating our History and style over and over again. Man Utd
    Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Liverpool not only reatin their status and admiration in the World Game due to the titles they have won, each has a core spirit that is reflected in the loyalty they show to staff and former players.

    People that understand what it is to wear the Chelsea Shirt and how much the fans care about the Club should have been rewarded instaed of overlooked because a manager wanted to bring 17 backroom staff.

    The time has come for Chelsea Football Club to stop trying to re invent itself and start appointing people that really care aout the club

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  • 96. At 00:30am on 10 Feb 2009, gopai1 wrote:

    You can say what you like about a team of ageing/disinterested "Galacticos", but a manager of the kind Chelsea are able to hope for and afford should certainly have got more out of the players than Big Phil did. I mean that both tactically and in terms of instilling a belief and desire that have clearly been absent in the past few months.

    Drogba, Ballack, Deco et al. have unquestionable ability and physical fitness, whatever their ages; they need the right motivation and clearly this is missing

    Malouda, however, is a lost cause; the man is a joke.

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  • 97. At 00:35am on 10 Feb 2009, jaime wrote:

    Hardly a surprise. Abramovich does not tolerate failure. Nevertheless it makes me smile when these managers and coaches give their post-firing statements.
    "I would like to thank XXXX club for their aupport and offer them my gratitude. I wish XXXX all the success for the future, etc, etc."
    I just wish they would be more honest and add "Where´s my big fat cheque, then?" ergo Sven Goran..........

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  • 98. At 00:40am on 10 Feb 2009, Ranbir wrote:

    New managers need time to put their own stamp on the team.

    Scolari couldn't do that when he's dealing with old hand-me-downs. With a fair few players that even Mourinho didn't want.

    If anyone has to go it is Abramovich. I don't care if we end up in dire financial trouble, I don't care if we postpone our challenges on the title. I want an owner that understands great clubs are built over time and need stability.



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  • 99. At 00:43am on 10 Feb 2009, Chad Secksington wrote:

    Scolari had no chance really, saddled with a squad that's grown old and an owner who's decided that enough is enoughon the spending front, the squad needs major surgery and that is going to cost money, not least because Chelsea have a lot of players who aren't worth anywhere near what was paid for them and who are on cartloads of money.

    Anyway, Scolari's done his best but losing Carvalho for large chunks of the season has cost them dear because it's exposed John Terry for what he is, and that is pretty average, I don't know if it's injuries that have taken their toll or what but anyone suggesting that Terry is anywhere near the player he was 2 years ago is honestly deluding themselves, he's too slow and his marking is appalling.

    Couple Carvalho's absence with Essien's and honestly you could put who you want in charge and they couldn't do any better with that squad, 2 years ago yes but not any more. Although being honest Scolari hasn't helped himself by fetching in Deco who was always going to find the Prem rough going at his age and experience, although again the flipside of that is, not outbidding City for Robinho makes sense from a purely financial viewpoint, but in a footballing sense he is what you are crying out for creatively.

    Unless Abramovich loosens the purse strings again Chelsea will suffer the same fate next season. And sacking your managers the week after the transfer window closes is honestly crassly hopeless timing.

    The question is who do they replace him with, who's available? Steve Clarke's an obvious one, or could they go back to one of their choices this summer and test City's resolve to hang on to Mark Hughes (and Hughes' to stay there). I can't see Hiddink agreeing to come in at this stage of a season with no chance to shape the side in the transfer market.

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  • 100. At 00:44am on 10 Feb 2009, ironDirkDiggler wrote:

    Chelsea was never a big side, and this proves why. Graeme Souness said, on Irish TV, as Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 back in early 2007, that Mourinho had seen that day "what a real club looks like".

    Chelsea not being a "real club" has something to do with their lack of medals and silverware, but a lot more to do with the tee-total absence of a sense of direction.

    That flows from Abramovich.

    As long as he is there, Chelsea will never be a big club.

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  • 101. At 01:42am on 10 Feb 2009, DevilOfRed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 102. At 01:49am on 10 Feb 2009, bigfootedfred wrote:

    well.
    That was just insane. Just imagine if Man united had the policy of chelsea in SAF's first season.

    ok so results wernt going great. What LFS needed was TIME and MONEY to rebuild the sqaud. a couple of seasons, hell, ONE season
    just imagine if he was let on till summer, could have had himself a summer clearout, then used the money to REBUILD the squad.

    Chelski are turning into a one big joke.
    Who on earth will WANT the job now. They are still involved in 3 competitions, but with an aging sqaud, lack of funds and players who simply are not giving their all for the cause 'cough cough drogba the big baby maybe tevez should lend him his dummy'
    - and a board that has wants instant gratifcation or your head rolls.

    and avram grant is back on the shortlist?
    are chelsea just trying to be the butt end of many a pub joke?
    the man they sacked for coming 2nd in the leauge and within a goal post of being european champions.

    i take a certain amount of pleasure watching chelsea self destruct and those foolish supporters baying for the blood of a world champion. you will reap what you sow.

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  • 103. At 01:53am on 10 Feb 2009, AtheisticMind wrote:

    Hey Phil! awesome post, I enjoyed your analysis. I noticed an error you made and wanted to point it out,

    I found Scolari charming, gracious in defeat and disarmingly honest, a breath of fresh air. But there were whispers backstage at ((((Anfield)))))) that all was not well.

    I think you meant Stamford Bridge.

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  • 104. At 03:56am on 10 Feb 2009, G_K___ wrote:

    If any evidence were needed that billionnaires can be idiots, here we have it.

    He gave Mourinho unprecedented amounts of money, and allowed him to build a negative, counterattacking squad.

    Then he sacked him, because he didn't like the style of football.

    Then he got in a new coach - Scolari - one of the best in the world - with the brief to produce positive attacking football. but he didn't give him the money to transform the squad, so he was supposed to produce positive attacking football with a squad of negative, counterattacking-type players.

    Well, if there was one thing for sure with this almost-impossible brief, it was that it would take time to accomplish anything.

    So give him seven months, and if the team isn't all-conquering, sack him.

    Oh and anyone who thinks that Steve Clarke or Gianfranco Zola are the sort of world class managers who could pull it off where Scolari failed - you must be off your rockers.

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  • 105. At 04:11am on 10 Feb 2009, Phil wrote:

    Well, thank goodness - it seems there IS a god.
    Because, time and again, whenever it looks like someone can buy success in English football, it turns out to be very short-lived. The trouble is, people like Abramovich are the ultimate cynics: they know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

    So, as with Crystal Palace, Blackburn, et al, now with Chelski and, no doubt, Manchester City...

    The truth is, there are no short cuts to long-term success - which is why clubs like Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa, and Everton have the records they do.

    Thanks, God!

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  • 106. At 04:47am on 10 Feb 2009, caymankai wrote:

    IMO a very short sighted move, Scolari has undoubted talent but was simply not given enough time. Now if it's not instant sucess your job is on the line Tony Adam's is a another example.

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  • 107. At 04:49am on 10 Feb 2009, titilato wrote:

    Thank God that the clueless Scolari is gone. Any body who thinks that Chelsea players depreciated so much in a few months because of age is really foolish. So, age was the reason why Chelsea and Scolari always succumbed to setpieces? No! Was age why Portugal succumbed to Germany in Euro 2008 with three setpiece goals from Germany? No! Scolari was just exposed for his ineptitude. Any coach would have won the world cup with the playes he had for Brazil in 2002. Imagine Burnley knocking Chelsea out of the Craling cup!

    The man had no clues of how to change a match, and also, he does not know the most basic thing of coaching - identifying areas to beef up. At the beginning of the season, he said he would win all competitions withor without Robinho, and that was why Chelsea relaxed because of Scolari's false promise. Clearly, Scolari should have identified other targets to buy if Robinho bid failed but stupidly, Scolari was so full of himself much like Arsene Wenger. Arshavin, Eto, and Ronaldinho were all there for the taking but Scolari never wanted them, but rather told us how he had the best players and even called Maouda a world-class player. To him, all the Chelsea players were world class. But the fans all knew our players well. Yet, Scolari could not identify that he needed to beef up. He deserved the sack and even more. Clueless in everything! Even buying players.

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  • 108. At 05:43am on 10 Feb 2009, JCCManning wrote:

    I think Scolari is unfortunate to not have been given more time and/or money to sort Chelsea out. And he appears to be a nice person, a rarity in today's premier league. However, if Roman was expecting "Samba Football" on the strength that Scolari managed Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, then he (Roman) obviously didn't pay much attention to that Brazil team. Despite containing the creative genius of Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, they played with a singular lack of flair and ground out their wins (pace the game against England) in a most workman-like way. Scolari may well be tactically astute, but a promoter of natural flair? Perhaps not. Roman should've done his homework better if he wanted his Chelsea side to buckle with some swash.

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  • 109. At 05:52am on 10 Feb 2009, bigbadbobbolton wrote:

    Enter Gianfranco Zola...if there was ever going to be a successor to the special one it would have to be GZ. Sorry West Ham but I think it is almost inevitable that he will go back to Chelsea?

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  • 110. At 05:54am on 10 Feb 2009, R Nair wrote:

    The hot seat gets hotter all the time.

    http://footballinsights.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/the-hot-seat-gets-hotter-all-the-time/

    Tony Adams has gone too, after just 3 months at Portsmouth.

    With the amount of money spent on football even in difficult economic times, club owners are looking for a faster return on expenditure.

    However, it makes even less sense to sack a manager after the January transfer window closed on 2 February 2009, as whoever comes in as the replacement is not in a position to bring in new players before the end of the season.

    The pressure cooker works on both struggling clubs and bigger clubs.

    Currently, 53 managers have been in their job a year or more, and 34 for two years or more, about the same as on 26 October 2008.

    However, the rate at which managers are replaced in the first and second tiers of English football is as high as or higher than it has ever been.

    League One and Two clubs have been forced to face up to the reality of financial constraints much earlier than Premier League and Championship clubs, especially with several clubs entering or on the brink of administration, and without the false promise of the Premier League that lures Championship sides.

    Increasing the number of levels in an expanded European pyramid would enhance revenue while reducing the financial risks.

    I suppose no one will listen. Not anyone that matters anyway, and not until the damage is done.

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  • 111. At 06:05am on 10 Feb 2009, KWEKU1 wrote:

    With so many contributions expressing surprise at Scolari's sacking, I only had to "pause my momentum of bombardment" on the Brazilian. Truth be told, he had to go.
    Felippe made Stamford Bridge a Flea Market - where all teams, big and small, believed they could 'shop for cheap points' there.
    ABRAMOVICH should be prepared to pay more money, swallow his pride, get the best of 'negotiators and peace-makers', and go back for the ONE AND ONLY SPECIAL ONE - JOSE MOURHINO.
    He simply is the only one for our beloved CHELSEA FC.

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  • 112. At 06:11am on 10 Feb 2009, BarcelonaBlue wrote:

    "I found Scolari charming, gracious in defeat and disarmingly honest, a breath of fresh air. But there were whispers backstage at Anfield that all was not well."


    Anfield? Really?

    Are the problems at Liverpool so bad that they force other managers out of their jobs

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  • 113. At 06:14am on 10 Feb 2009, a_proud_devil wrote:

    Things did not quite work out, did they?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/philmcnulty/2008/07/scolari_will_ignore_fergusons.html

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  • 114. At 06:34am on 10 Feb 2009, Xavierneville wrote:

    Chelsea have begun the decline back to what they always were a decent sized, but ordinary club who have had the occasional burst of success.

    The question is a abramovich reduces the financial support can Chelsea keep their team of over earning whingers? No and I'm afraid the likes of Ballack, Drogba and even Ashley Cole will go where the Rouble is greener.

    I hope Chelsea fans have enjoyed the ride becuase you're about to hit turbulence!

    Kenyon and buck will also desert the chelsea in search of another cash cow to milk dry with their sunshine brand of chairmanship and administration

    So much wrong with this club....a shame really

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  • 115. At 07:00am on 10 Feb 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    There are no short cuts. Its not as though by firing Scolari Chelsea will start winning. They have to rebuild on a rather big scale.

    No matter who is their manager, they have slipped away a minimum three seasons from the PL title.

    Their goalkeeper has been losing his touch steadily since the head injury. The defenders are on a downcurve. In a lackluster span I saw some brilliance from Ashley only in the world cup. With all his passion, Terry is becoming a light weight rather fast. Obi Mikel has been so so but far from being an adequate filler of Makelele's big shoes.

    Lamps alone has been above average all the time, but one swallow does not a summer make. Essien was outstanding, but too long an absence through injury has done damage to the club big time. J cole is good but rather prone to frequent injury blows. Kalou is very erratic pays back once in a blue moon. Malouda a total washer. Pizzaro's mission should have been assigned to him.

    Drogba seems to have lost all motivation as well as form. Anelka is a softie with low work rate like Berbatov's but without his spark. He shines only when opposition lets him.

    The rest are bits and pieces players, patchy at best. Chelsea have shown a remarkable predilection for not preserving its good performers. They have sent away real good ones in Crespo, Robbens, Bridge. Chelsea's white elephants, Shevchenko and Ballack have been a drag financially too.
    I will say with conviction that Big Phil walked into a trap ticking away to spring anytime. He should of insisted on a major overhaul before taking an obvious patient. This stunning dismissal is very undignified, but may not be entirely uninvited.

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  • 116. At 07:01am on 10 Feb 2009, voley_gun wrote:

    Roman will sack managers for every 6 months and i am sure no manager will give him the result settling ,rebuilding or going with the existing team.Chelsea will never win title until they have roman as their owner.Bad luck for Scolari. Hope no good managers pick that spot again.

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  • 117. At 07:05am on 10 Feb 2009, gringo Loco wrote:

    Scolari had to go. After the honeymoon, the results and performances were getting worse by the week.

    The ageing players don't get past their sell by dates so quickly. They need motivating and Scolari couldn't do it.

    Hoffenheim said that they hire 18-22 year old HUNGRY players. They're at the top of the Bundesliga.

    Too many Chelsea signings have signed for the pension fund, Scolari included.

    The manager should be given full control of signings as Benitez wants. They are the people who have to work with the players day in day out.

    Abramovich need to sack the lot and start again, and be patient. Especially from the top and all the scouting and academy staff.

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  • 118. At 07:27am on 10 Feb 2009, gandalfthegunner wrote:

    Can someone explain to me why Mihir Bose's comments are allowed into the public domain? I enjoyed reading the reaction to the Scolari sacking right up until juat after Ferguson had his say. "What went wrong was that he didn't win success" ........... from an editor of an internationally read website....

    Come on..........

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  • 119. At 07:29am on 10 Feb 2009, livingRed_Nemesis wrote:

    Very constructive blog, Phil. I agree that Mourinho was a hard act to follow, but it says a lot about the club, in particular, how it is run, to have had three managers in two seasons and moreso what its short-term priorities are. Quite disturbing!! The latter two managers were not solely kicked out of the club by its demanding Russian owner, but by a large portion of its restless fans. These fans should be ashamed of themselves, most of whom are new Chelsea fans brought along by the millionaire Russian bandwagon.

    The next manager will be David Beckham, surely an ideal candidate for a club that places more emphasis on short-term glitz and stardom, rather than long-term stability and guile.

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  • 120. At 07:30am on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    Very few managers will want the job at Chelsea because they know they won't get enough time to achieve targets and the top playerswon't want to join Chelsea because there is no stability in the management and coaching structure. We are now more of a laughing stock than Man City.

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  • 121. At 07:32am on 10 Feb 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    There are no short cuts. Its not as though by firing Scolari Chelsea will start winning. They have to rebuild on a rather big scale.

    No matter who is their manager, they have slipped away a minimum three seasons from the PL title.

    Their goalkeeper has been losing his touch steadily since the head injury. The defenders are on a downcurve. In a lackluster span I saw some brilliance from Ashley only in the world cup. With all his passion, Terry is becoming a light weight rather fast. Obi Mikel has been so so but far from being an adequate filler of Makelele's big shoes.

    Lamps alone has been above average all the time, but one swallow does not a summer make. Essien was outstanding, but too long an absence through injury has done damage to the club big time. J cole is good but rather prone to frequent injury blows. Kalou is very erratic pays back once in a blue moon. Malouda a total washer. Pizzaro's mission should have been assigned to him.

    Drogba seems to have lost all motivation as well as form. Anelka is a softie with low work rate like Berbatov's but without his spark. He shines only when opposition lets him.

    The rest are bits and pieces players, patchy at best. Chelsea have shown a remarkable predilection for not preserving its good performers. They have sent away real good ones in Crespo, Robbens, Bridge. Chelsea's white elephants, Shevchenko and Ballack have been a drag financially too.

    Only attempt to bring in talent has been the one that failed, Robinho.

    I will say with conviction that Big Phil walked into a trap ticking away to spring anytime. He should of insisted on a major overhaul before taking on an obvious patient. This stunning dismissal is very undignified, but may not be entirely uninvited.

    So at Chelsea, there is work to do. Who is it going to be. Given access to resources Scolari could have done it.

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  • 122. At 07:38am on 10 Feb 2009, ZEUSFC wrote:

    ranieri spent loads on chelsea, and managed to win them their first trophy for ages, but was a dead man walking from the moment romans millions arrived

    maureen had a decent team when he walked in, together with his charismatic attitude (and the small matter of an open cheque to improve the side further) he could hardly have failed to improve the side as they gelled more and more

    grant was literally one penalty away from becoming a chelsea legend

    scolari? it's like trying to give a rating to a last minute substitute...

    no money for signings, but an ageing side.
    no time to decide who to farm out on loan to get other players in, and crucial (younger) players injured.
    couple that with the assumed loss of romans millions and the arrival of a bigger wad at city, AND the emergence of villa as genuine contenders, and i can see why he had to go... i'm amazed he didn't walk!

    hope the compensation makes up for the disruption to his life living in london for seven months (!)

    he didn't stand a chance

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  • 123. At 07:40am on 10 Feb 2009, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    About time! The guy was way out of his depth in the EPL. He should stick to international coaching. He seemed to have the same type of relationship that Steve McLaren had with england. He was never in command and he never really earned the respect of his players, he treated them like his own friends.

    Management is about leading & commanding full respect from all your players, sadly Scolari never did that!

    The only decent options we have is Roberto Mancini or Frank Rijkaard. Choose!

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  • 124. At 07:45am on 10 Feb 2009, deanodoes wrote:

    Everyone keeps banging on about Mourhino in this article. To be totally honest I think a lot of Chelsea's current problems lay at his feet.

    He sold your two most creative players and replaced them with poor replacements. I'm talking about Duff and Robben, just look at Robben's form at Real, granted Duff has been poor but this has largely been down to injury. Malouda is awful and typical of a Mourhino signing hard working wide man who covers his full back well.

    Most of the key players that helped Chelsea win the league were signed by the 'tinker man', Duff, Robben, Cech, Gallas, Lampard, J. Cole. In comparison Mourinho's signings were very hit and miss. Yes some have been excellent such as Essien & Drogba however there have been others that have been inconsistent to say the least.
    Malouda, Ferrier 18 million!, Ballack, Del Horno, Ivanovic, Alex, Anelka, Shevchenko (although I think this was Ambrom's signing) Wright-Phillips, Ben-Haim, Pizzaro, need I say more. He's not the so called genius everyone thinks. Plus Inter have been poor in Europe, finishing runners up in a weak group.

    Indeed if you look at the results of Chelsea before he left they were on the slide and I believe he did the right thing to get out with his reputation in tact. However, it is no coincidence he is doing well at Inter considering he inherited a title winning squad anyway. His main signing has again been a flop and has just been signed by Chelsea! So please stop with the invincible Mourhino chat, yes he is a good manger, but he was not the special one he thought he was

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  • 125. At 08:02am on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    For those Chelsea fans that frequently visit the official club website like myself, there is something scarily Orwellien that whenever Chelsea make an official club statement on the web, they do so behind a huge graphic of the club badge and logo.

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  • 126. At 08:04am on 10 Feb 2009, alpeshcgujjar wrote:

    Atleast all the Managers leaving Chelsea are getting rish.The main problem is that most players and coaches are coming to chelsea to make mother rather than making a team successfull.

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  • 127. At 08:12am on 10 Feb 2009, AotearoaVillan wrote:

    Hmmm. Out of any of the managers at the higher end of the league I would have picked Arsene Wnger or David Moyes to be in the firing line more than LFS. Shows what I know. But there is a disturbing trend on this thread and in other media of die-hard Chelsea fans saying "bring back the Special One" and "we're a big side and we deserve the big titles" and "Mourinho the saviour will make it alright" or phrases to that effect.

    Now go back to earlier in the season: "We're a big club", "bring back the saviour and all will be well again" and other epithets bandied around by an equally disgruntled set of supporters. If this rings any bells then I'm sure CFC fans will remember guffawing at NUFC supporters and their loyalty to Kevin Keegan when he exited somewhat suddenly.

    I only hope the trend in failing to give managers time at CFC does not echo that of NUFC in recent years, and that the fans (who deserve better than Abramovich et. al.) do not fall into the trap of blind idolatry and misguided hero worship.

    Having said that I genuinely wish CFC all the best for this season and the future, whatever that may hold.

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  • 128. At 08:15am on 10 Feb 2009, secretblueboy wrote:

    "Chelsea obviously believe he will not be a loss to them"....
    The question is who are "Chelsea anymore ?"
    Teams of this stature are now being run by Dictators/Oligarths on "heads I win tails you lose philosophies."
    If a coach doesn't stand up to them, he's a wimp, if he does stand up to them, he's a loose cannon!
    And dont tell me only results count!
    Grant was one penalty kick away from being champion of Europe, and had a better record than Scolari, yet......"heads I win tails you lose".
    Naaaa...... Ferguson's the last of the Dinosaurs.


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  • 129. At 08:16am on 10 Feb 2009, thewelshboycott wrote:

    Shall I flip the switch now, Dr Frankensteinovich?

    Yes, Igor, more power!

    See, Igor, it lives! It lives!

    Look at my beautiful creation, Igor.

    But, Dr Frankensteinovich, you have created a monster!

    Shut up, Igor. You're fired!

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  • 130. At 08:17am on 10 Feb 2009, Relentless2007 wrote:

    I know he won’t but as a Chelsea fan I sincerely hope Zola doesn’t come anywhere near the job, one day of course I hope/ believe he’ll come back home, but I don’t think I could handle it if he came now and got the sack, as he is probs my fav Chelsea player ever along with Chopper.

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  • 131. At 08:20am on 10 Feb 2009, liverpoor wrote:

    People forget, Chelsea was on the apex of poor performance slide, if my memory served me correctly, prior to Mourinho's exit.

    One cannot just install some new outsider and expects instantaneous results. Avram Grants knew the team all along when he took over. And he would have gotten full marks had last year not been Ronaldo's peaking year. Chelsea lost both front by a horse nose in PL and a banana peel in CL.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Replacement candidates:

    Blues legend Zola did a fantastic job with West Ham but he too needed adjusting time before the team hit the current form.

    Guus Hiddink wont come nor will Roman Abramovich steals him from Russia.

    Some say Franklin Rijkaard. Possibly, not the best option: When Ronaldinho's form dipped, Messi injured, Eto was acting up...Rijkaard fell to grind out the expectation of results. Chelsea not exactly having a fast movement team and no trio attacking force. So, Franklin unlikely to outperform Scolari.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    If I were the advisor,
    I will suggest the one of the following 3 manager:

    1) Slaven Bilic, big personality on the sideline, young and great coaching winning record. Doubt he could turn the team on fire in an instant. Great manager option for long term and next season.

    2) Bernd Stange
    - who was accused of spying for the East German Stasi;
    -who had no fear operating under Uday, Saddem Hussein's Son;
    -overachieving with Belarus. He famously masterminded a striker playing a defender position and won the friendly against Isreal. Though losing to Capello's England 3-1 and Ukraine by a penalty; but drawn Argentina, Germany. However Belarus had beaten Netherland 2-1 in the 2008 Euro qualifier, etc.
    He is the most underrated coach of the world if not already one of the very best. Tested and tried to handle pressure. Chelsea stars' and the owner's demands wont affect his job perfomance.

    3) Raymond Domenech
    - maybe astrology and psychic supernormal force is the only quick fix over night injection in transforming Chelsea to the next dimension.


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  • 132. At 08:26am on 10 Feb 2009, phil wrote:

    Isn't life absolutely marvellous? The SW6 mob in total disarray. The wonder team all over the place and showing its true quality. Now the real Chelsea will show its ugly colours. Abramovich to walk through boredom and Chelsea to run out of cash and return to mediocrity where it belongs. Will the last one to leave please turn off the ligths.

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  • 133. At 08:28am on 10 Feb 2009, newtotalfootball wrote:

    Van Gal is the answer.
    He has a great club record. Been there done it. He is now doing the unbelievable in Holland. His provincial team AZ (ever heard of it?) is now 11 points above the second, leaving the big three far behind.
    He was the teacher for Mourinho.

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  • 134. At 08:28am on 10 Feb 2009, fugit555 wrote:

    Why are the players never to blame? The manager, or coach as they are now called, can only build them up for the game and once that game starts the players have to put out - we are talking about players who are on silly salaries, supposed to be professionals, yet when they fail to perform its the managers fault! Football as certianly gone the wrong way, with too many pre-madonna's earning far too much and under performing! Also, I think it's disgraceful the way some fans act towards players/managers - when will fans learn to get behind their teams rather than call for sackings etc - hardly a boast to morale and certainly not something to inspire you to do better. Big Phil is a great manager, his CV proves that, and he is a loss to the PL, and I for one do not agree with many commentators saying it was envitable - was Moriniho brought success and went, Grant brought success and went - so what is the actual benchmark at Chelsea? It's not like he lost every game or was in danger of taking Chelsea into relegation spot - did he fail really? Guess his failure was no different to the previous Chelsea Managers - mainly a failure to keep Roman happy!

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  • 135. At 08:34am on 10 Feb 2009, thefartedone wrote:

    I think he's a good manager but not Qualified to manage a Top european Club like chelsea. May be his tactics were not inspiring and chelsea lost thier winning mentality, BUT he is not the one who is playing and he cannot go to the pitch and perform i think his players let him down, Chelsea need to offload all the players who past thier sell by date.
    Its sad to see managers getting the boot for poor results mainly b'cos the underperfoming players. Tony Adams got the sack when they lost against Liverpool infact they were leading and almost going to win the match! and comes Crouch's back pass and sylvian distins air Kick !! does any one among us thinks Tony adams is responsible for these errors from his players which lead them to loose that match?
    most of the senior players at chelsea is not playing to thier strength for some mysterious reasons may be they wanted to see the back of Scolari infact they were not happy when Avram grant took over from Mourinho and now Scolari is facing the same problems, is it just me who thinks mourinho still has some bad influence in chelsea dressing room?? is he creating divisions among the players to teach a lesson to his old Master??? recently scolari was sooo irrittated and he said '' If some one need any of my players let them come forward and place a bid and take them after paying or if the player wants to leave they can leave if any one is ready to pay the money .. Please dont create problem for me or Chelsea'' was he suggesting mourinho's influnce on Drogba/Carvalho/Essein/Lampard to name few??
    Mourinho critized chelsea after watching M.U match and i think that influnced some of the players already tainted confidence !
    I like mourinho and i've started watching Serie A this season only B'cos of him but i think he should not go back to chelsea dressing room if he is not related to the club! he should concentrate on his current Job and wish his old club shoul do well even without him ...if he really loves chelsea as he always claims!!

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  • 136. At 08:34am on 10 Feb 2009, LosCheDevils wrote:

    As with Real Madrid it seems that off field problems and expectations are causing harm to the club. Avram Grant was knocked from pillar to post by fans, the directors and media for not being a "big name coach", well he took them to a Champions League final and second in the Premiership. With Scolari they had the big name, the big reputation, the big players, and the big wages to boot but I when will the football world realise that success is not built on reputations and "names" but hard work and desire. Scolari is a proven manger at the highest level but his troubles this year are twofold: firstly it shows just how competitive and difficult the English Premier League is, and secondly that foreign managers if and when they do come to the Premiership need time to adjust. Scolari has clearly been hung out to dry by his bosses before being given a decent chance to figure the league out for himself and how best to manage in English Football. Who will Chelsea approach next? Guus Hiddink I expect, but since he hasn´t any experience of English football either what reason is there to expect that he will get the instant results the Chelsea board expect? On a final note the Chelsea circus highlights the quality of coaches that Britain actually has, for example Sir Alex Ferguson, Martin O´Neill and David Moyes.

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  • 137. At 08:35am on 10 Feb 2009, HarrisEire wrote:

    Why sack scolari at this stage of the season? Chelsea wanted to play total football like Arsenal and Man Utd you won't get that in only 6 months, Scolari needed to be given more time.

    Hiddink for the Job me thinks!!

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  • 138. At 08:35am on 10 Feb 2009, newtotalfootball wrote:

    Louis Van Gaal's club record:

    1 x Champions League: 1994-95 (with Ajax)

    1 x Intercontinental Cup: 1995-96 (with Ajax)

    1 x UEFA Cup: 1991-92 (with Ajax)

    2 x UEFA Super Cup: 1995-96 (with Ajax), 1997-98 (with FC Barcelona)

    3 x Dutch Eredivisie: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96, (with Ajax) plus in 2003-04 (as Technical Director)

    1 x KNVB Cup: 1992-93 (with Ajax)

    3 x Johan Cruijff Shield: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96 (with Ajax)

    2 x Spanish League: 1997-98, 1998-99 (with FC Barcelona)

    1 x Copa del Rey: 1997-98 (with FC Barcelona)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_van_Gaal

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  • 139. At 08:38am on 10 Feb 2009, spectmo wrote:

    Jose ghost is really hunting chelsea, the earlier we forget about him the better, why should we make jose standards the landmark?
    Scolari had a plan it was not working and he failed to changed his plan. The players he had could not play the style he wanted, he kept doing same old thing, attacking full-backs, zonal marking. He should have changed style atleast to win. Despite all this ne was a great coach, time would have prove that. I wish him luck.

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  • 140. At 08:44am on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    I still think there is a strong chance Chelsea will be sold in the summer. AB appears to be lining up all his ducks:

    a) He is not spending any more money

    b) He is letting player's contracts run to expiry date

    c) He is desperately keen to get this year's trading performance as close to a profit as possible

    d) He sacked Scolari, as to get best possible price for selling Chelsea, they need to be qualified for Champions League.

    e) They are looking for an interim manager till end of the season.

    Any company looking to exit would do similar actions

    I hope I am right, beacause the only thing that can keep Chelsea competing in the top four is new ownership.

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  • 141. At 08:46am on 10 Feb 2009, toujours_blue wrote:

    Scolari has been sulking ever since we missed out on Rhobinio - you could see that from his touchline manor.

    We missed the boat on potentially the best manager in the Premier League ie. Zola. And, I dont think he would join Chelsea now as he has comitted himself to West Ham. You could not blame him plus he is a person of integrity and honest and not in it just for the money.

    The others to go should be the Chelsea hierarchy - they are overpaid ons overrated. With the money they are paid there should be a ton of young Chelsea talent coming through but where is it?

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  • 142. At 08:48am on 10 Feb 2009, oldhighbrarian wrote:

    The biggest mistake Abramovich made was tampering with a winning formula in undermining Mourinho. Chelsea have been on a slippery slope since. For me, Chelsea's astonishing success in 2005-05 was down to three things: Abramovich arriving with his lolly, Mourinho's brilliance as a coach and last and, just as importantly, the fact that Chelsea were actually a very good side knocking on the door under Ranieri. Those three things came togther in spectacular fashion over those couple of years, but it's all been crumbling slowly ever since. Abramovich is really the one to blame.

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  • 143. At 08:54am on 10 Feb 2009, Danny wrote:

    I feel sorry for Scolari but the question Chelsea needed to ask was did they think Scolari was going to turn it round?

    Based on recent performances, think the evidence was clearly no! Could they afford to sit and hope Scolari all of a sudden just got it right, and motivate the players?

    I think a lot of the blame needs to be put on a number of players, Deco, Ballack, Drogba all players not motivated to play for the Chelsea shirt, but by money and greed.

    Scolari inherited an ageing team and was given no money to change it. Though it was obvious that Scolari had no ideas on how to change games when we were playing so poorly. And the team werent motivated to play for him!

    Roman needs to come out and state whether he still wants to own Chelsea, and the next manager needs to be given time.

    We have no creativity in the midfield, no pace. We allow defences to get numbers behind the ball as we cant hit teams on the break. We let Duff and Robben go without replacing them with similar quality. Mikel can only function in a 3 man midfield as is not a good enough central midfielder.
    our defence is so much weaker since Steve Clarke left (our biggest loss of the season).

    Wish list
    Mourinho - Never should have been sacked!
    Martin O'Neil - Doubt he would leave Villa
    Zola and Di Matteo - Maybe too early for both of them
    Frank Rijkaard - Played good football, won a lot in short space of time (okay had the team to do it)

    Player wise
    Sell Deco,Kalou, Malouda,Belletti,Drogba to anyone who will have them

    Do not renew Ballacks contract and let him go in the summer.

    Buy young, hungry players and maybe give the top 2-3 players in the reserves, Kakuta, Stoch etc a chance in the side.

    Realise that we prob wont win anything next 2 years but give a manager the time and do not interfere.

    Chelsea board have a lot to answer for and need to come out with a statement of intent of what they actually want to do with the club.

    Another say and dark day in a short space of time.

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  • 144. At 09:01am on 10 Feb 2009, oldhighbrarian wrote:

    The biggest mistake Abramovich made was tampering with a winning formula in undermining Mourinho. Chelsea's awe of invincibility has been slipping ever since. For me, Chelsea's astonishing success in 2005-05 was down to three things: Abramovich arriving with his lolly, Mourinho's brilliance as a coach and last and, often forgotten by the detractors, the fact that Chelsea were actually a very good side knocking on the door under Ranieri. These three things came together in spectacular fashion over those couple of years, but it's all been crumbling slowly since. There is only one person to blame and that's the owner.

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  • 145. At 09:06am on 10 Feb 2009, bil_hornet wrote:

    "But there were whispers backstage at Anfield that all was not well."

    Didn't know Chelsea have been playing at anfield...?

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  • 146. At 09:06am on 10 Feb 2009, Nick wrote:

    I find the whole situation at Chelsea very strange.
    All the noises coming out of the Bridge last season were indicating that Chelsea were challenging until the end in spite of Avram Grant and not because of him SO what has happened this season?

    As an outsider it seems to me players like Lampard, Terry, Drogba etc are still in thrall to Jose thus undermining every new manager that comes along.

    Imagine how that feels? You're the new boss but your staff never take to you because their favourite was dumped.
    It must have been a horrible feeling firstly for Grant and then for Scolari.

    As far as i'm concerned at the moment Chelsea deserve all they get. I know it appeared Scolari didnt have a plan B. He didnt need one as Brazil manager and to a lesser extent Portugal manager although he got found out there in the end. BUT the players at Chelsea, regardless of who manages them should be getting better results than they have been.

    Juventus is now a massive game as i think the PL is beyond them. If United win their game in hand thats a 10 point difference.Not even the return of Essien will help overhaul that kind of lead.

    Who comes in now? My money is on Zola.

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  • 147. At 09:10am on 10 Feb 2009, Kebabble wrote:

    #3 "Best decision at the best time"?

    They should have done it before Jan, at least then they could have got a new manager and had a shot at the transfer window. Now who ever comes in is only going to be able to work with what they have. The new manager wont be able to inject his own blood and ideas without that window (not least until the summer). Even then who ever comes in will probably only temp' until summer. Cant see many managers picking up a wounded animal mid season.

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  • 148. At 09:10am on 10 Feb 2009, LEW1582 wrote:

    I think there is more to the timing than anything else... is it my imagination running away from me or is there something in Scolari going soon after the mighty Tony Adams becoming available!!
    My only concern with this scolario, sorry scenario is that the majority of the Chelsea players may not welcome the leadership of someone younger than them.
    Any thoughts....?

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  • 149. At 09:13am on 10 Feb 2009, anu_kum wrote:

    Regarding the first line
    .... If anyone ever doubted that RA had interest .........

    It is now clear he does not have any interest with the club.. he is just playing around with it and Chelsea will lose all the respect it earned for the past few years.

    Now is the time for FA to wake up since too many things are happening related to managers being swapped, sacked, etc.

    It is hard to take a manager from Portsmouth move to Tottenham in the middle of the season. It does not make any sense for a person to manage two different clubs in the same league in a year.

    Platini got it absolutely right about players being moved in Jan transfer, but in EPL, it has gone a step further at coaches getting sacked just like that.

    New rules have to be in place to curb this practice, else I am sure EPL will be the loser over a period of time.

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  • 150. At 09:14am on 10 Feb 2009, ourmaninbucharest wrote:

    Its sad. Chelsea are in a vicious circle of spending untold millions for the termination of managers contracts and under-funding player acquisition.

    Many have said it before: the problem is Abramovich and probably Kenyon. And I am starting to wonder if Platini is in fact right that the influx of super rich business-oriented owners (versus club and fan-oriented) is bad for the EPL. Until now I thought it was jealousy but it seems he may have a point. Scolari's departure will only strengthen his resolve.

    The backbone of Chelsea's successful team was assembled by Ranieri not by Mourinho and its true that since he left their transfer market dealings have been a disaster, with a few exceptions.

    Mourinho was the right man at the right time to motivate and deal with Chesea's temperamental "galacticos". This word is the right one since the problem is the same as it was with Real Madrid's underperforming ageing stars whereby their egos and huge bank balances replaced the hunger to win.

    It is time for a mass clearout. ManU needs some serious opposition.....

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  • 151. At 09:17am on 10 Feb 2009, Nick wrote:

    140 - Norapeti. How will new ownership change Chelseas fortunes?

    Its rumoured Roman will want his money back should he jump ship so who will be daft enough to pay Ballack, Lampard and Terry 120+ grand a week?

    The worst thing that could happen to Chelsea is Roman pulling the plug.

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  • 152. At 09:17am on 10 Feb 2009, darrenmac wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan i hate to say this but Ferguson whether misquoted or not was right about Chelsea. Chelsea have an aging squad that is in serious need of an overhaul, they lack pace and direction and are too reliant on only a couple of players to break down stuborn defences ( Liverpool share this problem).

    Granted i do feel that Essien has been a huge loss to the Chelsea side but Liverpool have been without a 100% Torres for most of the season. Injuries happen and top 4 sides are meant to have the squads to deal with it.

    Chelsea's transfer policy is broken rather than buying someone like Deco who played his best football 2/3 years ago you should of bought someone younger. Chelsea need an injection of pace and maybe a couple of wingers imagine a fit Robben in this Chelsea side. Chelsea should sign a player about 18-22 years old who the fans can get excited about while the rest of the squad gets rebuilt. Alex Ferguson i again regret to admit does this very well. he bought Ronaldo and then Rooney, the fans purred over their talent/potential. While the teams results on the pitch weren't great, the team was being rebuilt around them. Vidic, Evra, Carrick. a couple of years later those players have 2 Champ medals and a Champ League trophy. Rafa with considerably more to do than fergie has built more slowly bringing in quality players mixed with mediocre stop gaps who have been sold on. Chelsea should follow either model it all depends on how much money Abramovich will invest.

    Your problem really lies with out of form expensive duds. apart from Terry, Essien and Lampard on this seasons form which of your players would make it into either Liverpool's or Man Utd's starting XI?

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  • 153. At 09:26am on 10 Feb 2009, whatbill wrote:

    The amazing thing is that Chelsea have sacked their 4th manager in 5 years, have a disillusioned and declining sqaud, have spent a fortune and are still hemmoraging money, and yet one person seems untouchable - arise Peter Kenyon, the self promoting genius who masterminded it all.

    Scolari was never allowed to build his own team, instead he had to make do with an ageing squad that even Mourinho had issues with and was showing cracks under Grant. Drogba has been moaning about leaving for a couple of seasons now, is it any wonder he has not performed this season? There is no width in the midfield, the defence look a lot weaker than before and the strength in depth has vanished. No wonder it all went wrong, Chelsea need to look a lot further than a new manager if they're to bring back the glory days. And it will not be at a profit...

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  • 154. At 09:26am on 10 Feb 2009, KPisSEXY wrote:

    I'm a Chelsea fan. Let's face it, it's over. They should never have fired Mourinho, how stupid was that? And then they repeated with Grant, who was doing a sound job, two points and a penalty shoot out cost him. Scolari was the least talented of the three and was selling our better players. The club I grew up watching from the terraces is finished, none of the players care, the ground is a poisonous place now. It's all just money. Someone else will come in, get a massive contract, get fired and a huge pay off. Why care how the team does? You lot can keep it.

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  • 155. At 09:26am on 10 Feb 2009, lolatcryingmagpies wrote:

    The managerial crisis at chelsea is seeing them becoming almost as bigger a joke as Newcastle United in fact I may have to alter my 606 name to reflect that.

    I loved Mourinho as a United fan not being top dog and having this figure at another club that exerted invincibility of his team was amazing and did loads for the PL.

    Even Avram Grant was a fantastic manager for you and what he didn't do for pretty football (pretty football! lets check arsenals failing dream and falling league position on that one) he made up for in results. even narrowly losing the league you were scrapping at united heals all the way to the wire and the CL could have gone either way though the terry miss was one of footballs most memorable moments.

    My overall point is don't let the managerial situation become what the club is known for as someone posted above " becoming a classic pub joke" it will destroy Chelsea, this is of course up to the board and not the players or fans. Don't become Newcastle United and force me to have to split my time laughing over you guys as well as them.

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  • 156. At 09:30am on 10 Feb 2009, VicWatson wrote:

    Chelsea are just a laughing stock, you sold you soul and know you're paying for it.

    Zola (I hope!) will be going nowhere, he knows things are looking good at Upton Park and would he really want to move to that madhouse, no matter how much he loves the club? Maybe in the future he'll manage Chelsea but not yet and he is not a man concerned with money, he honours contracts.

    I know many Chelsea boys from the 70's and 80's who hate what their club has become, you only have to go there to see all their 'new' fans to realise what a joke they are. How many would still be there without the Russians millions?

    Being a West Ham fan I've obviously never liked Chelsea but always respected them, not anymore I'm afraid. Man City are going the same way and probably most of the premier league won't be too far behind.

    Give me the old days any day than the circus that we have at the moment. Overpaid superstars who care nothing for their clubs, tourist and johnny come lately fans who have the cheek to moan at someone who has been probably going donkeys years because of a few swear words or they're standing up - I hate what its become and this sacking is just another sign of it.

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  • 157. At 09:30am on 10 Feb 2009, bigfootedfred wrote:

    alot of you chelsea guys are damn near delusional. bring back jose?

    in what universe would he want to come back. hes not coming back. get over it.
    what is it exactly that you think makes chelsea such a super attractive option that jose would 'jump' at the chance to come back. hes doing quite happily just where he is, at a BIG club.

    you had a world class coach in scolari. and given time he could have built a formidible team.

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  • 158. At 09:33am on 10 Feb 2009, Kapnag wrote:

    Chelsea's real problem is established players calling the shots under Grant weren't able to do so under Scolari

    Players like Ballack, Deco, Anelka and Drogba do not care about Chelsea, they play for themselves

    The Chelsea success is coming to a halt, and without massive investment, will not reach the heights it was at in 2005, probably ever

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  • 159. At 09:33am on 10 Feb 2009, RedDevilMOB wrote:

    Chelsea should have sacked Peter Kenyon. Never did trust that slimy fella, even when he was at Old Trafford!! Surely some blame must lie with him.

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  • 160. At 09:33am on 10 Feb 2009, cynicalyorkie1 wrote:

    Tony Adams is sacked in the morning, then Scolari in the afternoon....crystal clear who Abramovich has lined up as his new manager!!

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  • 161. At 09:38am on 10 Feb 2009, whatbill wrote:

    I just don'tr see how Kenyon does it - at Man United, he joined a club who had just won the trebble, masterminded the signing of the likes of Veron, Keleberson and Djemba Djemba, botched the signing of Ronaldinho, sold Beckham (the combined effect allowed arsenal to overtake united) and then swanned off to chelsea, where has got through over half a billion pounds.

    United have improved significantly on the pitch and in the transfer market since he left, now Chelsea are suffering under his pompous ineptitude...

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  • 162. At 09:39am on 10 Feb 2009, U13629645 wrote:

    Chelsea are a huge club and Scolari wasnt upto the the job - he aint managed a club in ages - i mean grant did a lot better but he still was sacked

    I wonder whos next?

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    Billy - the guy who helps people make small fortunes

    http://www.revolutionarymatrix.com/jrox.php?uid=billizdealz_1

    check it out

    and check my youtube vid

    www.youtube.com/billizdealz

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  • 163. At 09:40am on 10 Feb 2009, Neil Anderson wrote:

    There is an old saying,

    "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser"

    Scolari was a graciously good loser but in the eyes of the Chelsea supporters and fans he was still a loser.

    If Scolari had been manager of any other team he would have been deemed a good manager, and allowed time to put things right. However, Chelsea directors have a fuse shorter than a short thing in shortland. They are now becoming the new Real Madrid, just without the European success. An owner that demands instant style and success whilst the CEO is making promises to land players before they have even made an offer.

    If i was a top manager i wouldn't touch the Chelsea job with a barge-pole.

    Good luck to the next manager...He is going to need it.

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  • 164. At 09:44am on 10 Feb 2009, mdb500 wrote:

    For goodness sake! Can everyone stop perpetuating the myth that Mourinho won 6 trophies at Chelsea, please! He won 5- no one else counts the Community Shield! It's no wonder Scolari and Grant had difficulty when the Press are still drooling over Mourinho...

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  • 165. At 09:47am on 10 Feb 2009, beckettitfc wrote:

    as an ipswich fan we played chelsea in the fa cup a few weeks ago and i was at the game.

    if it wasnt for 2 moments of class (ballack and lampard free kicks) chelsea were very ordinary and we could well have earned a replay or even nicked a win, also the atmosphere from the chelsea fans was shocking! was like they were sitting in a libary...do feel sorry for scolari though.

    going to be very tough for whoever comes in next

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  • 166. At 09:50am on 10 Feb 2009, Mighty Rubble wrote:

    This is yet another example of hapless mismanagement. Chelsea are now in decline and probably will no longer be able to challenge for the title. And where is the fault? Chelsea's hierarchy. How can you expect to challenge without continuity? United didn't win the title from 2004-06, in fact they didn't even come close. But the United board has faith in Fergie and gave him the time to rebuild and remount a challenge - now they'll win a hat-trick of PL titles for the second time. Chelsea will pay for their impatience, their top foreign stars will want to leave (except the aging ones that play for money) and they won't be able to attract the best younger players like they did before. What did Grant do wrong? He was a Terry slip away from winning the Champions League and at the beginning of this season Scolari's team were by far the best in the league. Not to mention how could you sack Mourinho in the first place??? Chelsea are going down and tey deserve it because their decision-makers are clowns.

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  • 167. At 09:51am on 10 Feb 2009, sportingpunter wrote:

    Ferguson nailed it when he pointed out that the age profile of the team meant they had peaked. They spent too much money on players who were at their peak 3 years ago and didn't want to invest in the teenagers. Now they don't seem to have more money so it is hard to see how there is anywhere for them to go except down. They actually have very few players you could genuinely say are world class.

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  • 168. At 09:51am on 10 Feb 2009, BulletMonkey wrote:

    Chelsea deserve to fail. They upset their greatest manager in history with Mourinho, fired Avram Grant for a season that any other team apart from Manchester United would have bitten your hand off for, and now this.

    I'm an Arsenal supporter, and while it's very frustrating and disappointing that the club hasn't won anything since 2005, and since then has choked the league last year and the Champions League in 2006, at least the majority of the supporters are confident that we have the right man in charge.

    Chelsea are fickle, arrogant cretins.

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  • 169. At 09:56am on 10 Feb 2009, mape_ventura wrote:

    Scolari knew the situation at Chelsea, he just had to look at his predecessor Avram, who had a phenomenol first season in charge by anyone's standards, but remained trophyless.

    Mediocrity is not tolerated by Roman, however as the debate always goes, he didn't have chance to stamp his mark on Chelsea, the only way he could realistically do that though would be to get rid of the players who didn't share his footballing vision. I'm pretty sure if Terry and Lampard et al were to be castout, Chelsea fans would be less happy then they are now, one player definitely needs to go though, and that is Drogba, undoubtedly world class, but him and Anelka are everything that is wrong with Chelsea, pre-madonna sulkers. Kalou seems to be the only other player who tries at Stamford Bridge, and he's of limited ability.

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  • 170. At 09:59am on 10 Feb 2009, stroma88 wrote:

    Thw "Special" one`s greatest asset is his near perfect timing.
    Getting out when the Club is on top and letting the next guy take the heat.

    SAF has rebuilt his team three times and is well on his way to a fourth team.
    Now that is management !!

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  • 171. At 10:00am on 10 Feb 2009, StJohn_Red_Legend wrote:

    Scolari's sacking is a ludicrous decision. The man hardly got his feet under the table before he's gotten his P45 and shown what is now beginning to resemble a revolving door.

    He's had precious little funding to shape the team to his liking - Boswinga looked to be a purchase with his prints on it, and bringing in Quaresma could have proved a turning point to free up the reliance on the full backs to provide width and attacking threat. He needed to bring in now blood to revitalise the team but not given the tools to achieve it. Big players like Ballack simply haven't performed and shipping them out, with the contracts they are on, is next to impossible, so Scolari couldn't generate new transfer funds easily.

    I think that there may be a hankering for the 'good old days' of Mourinho, but this is poisoning the water for every new manager coming in. When combined with Roman's itchy trigger finger, he may find that money won't buy him the quality of manager he'll need.

    Every manager needs time to shape their team. Who is their right mind will take a job knowing they have less than a season to not only begin shaping a team, but also to be instantly sucessful???

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  • 172. At 10:02am on 10 Feb 2009, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    Thanks for so many great contributions - lots of sympathy for Scolari but also some reasoned posts explaning why some Chelsea fans think think this is the correct decision.

    Quite a bit of criticism of Roman Abramovich, and it is fair to say he has put down one or two unusual markers in the last few months.

    Whatever anyone says or thinks about Avram Grant - who ironically may now return to Stamford Bridge - he was sacked after taking Chelsea to within a John Terry slip of winning the Champions League.

    He was sacked for missing out on the Premier League title on the last day of the season.

    This was a clear indication that Abramovich wanted both style and success.

    He appointed a World Cup winning coach who has now been sacked after seven months.

    It certainly outlines the demands of the job for the next Chelsea coach. And what happens if he is struggling after a few months? Will he go as well?

    Time for patience and a long-term plan, which brings us on to Chelsea's youth development system.

    Frank Arnesen has built a huge reputation, but where are the outstanding young players coming through at Chelsea to challenge the established order?

    Maybe Chelsea fans can tell me.

    Also, it is time for players to take their share of responsibilty. We have had the same whispers about the Scolari regime as we had with Grant.

    I genuinely believe some Chelsea players still pine for Mourinho. He is not coming back so they really should get over it.

    Guus Hiddink would be perfect in my opinion. He is a disciplinarian, will not have players feeling sorry for themselves and will move out those who have either outlived their usefulness or are not totally committed to Chelsea.

    He must also be backed with the sort of financial support never given to Scolari.

    Do Chelsea fans think Abramovich became unconvinced about Scolari quite quickly and that he will now bankroll the next coach?

    One thing I do believe, and that is the decision to sack Scolari still shows (strange as it may seem) that Abramovich remains committed to seeing Chelsea win the game's top honours.

    If he was losing interest, as some would have said, would he have acted so swiftly and so single-mindedly to try and bring success? I think not.

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  • 173. At 10:04am on 10 Feb 2009, bbking123 wrote:

    Chelsea's instant success strategy is now back-firing. A few seasons ago they assembled the most expensive squad in football history. They bought mature, proven stars who are now passing their best. They didn't invest in the future.

    JM came at the right time, was given more millions to splash and the inevitable success followed. Unfortunately his brand of football lacked fizz, it wasn't sexy, and he started biting the hand that fed him. JM's exit was perfect timing for him.

    I think Chelsea should have stuck with Ranieri. The consistency would have been good and he would have benefitted from the tens of millions saved in firing himself, JM, AG & now big Phil.

    JM was a very lucky guy. Chelsea fan rave about him because they want to believe it was him rather than the money that brought success.

    Big Phil knew he was taking on a perilous job, look at what happened to AG, who had an amazing season all things considered.

    Phil, enjoy your millions.

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  • 174. At 10:05am on 10 Feb 2009, wokinghamiain wrote:

    When Fergie said at the start of the season that Chealsea were an aging team he was derided for playing mind games, however you have to say that essentially he has been proved correct. I think Phil was very unlucky to come into the managers position without having the funds to really bolster the side. The Chelsea board have to realise that the building of a team and the sustaining of a club is a long term task and is not soething that can be done in five minutes.

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  • 175. At 10:06am on 10 Feb 2009, lovemuscleblue wrote:

    The thing that irritates me most about these comments is the negative attitude towards chelsea's youth team.
    Prime example, Michael Mancienne, good enough to get in england squad but 4th/5th choice centre back at chelsea

    there are too many big name players scolari was scared to drop from the team and thus the young players were not given an adequate chance.

    I believe sacking scolari was the right decision. Ive supported chelsea since the age of 5 or 6(12/13 years) and never have i seen a side that lacks passion as much as the current one. i believe scolari does not have the capabilities to achieve greatness at chelsea as he cant control the egos.

    Zola/Clarke would be the obvious choice to take control. there are not many that understand the complexity of chelsea yet they are of those few and it is now necessary to start a new generation of Chelsea.
    I dont think im alone in saying that id rather see a youthful team learning, perhaps not challenging for the title, than a team full of players past their best only interested in their financial futures, halfheartedly kicking a ball around.

    MESSERS ZOLA AND CLARKE, YOUR CLUB NEEDS YOU!

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  • 176. At 10:06am on 10 Feb 2009, handsomeSaintCanary wrote:

    I think Chelsea need to get real. You can't keep sacking managers in the manner that they are.

    I still can't think of any footballing reason why Mourinho was sacked after his success and instant success I might add.

    Avram Grant was then sacked for reaching the league cup final, just missing out on the title on the last game of the season and being a posts width from winning the Champions League. Surely he deserved another season?

    Then you have Scolari who (considering he was Chelsea manager) has not been particularly well backed financially when you consider all the players that were sold. He also inherited an ageing squad with huge egos and when you add in the lack of finance he did not exactly have the golden ticket the Chelsea job is made out to be. He was also tasked in changing the style of the team which again considering finances was always going to be hard task.

    Chelsea have obviously made the decision to stop throwing money around like there is no tomorrow, which to be fair is reasonable. What you can't do though is stop spending enough to get to the point where your team stagnates and that is what has happened at Chelsea. Instead of injecting new blood and money to keep improving, you get the impression that Abramovich has taken the view that the money he has spent in the past should be enough to guarantee success for a good few years to come but it just doesn't work like that. Teams like Man Utd are constantly looking to improve even if they won the League and Champions League last season. If Chelsea are only going to stand still then the likes of Man Utd are going to put a gulf between the clubs and the likes of Liverpool, Villa and Man City will catch them up.

    Seems to me the problems at Chelsea are nothing to do with Mourinho, Grant or Scolari but with the board of the club.

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  • 177. At 10:08am on 10 Feb 2009, mwango wrote:

    I feel sorry for Big Phil like many other fans even if I am Man Utd. The man did his best under the circumstanaces but his best was not good enough according to the gospel of Roman and Kenyon.

    However, if you critically analyse Chelsea, you will find that most of their players are past their best....Cech, Ballack, Deco, Drogba, Malouda just to cut the long list.

    Even with a new coach I dont see anything apart from them finsihing within the top four in the league ( if lucky favours them)

    Remember what Sir Alex said about Chelsea earlier in the season (that they are an aging group)? Despite all the hype created by that statement i think it was right on.

    So after Big Phils' departure, let us expect a similar gesture extended to some players who are heavily paid but heavily impotent on the pitch.

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  • 178. At 10:16am on 10 Feb 2009, av it wrote:

    Chelsea fans and Mr Abramovich should get real, Chelsea are where they should be. They are and always have been vastly overrated. They are a top four side at best. Sacking Scolari won't change that. After the success that they had with Mourinho which was like never before they got delusions of grandeur. They will never have the class,style and history of Liverpool, Man Utd, and Arsenal.

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  • 179. At 10:18am on 10 Feb 2009, ourmaninbucharest wrote:

    Phil

    Regarding Abramovich's commmitment: your comment is of course logical but there are other possibile interpretations as 140 norapeti states.

    it may be that he wants to sell and if Chelsea continue to drift, e.g. out of Champs League contention their value goes down.

    Right now Chelsea looks a spent force but a revitalised team galvanised by the "new manager effect" might just sneak the FA Cup and finish 2nd in the EPL. More than this is unrealistic.

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  • 180. At 10:19am on 10 Feb 2009, flmtopgunner wrote:

    i am noot suprised one bit about bid Phils sack.He was never going to succeed at Chelsea as he was not given the required funds to bring in his kind of players.Too bad though.....He wil survive

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  • 181. At 10:20am on 10 Feb 2009, johnclarke101 wrote:

    Everyone seems to be comparing Scolari (and Grant) with "the Special One" Chelsea's most successful manager who raised the bar who won 6 trophies in 3 years. What makes me laugh at the whole situation is that even though Jose has been Chelsea's best ever manager what did Abramovich do, got rid of him! Now I'm a Liverpool supporter but I liked Jose Mourinho and he, like Ferguson, were the masters of the mind game and just knew how to tweak Rafa's nose but unlike old red nose, Jose did it with style.

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  • 182. At 10:20am on 10 Feb 2009, arundini wrote:

    Phil do you think Peter Kenyon and certain other Directors should resign ? After all it was they who managed to lose Mourinho, then appointed 2 managers who they subsequently decided were not up to scratch, in Grant and Scolari !!

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  • 183. At 10:20am on 10 Feb 2009, mysteriousDaviniho wrote:

    He had little to work with from Chelsea's youth system?! Rubbish. He was under such pressure to get results that he couldn't afford to introduce the youngters into the fold.

    Manciene, Dos Santos and Sinclair have all shown great potential and should have had more of a look in, especially with the injuries. Stoch looks hungry but I think the issue will be his size.

    We have a really promising youth/reserve side but whats the point if there never allowed to stake their claim?

    I think the reason for this is that any manager they do bring in, is only interested in the here and now. They don't think they will be in charge for a long period so are unconcered with bringing through future potential.

    One man I would love to see at the Bridge is Stewart Pearce.

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  • 184. At 10:26am on 10 Feb 2009, PiechnikBasket wrote:

    When Abramovich bought Chelsea and appointed Kenyon the oft quoted ambition to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest club in the world suggested efforts would be to emulate Man U.

    Now, as four managers have been ruthlessly dispatched following the slightest of hiccups it becomes apparent the club they are trying to emulate is in fact Real Madrid.

    The whole club needs to take a good hard look at itself and decide how it is going to go about achieving it's aims. If you want a manager who will develop from within, as was the brief given to Scolari, then you have to give him time. If not then you have to give him financial backing cause there simply isn't anyone out there how can do the job that Abramovich seems to want performed

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  • 185. At 10:31am on 10 Feb 2009, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    If someone like Hiddink is appointed, he would surely seek some sort of cast-iron contractual assurances that protect him against a sacking as swift as Scolari's. It might prove an expensive business.

    Interesting to see so many Chelsea fans pinpointing the departure of Steve Clarke as a pivotal development.

    He is already being praised with his work at West Ham, who are progressing well under Clarke and the Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola.

    Fortunately for West Ham, it appears that they will not be approached, although it should be said the principled Zola has already stated he would not move.

    What do Chelsea fans out there think of the potential return of Avram Grant? Is he only now being fully appreciated after he has gone?

    Or would he just be a stop-gap until the summer, when another high-profile name would replace him?

    One last thing in response to poster 5forkeeps.

    If I did take issue with your claim that Scolari was just the next Christian Gross, then I stand by that.

    How can you compare Christian, commendable though he has been as a coach in Switzerland, with a World Cup winner?

    I would call that a Gross injustice - I'll get my coat.

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  • 186. At 10:34am on 10 Feb 2009, UnitedWanderer wrote:

    I find it incredible that a coach like Scolari cant even buy himself a full season as manager.

    Chelsea have an ageing squad which Fergie pointed to at the beginning of the season. The only money he was specifically given was £8M on Deco, other than that he has been able to sign Quaresma on loan and a free agent.
    Chelsea's players need to look at themelves and be ashamed the only person who can feel that he has played anywhere near their normal form is Bosingwa.

    The only players emerging from their youth acadamy are Mancienne and Scott Sinclair who will probably not make the grade even if they're given the chance. Abramovich has to realise that the next manager will need time and a lot of money if they are to realise his aims.

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  • 187. At 10:38am on 10 Feb 2009, brad55000 wrote:

    I dont feel sorry for Big Phil.
    He had plenty of time and his win percentage was awful. Just over 50% i believe which is not good enough at the top level. He inherited a team with the best defensive record in the premier league over recent years and turned us into a defensive shambles!! He did have injury problems granted, but so have both Man u and liverpool who have both outperformed us this season!!
    My biggest worry is who on earth is going to take over??
    Why on earth would they give the job to Hiddink- it would be like putting a scolari clone in charge- another international manager out of touch with club football!!!
    Avram Grant should tell us where to go after the way he was treated at the end of last season.
    Zola- not sure he is big enough to take the job on yet with such big personalities in the dressing room
    Sven- I really do hope not
    So who does that leave us with.........??
    Unless Roman is up for going to Inter and begging Mourinho for forgiveness and paying inter whatever they want for the special one i think we could be in a vicous cycle of underperforming managers for the next few years!!
    Despite this Scolari still made his own bed.........He didnt have what it takes to cut it at Chelsea!!

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  • 188. At 10:39am on 10 Feb 2009, Hatfield_Rover wrote:

    I'm not so sure Scolari paid the price for Mourinho's success; personally I've thought since Ranieri was sacked that the level of success achieved under Mourinho was more the minimum expected by Abramovich.

    Ranieri's 2nd placed league finish and Champions League semi-final - without a top-notch strike-force (Crespo wasn't happy in England after his house was broken into, Mutu started well but then got into drugs, Hasselbaink was the only consistently scoring striker) - clearly wasn't promising enough to warrant a second year under Abramovich.

    Mourinho was sacked for having his first bumpy patch - in his third year - when you would have thought his prior success would have earned him more time to turn it round.

    Grant was in charge for less than a season, was CL runner-up (on penalties) and picked up more league points than the team that beat him to the title in his time in charge.

    Scolari had the team playing probably the best football since Abramovich took over in his first few months but has struggled since his tactics were sussed out - he probably should have tried a change sooner but the start of his reign held too much promise to get rid of him so soon I think.

    Whether the Chelsea fans now expect a level of success similar to the Mourinho period is another thing, but then they're not the ones pulling the trigger; it seems many of them have been surprised by
    managers being sacked so quickly.

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  • 189. At 10:40am on 10 Feb 2009, hyperfabregasfan wrote:

    Arsenal fan in peace here.... yes, i do agree there seems to be a sense of comparison among the managers.. but if not scolari, then who? the chelsea squad need a little change that's it.. they've been playing for ages and hardly do we see a new player kicking the ball..

    Deco has definitely brought some liveliness into their style of play.... but that is not enough...with the amount of cash they've got, i think maintaining the same old squad is plain stupid.. perhaps, a new pair of strikers would do good to the team... with drogba losing his passion for the game u cannot expect him to score goals as he used to... As far as the manager is concerned, i dont see any point in sacking someone like scolari..

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  • 190. At 10:41am on 10 Feb 2009, dromarared wrote:

    All this talk about Mourinho is bad I think. Mourinho is a great motivator, he can get the best out of any set of players put in front of him, he has proved that at both Porto and Chelsea but he is not a good manager for a club looking for a long term stay in the big time. he takes players who are ready to play their best but he does not look to bring in promising youngsters to build for the future, he just wants to pay oof players when they get old and but new ones ready made! Both Porto and Chelsea have suffered from his legacy of aging players with no strategy to replace them one by one. As a United supporter I could not envisage fergie or indeed Wenger doing this. Please don't give great credit to Mourinho, he may have brought a longed for couple of championships but it was to the detriment of the immediate future of the club. i only pray that he does not succeed fergie!

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  • 191. At 10:48am on 10 Feb 2009, I dont want a display name wrote:

    I know "if" is a big word but here goes.
    If Mike Riley hadn't sent off Frank Lampard it's conceivable that Liverpool would not have beaten Chelsea. It's even conceivable that Chelsea might have won that game.
    If Chelsea had won that game, then the confidence they would have gained would probably have resulted in them beating Hull.
    If Liverpool had lost against Chelsea, would they have had the character to come from behind to beat Portsmouth?
    IF Mike Riley hadn't made that mistake, Scolari and Adams might still have their jobs and it might be Liverpool who were looking for a new manager.
    Time to use technology to settle these contentious decisions?

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  • 192. At 10:54am on 10 Feb 2009, vsmani40 wrote:

    Chelsea are unlikely to win any trophies this year.

    They got rid of a talented manager unnecessarily.

    Best option is to get rid of senior dead wood and build a new young team for next year.

    They have enough points, so they will not go down.

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  • 193. At 10:55am on 10 Feb 2009, SpursPortugalFan wrote:

    Hey Phil, decent blog you run here.


    Tbh, I think the sacking came a few weeks late. Not because i think Scolari did a bad job, but because we all know Mr. Roman's temper, and Chelsea had a few "strange" results in the last month or so. That win in injury time vs Stoke (i think it was Stoke), gave Scolari another chance, but not for too long as we now see.


    As a portuguese football fan, i really think the sacking was unfair. When Big Phil took over the National Portuguese team, probably 75% of the country was against it, even with the backing he had, as World Cup winner with Brasil.

    To increase that feelling, he got in some fights with FC Porto board, manager (Mourinho at the time) and players, by leaving out the team Vítor Baía for example.

    And that's probably what he needed at Chelsea, dropping Drogba's, Malouda's, Cole's, and so on.

    And the first couple of years we're hard for him, foreign manager running the team, everyone who supported FC Porto against him, lot of criticism for his tactics, etc.

    Then it came Euro 2004, in Portugal, and our first game, when we lost against Greece. Do you know what he did? Changed the team for the second game, left out many of the "untouchables", and we went on to the final, where we lost again to Greece.

    Then the World Cup in Germany, where we got to the semi-final, leaving Holland and the british team behind for the 2nd time in a row.


    Sorry for the "long sad story", but my point is that Scolari has strict ideas, his own ideas about football, and all he needs is time to pass them on to the players. If we had sacked him only with 1 year in charge, he wouldn't be probably the most successful manager ever in the National team.

    If you ask pretty much everyone who was on his "team core" in Portugal, i'm pretty sure all the players would follow him anywhere. He's a leader, that gives faith to players and fans.



    I'm really sorry that Mr. Roman destroyed the chance you had to witness that. Chelsea was simply not the right team for him.

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  • 194. At 10:56am on 10 Feb 2009, Epic Bale wrote:

    Haven't had the time to read the article but I think the headline hits the nail on the head. I expressed similar comments yesterday.

    Mourinho was both the best and worst thing that could have happened to Chelsea.

    The best because he brought them instant success and won them back-to-back Premiership titles, and the worst because he brought them instant success and won them back-to-back Premiership titles.

    The board will forever look at Mourinho taking over and winning the title in his first year as a realistic possibility, as will perhaps the players and fans.

    When anything less than Mourinho-esque success is achieved, the board will get itchy for a new man.

    When anything less than a Mourinho-esque winning mentality is fostered in training, the players may lament for the days of 'the Special One'.

    The fans, hopefully, will have the foresight to see that success in a domestic league isn't just about their club, but also the progress of the clubs around them (Man Utd are looking invincible at the moment).

    But as those (in my opinion) fools pining for the unproven Zola and Di Matteo have shown, you never can tell.

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  • 195. At 10:59am on 10 Feb 2009, DICANIOLOVER wrote:

    I'm tired of Man Utd fans bringing out the line 'SAF was given 7 or 8 years without a major trophy'. Firstly, he won the FA Cup in his third full season, so the statement is misleading. He had also been challenging for the league title from early on, finishing as runner up in his first full campaign.

    Secondly, it was a different era, and the expectations of success were different at Manchester United at the time. When SAF retires, will the next manager be given 7 or 8 years to win the Premier League? Not a chance, the fans would be calling for him to get the sack within two years - or sooner if Man Utd were in the 4th place that Chelsea find themselves in at present.

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  • 196. At 11:00am on 10 Feb 2009, RetiredNo6 wrote:

    An Arsenal fan here.

    I have an interesting take on this. It's not only the players at Chelsea, but also the supporters who are still in love with Jose. They never took to Avram Grant, they offered little more than a smile early on to Scolari.

    This is a club that had gone 50 years without a championship. Jose brought them two in 2 years, plus 2 Carling Cups and an FA Cup. It was the most glorious period of the club's history. Essentially replacing him is similar to Manchester United's botched attempts to replace Sir Matt Busby or indeed Nottingham Forest trying to replace the original "Special One" in Cloughie.

    The new man needs to be somebody that Chelsea fans can love almost instantly. Therefore it needs to be somebody big enough to walk through the door and say "This is my ship now - I'm setting sail and you're all coming with me". Scolari's charming uncle approach was never likely to deliver that kind of impact.

    Who is there out there in world football who could do that? Once you exclude Ferguson, Wenger and obviously Mourinho then I can think of one, but thankfully he's contracted to the Football Association.

    So if a forceful overlord who can demand their love is not an option (and I'm guessing nor are Martin O'Neill or David Moyes - the outstanding managers who are taking on the "Big 4") then it has to be somebdoy who already has it.

    He may not yet have completed a Premier League season as a boss. But Gianfranco Zola is arguably the only man held in the same esteem as Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.

    He maybe a risk..... but he may also be the only way of banishing to ghost of Jose.

    Zola is in their hearts. That is what they are looking for now.

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  • 197. At 11:03am on 10 Feb 2009, shutupandygray wrote:

    I feel for Scolari. The man has been given no time and very little money to make the team his own. Its little wonder that both Grant and Scolari have been constantly compared to Mourinio when the nucleus of the team is still the group of players Mourinio enjoyed so much success with. There have been a few additions here and there, but Scolari was not allowed to bring in enough of his own players to create the 'samba-style' that perhaps Abramovich wanted. It seems he was expected to do it with the players that he already had, who were used to playing in the defencive manner that Mourinio had instilled in the team. Chelsea's loss in the long-run...

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  • 198. At 11:05am on 10 Feb 2009, skrapidblue wrote:

    Please, please keep Avram Grant away from our football club. He added nothing and mererly inhertied a great team who carried things going. Now is the time for passion and an investment in Clarke and Zola for the price of a useless, slow, heartless French winger called Malouda. If Scolari was such a hero and came to 'rejuvenate' why did we have to continually suffer Malouda and Kalou evey week when Stoch,Kakuta,Di Santos stayed on the bench and his idea was narrow football and the 'spring chicken' Deco. There's nothing wrong with the fans and board expecting sucess and who complains about buying the league when Sir Alex spends 30 million on Ferdinand, Rooney, Brebatov, Tevez?.

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  • 199. At 11:07am on 10 Feb 2009, Celts_R_Here wrote:

    Losing Stve Clarke was the biggest mistake that Chelsea made. He was the driving force in training and a true Chelsea legend.

    Players may look up to managers like Mourinho or Scolari but the man behind the scenes appeared to be the one who held the key to success.

    Big Phil won't be out a job for long!

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  • 200. At 11:08am on 10 Feb 2009, aka_bluepeter wrote:

    Chelsea remain a very good side who perhaps just need an Arjen Robben or a Shaun Wright Philips.
    In recent games they have been unlucky for instance losing Frank Lampard against Liverpool, which given his form must be seen as instrumental in them eventually losing.
    Writing off Drogba and Ballack as ageing stars is way off the mark.
    Sacking Scolari before he has barely been able to get to know his players and how they tick is misguided.
    Scolari had much more to do than get to know his players, he had to win them round as clearly many still resented the sacking of Mourhino.
    Mourhino was the only manager able to handle and get under the skin of Ferguson and Man United, no mean feat.
    The only person up to the job is Mourhino but I think he will, or should, give it a wide berth.

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  • 201. At 11:12am on 10 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    i really dont c hiddink being the guy brought in, he dont exactly play the most attractive football around... i love the guy, n if liverpool ever, god forbid got rid of rafa, he'd b right at the top of the list id like to have next in the hot seat.

    but saying that, there are a few things to note.

    1. he is romoured to have a £7 million deal
    with the russian federation, which they cant afford right now, n its believed that roman has given assurances to guus that he would pay his wages for him to stay on (which to me seems like a 'u scratch my back n ill scratch urs, hoping to call on him in his own hour of need when he helped guss out in his, hardly an hour of need for guus, coz the federation di give him 3.3 million of his wages!!!)

    and

    2. there is a buyout clause in his contract that activates should some1 come in and offer him a yearly wage of £8 million (again something abramovic could take on board)

    but like orginially stated, its the brand of football he wants too, n i dont think guss will do that, he is a results man. rijkaard fits the bill, he is used to using vast sums n has delt with bigger n better players than is currently in the squad at stamford bridge.

    zola is too inexperienced, mancini is again a results man (being itallian) and has ruled himself out, mainly coz ther names have come out b4 him, he feels a little rejected :P
    avram grant, albeit getting so close, even for me, u look at it n all sed and done his is a looser (football atleast) he may well have come very close, but close but no cigar, no body remembers runners up, no body cares, n avram, altho doing a splendid job, failed wen it mattered most, so again id rule him out, plus he aint gonna play nice footie, n i cant c hi attracting the right players, can any1 else?

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  • 202. At 11:19am on 10 Feb 2009, Joe G wrote:

    I say this every time a team sacks their manager but if the club hire anyone they need to give him some stability by publically declaring that he will be given X amount of time. Managers at clubs just can't survive if they start to look over their shoulder they moment they lose a game they should have won. Would Ancelotti and Ferguson have achieved what they have done recently if they weren't so secure in their job. Last season Milan didn't even make the top four, but the club stuck withg Ancelotti and now he's steadied the ship and everything is back on course. Stability is key.

    If Chelsea hire someone short term then this may negate this nessecity to gaurantee a period of time but it's hard to see how a short term replacement can work at Chelsea. I can't see Abramovich settle for someone like Wilkins being manager, not high profile, experienced enough or especially likable. How can he hire Grant as a short term replacement then get rid of him for Rjykard at the end of the season if Grant delivers a tight second place and (e.g.) a Champions League Final defeat like last season. It hardly seems like a poor result to come second to United at the moment.

    The last thing Chelsea need to do is go out and make enemies so starting to try and pinch Ancelotti from Milan or Zola from West Ham hardly seems like good PR but then again sacking Scolari hasn't exactly made the board flavour of the month with Chelsea fans.

    It seems hard to believe that Ryjkard's statement that he's on a year's holiday so doesn't want to start till August would stand up to a big fat wage offer from Chelsea and with no obvious management options in Spain at the moment Chelsea seems like too good an opportunity for him to pass over. He's proven but youthful, strong but approachable and perhaps essentially for Chelsea he's multi lingual.

    No-one else seems such a stand out choice, as romantic an idea Zola would be he's not experienced enough, Mancini is promising but he won the league with an Inter team that couldn't really lose the league (bearing in mind a relegated Juve and Milan with Docked points), that's not to say he's not highly rated but he wouldn't be a sure thing. If Hiddink refused to leave Russia last year it's hard to see why he'd leave now.

    Whatever Chelsea do next, it needs to seem like a sensible and logical choice because right now sacking Scolari isn't making a whole lot of sense.

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  • 203. At 11:21am on 10 Feb 2009, Bamber Boozler wrote:

    Where does this leave Quaresma?

    One of the main reasons he signed at Chelsea was down to how well Scolari knew him and how to play him.

    I bet he is a little worried.

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  • 204. At 11:24am on 10 Feb 2009, lordballwatcher wrote:

    The ongoing fiasco at Chelsea reminds me of the situation in the mid-70's at Man U. 'God' (Tommy docherty) had been sacked in the most ridiculous circumstances. Dave Sexton was afflicted for years by the pining of the fans for their own 'special one'. It will take many years for Chelsea to recover from their stupidity in sacking Mourinho. What's more, SAF will have a huge part to play in choosing his successor at Man U. If Mourinho's leaving haunts Abramovic now, then it's only going to get much worse when Mourinho returns.

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  • 205. At 11:28am on 10 Feb 2009, moxphere wrote:

    There are some facts: Chelsea is not as big as Man Utd or LIverpool and the past golden years were swiftly bought by Abramovich petromoney. has Scolari responsabilities in his downfall?

    Hell yes! Scolari received an aged, ridisulously overpaid and obscenely overrated squad, used to compete with far more estalblished teams. Even then, the Brazilian thought he could go to a country with such a different footballing (and general) peculiar culture and turn the things on.

    I am Brazilian as well and a huge fan of Scolari, but it wasn't unfair from Chelsea, which I believe stated from day one they wanted immediate results.

    True, Scolari was betrayed by the "Chesea Senate" of Terry, Lampard and Drogba. However, certainly it wasnt the first time a manager goes through this...

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  • 206. At 11:32am on 10 Feb 2009, Isaac Hunt wrote:

    There is a load of rubbish spouted on here.

    Whilst some pine for Jose - those with memories of a little over a year ago will remember that he had an absolute stinking start to the season culminating with the home draw at home to Rosenborg.

    Grant did a terrific job and was treated terribly. Funny how no-one is saying that the squad ran itself this season. Grant also had to contend with the loss of his key African players for a month or so and an injury list that makes this season look like a picnic.

    A lot of the "waste of money" sigings were free. Ballack, Pizarro, Ben Haim and Sidwell for example. Shevchenko did ok for Chelsea and would have done a job this season - his price tag was just ridiculous.

    There remains a one of the best squads in Europe at Stamford Bridge. A little old but perfectly capable of competing on every front. What they miss is organisation and leadership - and balance in midfield which has screwed the defence and stunted the attack.

    Scolari had to go - and now. The word from inside the club is:

    A) That his ego got the better of him and that he pretty much picked arguments with senior players for fun and to show who was boss.

    B) That there are the Portuguese speakers and the rest. Chelsea had until this season been pretty good at avoiding cliques.

    C) Training was boring and outmoded. A heinous crime.

    All in all he had lost the dressing room. The happy clown persona so loved by other fans and indeed my wife is a front. Scolari has a bigger ego than Jose and has proved to be out of his area of expertise in a british club side.

    It is a brave decision by Roman who knows that this looks bad - but he is right - there is no going back from this situation and he needed to act now.

    The next appointment is key - there will be no cast iron guarantees of tenure. Contracturally that is not possible - the term is the term and all managers thus far have been given decent terms which have been compensated at great expense.

    I believe that the next manager will be proven at the highest level in European football and a consistent long term performer in many roles. He will be lured by money of course, an undertaking to be able to rebuild in the summer and a decent transfer fund. And I imagine a free reign in the market without Kenyons and RA running interference.

    The overrated Arnesen will surely be moved on.

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  • 207. At 11:36am on 10 Feb 2009, MGUK82 wrote:

    Roman, keep firing your managers. Us Man United fans will keep laughing at you.

    I always had a grudging respect for Mourinho but I've seen the collapse of Chelsea coming since the summer of '06.

    Abramovitch does not have a clue how to run a football team, there are too many egos in the dressing room and expectations are way too high.

    Who the hell is going to want to manage Chelsea now?

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  • 208. At 11:37am on 10 Feb 2009, ilio_rover wrote:

    So how come no one says Roman and the Chelsea board are spineless, which is always the case when a young and truly incompetent young British manager, i.e. Ince and Adams, is dismissed.

    I don't see Chelsea being closer to the relegation zone while for Blackburn and Pompey a drop to the Championship could be disastrous.

    Yet, no one says a word when one of the big boys decides to play like a spoiled child but the media are the first to get on the back of one of the smaller clubs.

    Hypocrites all the way

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  • 209. At 11:37am on 10 Feb 2009, SpursPortugalFan wrote:

    Zola is loved by Chelsea fans.


    But what if he fails? I don't know if he can handle that kind of pressure.



    But gotta love the small guy, world class footballer he was.

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  • 210. At 11:37am on 10 Feb 2009, Tess Sgs wrote:

    Trojansmotorcar - "1 shot on target in 180 min. against MU and Liverpool is a statistic that tells the story of why he was sacked"

    Shouldn't this be a reason why PLAYERS should be sacked, rather than the manager?

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  • 211. At 11:39am on 10 Feb 2009, bbking123 wrote:

    Never forget, without Abramovich Chelsea would never have won the Premiership.

    They would never have had the most expensive team ever and the decent managers to go with it.

    Abramovich wants what every Chelsea fan wants. I think he is being very badly advised by Kenyon.

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  • 212. At 11:40am on 10 Feb 2009, phil wrote:

    Chelski are proving again what Blackburn showed in the 90's and Sheikh City will subsequently show again. YOU CANT BUY SUSTAINED SUCCESS! It took SAF 6 years to build a title winning side - he has since done it 3 more times and has a new crop of youngsters that look like doing the business in the future. Wenger does the same (or will do if he's given chance). Buying a title with foreign mercaneries might work once or twice but when the roubles or dollars dry up then they lose interest and drift off elesewhere. My advice to Chelski : Go back to basics- develop your academy and scouting network and accept you have a 4-5 year project on your hands. Look at Lerner/O'Neill as your template.. Oh and get rid of Kenyon ,or he will kill what was once great about your club..

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  • 213. At 11:48am on 10 Feb 2009, cantona1968 wrote:

    World of football baffles me sometimes..... Scholari inherited an aging team, funds limited to change them. Chelsea peaked on way to CL final last year. Utd fan but not gloating but you can not expect a manager to come in and challenge right off. Mourinho, who I liked and thought brought a bit of extra interest, inherited an up and coming team from Claudio, he built on it and was successful.

    I, as a UTD fan although not wanting it, I do expect a downturn in fortunes for us when Fergie retires.I just think the expectations now will mean the next manager will have to win the PL/CL within two years and if that doesn't happen he will get the boot. This then becomes a spiral as a new manager comes in, rejigs the team again, etc and he will not likley be given much of a chance to build a team. A new manager should be given at the bare minium 3 years to make an impact.

    Suspect these knee jerk reactions regarding Scholari and Adams will only cause those teams more harm. Now I think it is a very real prospect that Chelsea will slip out of the top 4.

    Football is mad........mad I tell ya!

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  • 214. At 11:50am on 10 Feb 2009, cujopepper wrote:

    if you think for one minute that bringing back a chelsea legend will bring back the good old days you are crazy .
    avram grant took chelsea to within a few points of the leauge and a penalty kick of winning the cl .
    what did he get ??, yes fired .thats a no win no win job for a manager .

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  • 215. At 11:53am on 10 Feb 2009, bombasticdiehardblue wrote:

    Ladies and gentlemen,please let us call a spade a spade.
    Isnt it true that there is a difference between international football and the premiership?LFS was given more than enough time to prove himself.Look at Zola for example.How many months was he in charge before things started to work for him?LFS is clearely not a tactician,lets face it.The fapl is not for teams with skilled or good players,its about tactics.Planning differently for each game.Scolari never did that so why would you let your ship sink when you have the chance to salvage something from it.Abramhovich hasn't always acted right but I agree with him on this one.

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  • 216. At 12:00pm on 10 Feb 2009, matchboxmaster wrote:

    Big Phil not able to handle big players at a big club, day in day out? I am not so sure.

    It took Fergie about 4 and a half years to crack it and to turn United into a successful team after laying his own foundations. He was doing far worse to begin with than how Chelsea are doing now.

    The main difference is that the people who employed Fergie had faith in his ability and were willing to give him time. There are very few owners and boards around these days who are strong enough to stick to their beliefs when points and pound signs start to drop.

    Big Phil should have been given more time. If Rafa doesn't win the league this season he will probably have one more season.

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  • 217. At 12:01pm on 10 Feb 2009, God_Tony_Yeboah_21 wrote:

    Not the cleverest decision I have ever seen, but it's the Russian mafia-man's club and not mine.

    The problem isn't the coach, its the players. They moan about him not being Mourinho when quite clearly he has moved on to bigger and better things. They are in many cases past their best (though I dont believe this about Lamps as many do) but the basis of a good side is still there. Getting Essien back playing should be the priority, and not at RB either! Give Dennis Wise a go in charge, he bleeds Chelsea and that coming from a Leeds fan!

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  • 218. At 12:05pm on 10 Feb 2009, coolblue1966* wrote:

    At the end of the day the squad is not so different from the one that Avram Grant had to finsh runner up in the league and 1 penalty away from being European Champions.
    Grant never had the same problems against Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal and Villa that Scolari has, and at the end of the day if we had drawn all those matches we would be a lot healthier than we are at the moment.
    The issue was that once teams realised Scolari only played one way, they set their system to stop that and we never had another systme to change to.
    Drogba, Deco and Ballack have failed to step up to the mark. Essien is a big miss, but was injured for much of last season as well.
    In Scolari's favour is that he did start to bring youngsters in, but if we need a winger why is Sinclair still out on loan? If we need a defender why is Mancinni out? Fergy and Wenger would have these players in getting the experience to challenge for places.
    There is a lot wrong at Chelsea, but the team is one that should still be challenging with the quality it has. Every player is still an international.
    My worry now is that Ray Wilkins doesn't have the personality to change anything.
    Our biggest loss was Steve Clarke, and we simply haven't replaced him.

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  • 219. At 12:12pm on 10 Feb 2009, Nick wrote:

    I know its been said in more than one post but some Chelsea fans really do need to take off the Jose blinkers and take a realistic look at what he achieved.

    He inherited a very good team from Ranieiri who had already bought well for the following season. It was Claudio that signed Cech remember. The team had finished runners-up and were CL semi finalists.
    He added some very good players that anybody could have identified had they had a big enough cheque book and watched them take the next step. They cashed in on the disarray Kenyon left behind at OT, Arsenals inability to defend a title and an annually underachiving Liverpool side.

    He won 3 out of the big 9 trophies available in his time there (Charity Shields dont count and neither do League Cups really)

    In his final season it was obvious to all that Chelsea were struggling but nobody really knows what went on behind the scenes. Mind you it cant have been that bad because Jose has been back since. Grant actually put them back on course but if Frank or John dont like you then you dont have a chance.

    So who in their right mind would takeover? It can only be the big pay cheque because as far as i can see as long as Roman, Kenyon, Frank and John are all still there the spectre of Jose will loom large and as the last 2 love him so much nobody else will even come close

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  • 220. At 12:16pm on 10 Feb 2009, g baby wrote:

    i think that he has proven himself as an international manger but is not capable of dealing with a club were you have to train players day after day all the time. at international level especially with the players that he had, they had already been trained intensively and were fit and motivated. he only had to choose a formation and get across some tactical ideas. indeed when he did have to deal with players for a long time, he managed with brazil, but with portugal, one of the favouirtes for euro 2008, he failed lsoing at the quarter finals.

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  • 221. At 12:16pm on 10 Feb 2009, GoosePundits wrote:

    Mourinho built a squad that was hard, efficient, and could grind out 1-0 wins.

    Scolari has previously managed players with alote more skill and flare with the odd trick thrown in. There are none of them at Chelsea and he was scuppered at the last by City in trying to secure the skill of Robinho.

    Other then playing the same formula as Mourinho it seems there is no other plan that that set of players can execute, and thus why Scolari lost his job.

    Fergusons words at the start of the season about their ageing squad struggling to achieve anymore seems to be coming true

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  • 222. At 12:20pm on 10 Feb 2009, lochee_celtic wrote:

    "once the tide of fans' opinion turns it is almost impossible to reverse."

    The manager of Glasgow Celtic has managed to turn it around to an extent although to be honest the same people who want rid of Wee Gordan are the same people who did not want him in the job in the first place.

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  • 223. At 12:25pm on 10 Feb 2009, jakecolingill17 wrote:

    lets face it.. mourinho was a one off, having sacked him we are nothing to wot we were and man utd are the dominating team.
    we cant keep comparing to mourinho.

    chelsea need to bring in a manager who the fans can relate to more. not some manager from far and wide countries.
    gianfranco should be manager, yes hes inexperianced at chleseas level but the point is that he loves the club and he would want to win at all costs. scolari clearly lacked the desire and belief to ever be a success. Zola would be a breath of fresh air.

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  • 224. At 12:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, gc wrote:

    Under Mourinho Chelsea played a lot like under Scolari. There was a big difference though, they often pulled out the big goal and often were somehow able to defend against crucial goals. They also never played that poorly against Manchester United and Liverpool though as they did in the last few weeks.
    They played very well under Grant too. If Avram would do it we should offer it to him.

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  • 225. At 12:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, kevthered83 wrote:

    At the start of the season I wasnt convinced Scolari would do a good job, the longer the season went on the better that prophecy looked. Scolari's days were numbered. i cant however understand why it wasnt done either before the transfer window or at the end of the season.

    Ranieri guided Chelsea to 2nd and beat an invincible Arsenal in the champions league. Mourinho won back to back titles. Grant was in the title race to the last day of the season. yet all sacked. Scolari has had a well known reputation ruined. It is widely known the purse strings are tightening at the bridge....probably doesnt help that Abramovich has to fork out compensation for sacking the managers every season!

    but who in there right mind will want to manage Chelsea and put a big reputation on the line after this? The only man I can see up for the job is Keegan...at least that way when he is doing a terrible job he will walk away rather than taking a huge compensation package

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  • 226. At 12:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, realityleak wrote:

    What a ridiculous decision -

    I am not a chelsea fan, Man Utd here - but I do remember back in the late 80's where United were almost relegated 3 seasons in a row after fergie took over in 1986. I think it took the removal of some of Atkinson's players and the famous F.A. cup run in 1989/90 to save fergie's job, and the rest is history.

    It took faith, loyalty and rebuilding a squad to restore United to the heights that they were used to and it will require the same patience from RA.

    This is the problem - in orer to have a long term goal you need long term vision - Chelsea haven't got it - Nor have Liverpool or Spurs or Portsmouth or Blackburn or any of the other premiership teams that remove their newly appointed managers after less than a season after not having backed them to the hilt with rebuilding the squad.

    Does anyone actually think that dressing room unrest after the change of manager doesn't affect the team. Big money Primadonnas wrecked Scolari. Chelsea would be best off getting rid of them first!

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  • 227. At 12:32pm on 10 Feb 2009, Katrina wrote:

    Think its sad that he didn't last longer. I think the players have a lot to answer for especially the senior players.
    The attitude of some players strutting around the pitch really stinks.

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  • 228. At 12:33pm on 10 Feb 2009, Dazz wrote:

    Post 74
    Mourinho?

    Anyone could have done what he did with all that cash.

    The only outstanding managers in the PL are/have been SAF, MON and Moyes. (And yes, quite probably Wenger too).

    Chelsea have done nothing but what money can buy.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    How many titles does Hughes look like he will win with all that money? None if you ask me.

    Truth is Mourinho was special. He won with Porto who had no money! How come people always forget this? It would seem English people value humility above talent. Yes the guy was a proud, irritating big mouth but hey! He was SPECIAL!

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  • 229. At 12:34pm on 10 Feb 2009, Dazz wrote:

    Abrahamovic was mad to have sacked Mourinho. That decision will haunt him for a long time to come. An owner who is not ready to stay in the shadows and who becomes uncomfortable if his manager seems more popular than him is always bad news for a football club.

    Put in perspective, the number iof trophies Mourinho won in the short time he was at Chelsea is unbelievable. Better even than Sir Alex's when measured against time.

    Yes he spent money, but then so did we, Tottenham, Liverpool and even Man. City (I am a united fan by the way) and who were his major purchases? Michael Essien and Didier Drogba.

    People who say Mourinho had money to spend and that was that are either mad or blind. Man City and Tottenham have spent like crazy and this is yet to be transformed into results on the field. Villa have not spent quite so much, but are performing fantastically.

    It all boils down to management. Mourinho won the CL with a Porto team whose budget is not greater than West Ham's (before the credit crunch).

    Show me how many other people have done thIS?

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  • 230. At 12:36pm on 10 Feb 2009, Betterlive wrote:

    STARTS AT THE TOP..

    Right lets say im a very rich Russian with cash to burn..

    1. Ill buy me a football team (the best)
    2. I do realize if im going to do this I have to also buy a winning manager.
    3. Now that Ive decided to buy a club Im going to have to stick to the principals.
    4. Therefore in the interest of what Im doing I have to be able to sack my manager every time he is not a winning manager.
    5. If I am NOT willing to do this I am not only being illoyal to myself but also to the fans themselves.
    6. Therefore Mourinho, Grant.. Scolari.

    This would be plausible if not for the fact that I still see Grant as a "winning" manager..
    Therefore it is probably as you say the "loss of Mourinho".

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  • 231. At 12:39pm on 10 Feb 2009, discoagogo wrote:

    Avaliable (unemployed) English Based managers;

    Tony Adams
    Dave Bassett
    Aidy Boothroyd
    Paul Bracewell
    Ian Branfoot
    Alan Buckley
    Neale Cooper
    Steve Cotteril
    Alan Curbishley
    Willie Donachie
    Iain Dowie
    Keith Downing
    Avram Grant
    Eddie Gray
    Ray Graydon
    John Gregory
    Steve Holland
    Ian Holloway
    Paul Ince
    Paul Jewell
    Roy Keane
    Kevin Keegan (OBE)
    Martin Ling
    Brian Little
    Maurice Malpas
    Gary Mcallister
    Jimmy Mullen
    David O'Leary
    Alan Pardew
    Darren Patterson
    Gary Peters
    Jan Poortvliet
    Andy Preece
    Jimmy Quinn
    Kevin Ratcliffe
    Andy Ritchie
    Bryan Robson
    Graham Rodger
    Glenn Roeder
    Leroy Rosenior
    Lawrie Sanchez
    Luiz Felipe Scolari
    Graeme Souness
    Nigel Spackman
    Stan Tenant
    Steve Thompson
    Gianluca Vialli
    John Ward

    Chelsea are spoiled for choice, there's no excuse for them not being able to find the right man this time.




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  • 232. At 12:41pm on 10 Feb 2009, newandyfan wrote:

    The judgement passed out to Scolari is a bit harsh, and too early, to say the least.

    The problem he has had is an ageing and underperforming squad that he has not had enough resources to change - unlike the special one.

    Think about it....

    Underperformering and ageing...Anelka (despite his 17 goals this season - flat track bully), Drogba (wants to go) and Ballack (past his best but at least a trier).

    Just not good enough for a title winning team.....Belletti, Alex, Kalou, Mikel, Malouda....

    Big Phil has had no choice but to use these players this season...and yet how many of these did he sign?

    Ok Deco was Phil's and he has not worked out but even so....

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  • 233. At 12:48pm on 10 Feb 2009, StevieGRocksmyworld wrote:

    For god's sake, will people stop writing the word pre-madonna. If you don't know what the saying means then don't use it!!!

    It's PRIMA DONNA.

    *Rant over*

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  • 234. At 12:58pm on 10 Feb 2009, ChelseaSaffer wrote:

    Hiddink? Not too sure about him! I mean, he's a brilliant manager to have full time! But having him coach russia as well? That's not really what we need at this point. We need someone that's gonna come in and exert himself on the team and lead from the front! How can hiddink do that when running a national team as well?

    Let's bring Avram Grant back, who knows, we might finish second & lose another champions league final. That would be more welcoming than where we are at this present moment!

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  • 235. At 1:01pm on 10 Feb 2009, DMS_chelsea_fan wrote:

    I agree with a lot of what's been said about Chelsea football club at the moment, however, Abramovich is right - it is time for a change. I can't believe how poorly we have played this season. Scolari may have been promised money and time, but he has had pretty much the same tools as Avram Grant had at his disposal last year. However, I don't think Scolari is fully to blame here - the main problem with Chelsea is that we have not played well since Steve Clarke left the club - he has been a massive loss! Ray Wilkins may be a "nice chap" but he's no Steve Clarke. How much success has he had as a coach/manager since he stopped playing? As team coach it is up to him to get 100% out of the likes of Ballack, Deco and Drogba - something he hasn't managed to do at all this year. Let's hope that Gus Hiddink is brought in asap along with some decent coaching staff who can get the best from the players we have left and get Chelsea back playing good inventive football once again.

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  • 236. At 1:03pm on 10 Feb 2009, sounesstablishment007 wrote:

    Ha ha! Just goes to show you can't buy success. Chelsea bought their way to the top and now the moneys not there, they can't win anything. Take note other Premiership fat-cats buying above their fan-base - you're next.

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  • 237. At 1:07pm on 10 Feb 2009, MickyDroyIsAGeezer wrote:

    Hmmmm...as a lifelong Chelsea fan, I'm getting the sinking feeling that Abramovich is the problem, not the solution.

    And before anyone gets into the whole 'without Abramovich's money...' spiel, it's as well to note that at the point that Roman came in, Chelsea were 2nd in the league. This was not a time of footballing problems, no matter what its financial woes were.

    The nub of the problem is that Mourinho left because he wasn't given complete control of team affairs. Think about it. Jose comes in, wins everything in sight - simultaneously managing to spank SAF's ass and charm him over a bottle of decent red - and Roman doesn't do the sensible thing and sit back and let the guy build a long-term structure.

    After JM left, Chelsea are now scrambling around for managers who are willing to let RA interfere with the team selections, transfers etc. What genuinely world-class coach - SAF, Mourinho, Wenger to list a few familiar names - would tolerate such a situation? They won't.

    It's instructive that the two names currently in the frame are Avram Grant and Guus Hiddink. Decent managers, but hardly world-beaters, and both are famously housetrained by Abramovich.

    Abramovich at the end of the day will end up getting the manager he deserves.

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  • 238. At 1:13pm on 10 Feb 2009, Limamema wrote:

    This is sad indeed. I really dont understand how Chelsea expects to win any trophy this year or ever. They have failed to understand that stability is a key factor for any successful team. Just look at Man U and Arsenal - the latters performance is not any better than Chelsea's but the Management is strongly behind Wenger and has even taken extra steps to alley the worries of the players by the statement of their CE that they would not be affected financially if they dont make CL next season. This in itself is a way of encouraging the players. I dont think I envy the next manager, as my people will say "its the same broom that is used to sweep away the foot mark of the first wife, that is used to sweep that of the second, the third and so on". The man was not given the slightest chance to make things right.

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  • 239. At 1:15pm on 10 Feb 2009, D_OFloinn wrote:

    Mourinho was sacked because he did not provide Abramovich with open free flowing football to watch.

    Big Phill started to bring that at the start of the season, and immediately Chelsea's defence began to look more vulnerable as a result. As goals leaked in, confidence fell and players like Terry and Cech looked only half the players they were two years ago. Without stability at the back, there was even more pressure on the attackers to outscore their opposition, and this exposed many of them as decidedly mediocre players.

    Half the current squad has no real hunger for success, and is quite happy to sit around collecting their paychecks each week. Scolari was given a mere fraction of previous Abramovich budgets, and his need for new players became so desperate he was willing to take a loan signing of a player Jose himself refused to play at his own club.

    The problem is the owner. He is a perfectionist to the point that he no longer has a grip on reality. He wants Jose's defensive stabilty, and the flair and goals of Scolari's early reign. He wants a team that is the best in the league in every area and has no discernable weaknesses. He wants this achieved without provided the funds for any top quality additions to the squad.

    Frankly, the only way he is going to see this imaginary team of his is if he relocates to Manchester and sits in the Stretford End once every other week.

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  • 240. At 1:17pm on 10 Feb 2009, collie21 wrote:

    What a load of tosh about motivation. Frankly if you paid me anywhere between 20 and 90 grand a week, not only would I be scoring 7 or 8 goals a game, I would also be making all the assists and saving the penalties too, and cleaning the refs boots if you want me to? Motivation? These idiots are paid way too much and are too stupid to be motivated.
    Mind you I suppose they reckon it's intelligent to get paid vast sums for doing nothing. Even 5 grand a week I will put in a full season for you and I am over 40, but not so used so I could do a giggsy I reckon.

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  • 241. At 1:19pm on 10 Feb 2009, thefartedone wrote:

    All the people who still belive Jose should return are living in a fantasy world, and they r Making chelsea worst then Newcastle every one remember how the fans forced the owner to bring back thier Favourite messiah Keegan and how the appointment backfired ! they became a loughing stock and chelsea is heading towards that direction.
    Mourinho is not a fool who thinks he can come back and change the fortunes of Chelsea, he had a good squad and unlimited funds when he arrived but things have changed when Kenyon started calling the shots on football matters, he convinced Roman to follow Real Madrid style and buy superstars to promote chelsea brand like M.U but Mourinho never agreed with his ideas and mourinho was against buying some players when kenyon agreed the deal by paying more then the market price for some players and Mourinho was in war with Frank enerstern ( latest developements shows mourinho was right to question his intentions)
    Chelsea can return to thier glory days only after they sack that bald headed Kenyon, or else every thing would end up in failure.
    M.U improved remarkably after kenyons departure and chelsea is sliding down under his influence. i think he is very good at convincing his Boss to do things according to his plans other then the Manager's Plan !
    How can they publish Photos of new jersy with Robinho's name even with out singing him?? only Kenyon could do that ..that says every thing about chelsea's Current situation.. MISMANAGEMENT !!
    Some one wrote about the consipiracy theory about the current situation related to Pompey and chelsea.. Scolari to step in man city and Hugh to pompey and Rijkard to chelsea !!! quite interesting right???? i think the media is playing big part in spreading gossips and rumours !
    Bottom line.. Mourinho is not coming back to Chelsea ,i think he is trying to re-build his reputation with Intermilan with out Big Funds and waiting for SAF to retire.

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  • 242. At 1:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, Sevenseaman wrote:

    Fans are in an overdrive to predict the arrival of a new manager at Chelsea. I do not think Chelsea are about to hire anyone soon. You can bet your last lean dollar that the club will just make do with Wilkins for quite some while.

    McNulty believes, fairly, but still an assumption, that Abramovich was not able to put up with lack of results and therefore looks for an immediate turnaround. Is one possible? Show me one manager who has the magic wand for Chelsea's travails.

    In my opinion the best manager in business is Guardiola at Barcelona. He inherited the outfit in Chelsea like position of chaos. The first thing he did on arrival was to ask those who wanted to leave just do that as he wanted only committed players. In one stroke of genius he established awesome team spirit among those who loved the team and cared to stay on.
    Look at the results in just half a season. Barcelona has never seen better days. Berdnt Schuster got the sack because he paled at the prospect of having to face a vibrant and marrauding Barcelona. The one at AC Milan has also done a good job of regrouping the team after the Italian scandal and big setback. Ancelotti is name, I think. There too it was a similar theme. Only the most committed stayed on. You got to admire those footballers, some of them world class. There are some who dont care to leave even for truckloads of lucre. At Chelsea I can see that kind of commitment only in Terry and Lamps.
    The point I am trying to make is that in a hard game like football where your limb and at times even life are at stake, loyalty and total commitment are the most indipensable qualities. Its not a game for the faintheart. Those who come for the easy buck get found out soon, but are able to carry on unhindered at the pleasure of similar ones in vital positions of authority. One could even smell a nexus.
    So who will come in. Fools walk in where angels fear to tread. Anyone who is ready to take his money while it is available could be appointed. In time the unholy clique could pursuade the boss to put his seal on a second rater, but I do not think AB is about to do that in a hurry this time. I hope he is a much chastened businessman, if not a committed footy lover and will not be easily persuaded to chase after a mirage. So Ray Wilkins, for some time to come.

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  • 243. At 1:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, United Dreamer wrote:

    I think back with fondness on Kenyon's proud boast of 10 years of success for Chelsea. How the mighty have fallen.

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  • 244. At 1:28pm on 10 Feb 2009, Isaac Hunt wrote:

    To say that Chelsea haven't taken a long term view is plain wrong. A large slice of Romans money has been invested in an absolutely superb facility at Cobham, another slice on making the Bridge a terrific if small stadium.

    In the Abramovich era the academy has been built and is doing pretty well. Results from these investments will take time.

    And to all the smug Man U "fans", it actually took a good ten years before you started seeing any real throughput from your academy.

    It should also be noted that Fergie actually built quite and old "horses for courses" team when he first took the reins.

    Man U fans possibly can't remember when you couldn't buy the league. However a lot of Chelsea fans can tell you about being in the second division , losing 6-0 to Rotherham in 1981 and QPR in 1986.

    Every so often the support even get on Fergies back, too old lost it etc etc. So cut the holier than thou and check your facts.

    I think that Roman realises that perhaps its time to rebuild. The academy has some decent youngsters who need a try Di Santo, Stoch and Mancienne are about ready. Mikel and Essien are younger than people realise. Lampard, Terry, Cech and Cole will form the core of whatever comes next. And there will be a summer clearout.

    Most clubs would kill for such a crisis.

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  • 245. At 1:41pm on 10 Feb 2009, Gavin_AM wrote:

    Personally, I can't wait now for Scolari to take over at Man City.
    Mark Hughes, your days are numbered!

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  • 246. At 1:44pm on 10 Feb 2009, windychris wrote:

    I am not surprised at the sacking of Scolari. Whether he deserved it depends on what he was told to deliver.
    Flowing, exciting football?
    A winning team mentality?
    Was he told to do this knowing there was limited funding?
    If the answer to the above is yes, then he has failed, so why not sack him?
    I expect there was no time limit set for Phil, who thought that he would eventually work his magic and not lose the critical matches while doing so.
    Unfortunately, the expectations of the owner and the fans are more than Phil can deliver in the time available.
    I bet he wishes that Michael Essien and Carvalho had been fully fit, because they would certainly have made a difference.

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  • 247. At 1:49pm on 10 Feb 2009, MorpethExile wrote:

    Sad to see - Rich Owner, no patience. Take heed Mark Hughes.

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  • 248. At 1:53pm on 10 Feb 2009, arundini wrote:

    Sack Kenyon !! Who appointed Grant, Scolari, then quickly decided he had made the wrong choices - after getting rif of Mourinho ????

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  • 249. At 1:53pm on 10 Feb 2009, MDWolf wrote:

    Does Abromavich really take that much of an interest? Or are football fans and club owners simply too fickle and impatient these days?

    What if fans and owners had been like this say 20 - 25 years ago? Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn't have kept his job very long!!!

    I'm not a big fan of Scolari - but was he sacked for the right reasons?

    McNulty and others talk about Scolari not being able to step from Jose Mourhino's shadow - but let's get some realism here....

    I like Jose Mourhino, but he can't be given the credit for Chelsea's brief (yes, brief) success. The backbone and foundation for that team was laid by Ranieri - Jose was simply given a limitless pot of money to add to it.

    I think if anything, the constant sacking of managers for anything less than instant success just gos to prove that club owners actually know very little about football and that it' simply not a case of throwing money at it to win things!

    It's easy to blame the manager - much easier than blaming the players, who deserve most of the criticsm!

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  • 250. At 1:55pm on 10 Feb 2009, BlueLondoner1905 wrote:

    Good article.

    True he is a gent, but sadly being polite and well mannered does not bring you success in this game.

    I am a big Chelsea fan and must admit I was filled with optimism after seeing us crush Portsmouth back in August on the opening day of the season. Sadly that optimism rapidly faded. And contrary to some reports, it hasn’t been the last few weeks; it has been since September, when we lost the invaluable Steve Clarke to West Ham. This I believe was a catalyst in our slump in form, which of course prompted the loss of our extraordinary unbeaten home run. And when we lost that, we lost a sense of fear in our opposition and maybe lost a bit of belief in ourselves.

    When I think back I still struggle to comprehend the departure of that infamous Portuguese egomaniac. He did raise the bar for us, and now that bar is at a set standard, not only from the fans point of view, but for the uncompromising board who have ruthlessly waved the pistol at a growing list of managers now (all good ones it must be said) and inevitably shot themselves in the foot in the process.

    We will not replace the memory of Mourinho until, as you say Phil, we replace our aging squad with those who have not crossed his path.

    Ironically, I do agree with the decision of the board yesterday, but do not see where our next 'Special One' is going to come from. I am concerned for the future of my club, and that the Chelsea era of dominance has passed.

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  • 251. At 2:02pm on 10 Feb 2009, RampantRed1138 wrote:

    I don't think it's fair to say Scolari wasn't given a chance to show what he could do.
    He said he didn't want to buy anybody, yes he was only able to sell players in order to buy, but he said he had little need to buy anyone.
    His tactics were predictable and limited and he didn't seem to have the confidence of the players.

    I don't agree with this Hiddink thing, to have a manager in for 3 months seems pointless, might as well just use the caretaker.
    If Hiddink is good and Chelsea get success, it will be damaging to them if he leaves at the end of the season. Either get a long term manager noe or wait until the end of season

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  • 252. At 2:07pm on 10 Feb 2009, derekthegrumpycleric wrote:

    I'm not a Chelsea fan but I do feel sorry for "Big Phil" he appears to be yet another manager being sacked because "star" players on huge pay packets aren't delivering adequate performances. ( Why don't dressing room revolts ever involve the players putting their hand up and,say, donating a week's wages to charity after a poor performance?)

    But from an outsider's view it seems that Phil struggled to change Jose Mourinho's squad & tactics without compromising team performance which IS his fault. Despite the Blues pushing United hard last season it was obvious the squad needed pruning and reshaping and surely Phil should have pressed R.A. for funds or sold on Didier D to buy fresh blood?

    For all the Blues riches their season has flopped since Essien's injury.

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  • 253. At 2:11pm on 10 Feb 2009, jonasheros wrote:

    Honestly I think sack Big Phil is a disgrace. The guy is a proven winner in domestic and international football. Yes Chelsea have had a few poor results but UTD only beat Stoke 1-0 and Hull scored 3 past us as well., Liverpool have had a bad few weeks as have Arsenal... But all are still in the cup (sorry Liverpool but it was a close one) and also I expect most to get to the semi's of the Champions league and maybe beyond (to face Barca in the final).

    Typical Chelsea, never happy with what they have even though its more than most other clubs. (Mourinho how many trophies? Grant just missed out on becoming a hero (thank you JT) and even Ranieri.
    I wonder how much "influence" Abramovich has over the Russian FA to get Hiddink. Maybe a new stadium or training facility? I can see a day that Peter "biggest club in the world by 2015" Kenyon has been through every Manager available and still not pleased Roman.

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  • 254. At 2:21pm on 10 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    think its worth noting that alot of people think that mourinho left coz he couldnt have full control... which sparks, for me atleast the current situation at anfield with rafa, say wot u like about rafa, but the mans got his head in the right place n is well with his rights to demand it that way. mourinho left, coz he didnt get that n look at the team now... n it worries me, as i have sed on numerous occassions that if rafa goes we are left with a whole new rebuilding process.

    as for the tripe about his buys (benitez), if mourinho had a fraction of wot he did have to spend at chelsea he would more than likely got way more flops in, infact i think his record would have faired alot worse, he still has his legacy in kalou, malouda, boularouhz, ferriera... even ashley cole is being regarded as a flop on here right now.

    the press, phil included are quick to jump on the benitez band wagon n accuse his buys as a reason for him not have sole control of transfers, but are quick to point out that jose was treated unfairly wen he demanded it n was sacked. plus, roman is the prime example why a football nobody should stay out of football affairs, fine to come in with money to make more money, but to try n choose who comes in with no knowledge of anything remoetely football is shockin, n then look at liverpool, we have yank owners, who seriosly just dont kno jack about football, even less id argue than roman himself

    bit off subject but i thought id add it on here :P

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  • 255. At 2:27pm on 10 Feb 2009, KOLOFORKING wrote:

    As an Arsenal fan I was so upset when Abramovic turned up! It was the end of a fantastic period of Viera / Keane rivalry and supremacy in the PL. But I have to say I thought Ranieri and Mourinho both bought intelligently. They didn't go down the Kaka chasing superstar route that city seem to be going down. The Mourinho / Terry dressing room was a brilliant one and although I'm very glad I didn't have to watch their football every week because it was paint drying you have to give them massive respect for back to back titles.

    Abramovic has shown a serious lack of class sacking Mourinho and then sacking Scolari and has proved that you can't buy success for any sustained period. No one with that much money is ever going to understand how to properly defer to their managers infinitely superior footballing genius. In the end, it just won't work. .... In the end!

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  • 256. At 2:43pm on 10 Feb 2009, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    So Ladies and Gentlemen, it would appear Guus Hiddink is the target to take over until the end of the season.

    Are you happy with that Chelsea fans? A brilliant coach but - initially at least - a temporary solutiuon.

    If Hiddink is a success, imagine the pressure on Chelsea (and Hiddink) to make this appointment full time. I suspect they are more than happy to take that chance.

    In some respects, the Premier League is the final frontier for Hiddink after his successes at club level in Europe and around the world at international level.

    I personally believe he would be a superb appointment, and surely he would take the job permanently if he wins silverware?

    Let me know your thoughts - not just Chelsea fans.

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  • 257. At 2:43pm on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    answer to comment 151

    I thought is was pretty obvious, but i'll spell it out to you. It is not about Roman pulling the plug, it is about someone buying the club from him. We already know there is Middle East consortium waiting in the wings to pounce, that has been clearly reported in several business journals.

    New ownership means a new plan, new vision, new investment, new culture, new management and this is what Chelsea needs, we can't go on acting like some banana republic football club.

    Like it or not, there will always be buyers for Chelsea, the club is situated on prime real estate and in a part of London internationally famous in its own right, and incredibly popular with wealthy citizens from the Middel East, believe me when I tell you there is huge interest for investors in Chelsea. This mad paranoia that the club is dependent on Roman's money is rubbish, we just need someone else's money.

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  • 258. At 2:43pm on 10 Feb 2009, Mel0dymaker wrote:

    A lot of negativity. I'm surprised so many chelski fans are all ready saying the champions league is not win-able. I'd have to point you to the last time one of the BIG 4 didn't finish top 4. Think twas liverpools last CL cup win.

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  • 259. At 2:44pm on 10 Feb 2009, Gangsta Agger wrote:

    Does this "bring back the special one" thing kind of reminds anyone of newcastle and the messiah?
    Or is it just me?

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  • 260. At 2:51pm on 10 Feb 2009, Gilo wrote:

    Avram Grant was a whisker away from being Chelseas most successful ever manager in one season. Deserved to edge the CL final over 120 minutes, and missed the title by 1% edge United had from Ronaldo's class.

    Back in August they looked like running away with it, free scoring, Deco praised, Anelka firing.

    Drogba's return to fitness was the start of their blip in form. He is arrogant, past his best, and I would not want him at my team Everton.

    Recent gutsy moves from Moyes dealing with Anichebe shows he'd never sign a player with so much arrogance, however, good he is.

    Great managers pick 'teams'...same reason why he never signed Joey Barton or Bellamy, and why we sold Rooney.

    The best manager in the league after SAF/Wenger...

    oh and we didnt sack him for finishing 17th and falling out with Rooney.

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  • 261. At 2:51pm on 10 Feb 2009, phil wrote:

    Scotspur - As a Man U supporter I well remember being back-heeled in to the old 2nd division in 1974 by Denis Law of all people. I also remember United being the best supported club in the land year after year even when we had had to wait 26 years between championships. Please dont make a bad day worse for yourselves by even thinking of suggesting that United fans are all fickle glory-hunters, leave that to the under12 threads that dominate 606 who know no better.....

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  • 262. At 2:58pm on 10 Feb 2009, karl_C wrote:

    Here are some of the options Chelsea have:

    Frank Rijkaard: Probably the fans’ favourite (apart from you know who) to take over; has a history of winning at the highest level (two La Liga championships with Barcelona, the Champions League in 2006, two Spanish Supercups), advocates the style of football Chelsea fans (and the owner) want to see, and mixes young players with more experienced players in his teams. Hhis career has taken an unpredictable path, but he must feature high on the list.

    Guus Hiddink: Great international record of making vast improvements to teams from all around the world (South Korea, Russia, Australia), but hasn’t managed a club side in fifteen years. So a similar track problem to what they had with Scolari.

    Carlo Ancelotti: Excellent record at Milan, would help cement Chelsea’s bid for the Champions’ League, having won in it twice and been runner-up once. He could seriously help establish Chelsea as a force in Europe. However, he’s only ever managed teams in Italy (and only ever played in Italy), and he would probably continue signing and playing old players like he has done at Milan.

    Roberto Mancini: Won three consecutive Scudetti with Inter Milan and the Coppa Italia with Lazio and Fiorentina. Strong track record of success everywhere he goes. But again, he has only managed in Italy.

    Jose Mourinho: Well, he would be the fans’ favourite, but he might struggle to replicate the success of his first spell, and it nothing changed regarding Abramovich signing pressuring him to sign players he doesn’t want, what will be the point?

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  • 263. At 3:03pm on 10 Feb 2009, michaeltherover wrote:

    Absolutely disgusting but not particulary surprising given the fact you have a dictator of an owner, from a country with the longest line of ruthless dictators ever.

    I can't believe this. I don't understand who would take the Chelsea job now unless they can 100% gurantee that the will win all the trophies whilst playing brazillian football and not overshadowing the owner with their popularity. Anyone who takes the job would have to be mad.

    I feel sorry for Chelsea fans that they have an owner like Abromavich, I'm sure many of the level-headed of fans will absolutely sick to death with what Abromovich is doing to your club. I don't hate Chelsea but I do hate Abromovich so I hope Chelsea finish 5th with no trophies.

    Good luck to Big Phil. He was actually beginning to make Chelsea likeable to the neutral like myself.

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  • 264. At 3:05pm on 10 Feb 2009, soccerlifer wrote:

    I can't believe some people here are blaming lack of money for Chelsea's failings under Scolari. This from a club that has spent well over 200 million building a squad over the last four seasons or so. The likes of Everton and Villa should complain about money, definitely not Chelsea who signed Bosingwa and Anelka for 15 million apiece in the last 12 months. Money isn't the problem at Chelsea, it's how to spend it wisely. Buying players at the tail end of their careers - as with Ballack, Deco and Shevchenko - is no way to build for the future. Then again, Chelsea under Roman Abramovich is about the here and now. Mourinho was great at Chelsea but he also had is key players at their sharpest - Drogba, Essien, Lampard, Carvalho, Terry and Cech. Hard to say that about the same players today.

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  • 265. At 3:05pm on 10 Feb 2009, Mawejje wrote:

    Though am a Chelsea fan, this opinion is based rather on football as a game. Sacking Big Phil as he is commonly refered to by many May not necessarily things for Chelsea especially at this moment in time when the club has critical matches to play, what chelsea needs is to groom young players who are still in prime age and stop over relying on aging players who play who are on deminishing marginal returns. The likes of Ballack, Anelka, Deco, Dragba and the others who are already 30 plus need to be laid off but this doesn't mean that I belong to the same school of thought with Arsen Wenger that teenagers should be paraded to run the show during crutial games. Scholari deserved some time to be condemed...J Mawejje

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  • 266. At 3:06pm on 10 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    it'll b great to c guus here i think, but ill echo a few chelski supporters thoughts here too, having him for 3 months is a little daft in my opinion, may as well leave it to the caretaker who has worked week in week out with these players, it'll proably take guus that long to get to kno the players anyway.

    i dont think he'll stay on after the season ends, n if he did, if i wer a chelsea fan then id not b happy with him juggling the prem with a russia side, the prem is arguably a much much much more intense league than the dutch league, plus the press wil just crucify him if at any point he messes or rather his players mess up a fixture after an international game, it'll all b about how he was thinking about russia n not the chelsea team... mark my words.. i can c phils article now

    HIDDINK GETS A HIDING!

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  • 267. At 3:07pm on 10 Feb 2009, Ezenwa wrote:

    As a hardcore Chelsea supporter who has suffered terribly during the course of these past weeks following Chelsea's poor run,i am even of the opinion that the sacking of Scolari was too belated. Given this scenario, i find it difficult for anybody that thinks well of Chelsea to consider yesterday's event as a surprise. In fact, the only surprise was that the hammer was too late in coming resulting in Chelsea plummeting to the 4th position in the league and at the danger of loosing out from Champions League position. The truth remains that Chelsea needed to get somebody who can take the team to the desired height. Scolari showed very clearly that he was not the man. He lacked the tactics that could have turned things around for the team and also, lost the dressing room. How could such a person continue to guide Chelsea to the promised kingdom?. Yes, money may have contributed to Mourinho's success. However, the truth must be told that apart from money, Mourinho has the capability of driving a team forward and getting the players do what he wanted. In this case, Scolari couldn't measure up, and the worse of all, was his intransigence about team tactics. Again, how could Chelsea prosecute some of their home matches playing a lone attacker with Scolari finding it difficult to play a two man attack even at home?.That accounted for why several teams came to Stamford Bridge and held sway. Only Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal or even Aston Villa fan will see the sacking of Mourinho as a surprised.

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  • 268. At 3:09pm on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    If it is true that Hiddink is to be appointed on a temp management role then it just confirms that Roman wants to sell. It is just more evidence of his reluctance to make any more long term investment in the club. Hiddink is doing him a favour to keep igh with CL qualification.

    How on earth is another short term managerial appointment going to motivate players when they know there will be yet another manager at the beginning of next season. The players in Chelsea squad must be scratching their heads. Every decision Chelsea make now is short term, actions speak louder than words, and this club is definately for sale!

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  • 269. At 3:11pm on 10 Feb 2009, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Karl_C. Your point about Hiddink not managing at club level in 15 years is incorrect.

    He took PSV Eindhoven to the Champions League semi-final in 2005, when they were desperately unlucky to lose to AC Milan.

    Hiddink left in 2006, but in the period before had coached Australia to the World Cup finals in Germany.

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  • 270. At 3:11pm on 10 Feb 2009, soccerlifer wrote:

    @karl_c (262)

    Re: Your comment:

    Hiddink: "but hasn?t managed a club side in fifteen years."

    brush up on your history, mate. Hiddink was in charge at PSV between 2002 and 2006, taking them within a whisker of the Champions League Final in 2005 and winning 2 Dutch titles (03 and 05).

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  • 271. At 3:12pm on 10 Feb 2009, brimar wrote:

    The sacking of Scalari is yet another frustrating episode in the life of Chelsea chasing a Manchester United dream. The man responsible for the outrageous statement that Chelsea would take over from united is still there on an inflated salary. His name PETER KENYON the puppet and yes man. He is the one that should be sacked.

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  • 272. At 3:20pm on 10 Feb 2009, footy_analysis - play beautifully - wrote:

    Scolari needed another season to build the team in the style he wanted and with the players he felt he needed.

    If Chelsea want to build a long term successful club, they need stability and sacking managers after a few months I don't think will get them anywhere.

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  • 273. At 3:23pm on 10 Feb 2009, Roman Philosopher wrote:

    271.......totally agree

    but why is it that the Kenyon's of this world always remain unscathed in life?

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  • 274. At 3:34pm on 10 Feb 2009, Kundimagic wrote:

    good article, he was always on a race against time but as a Chelsea fan I am used to this situation. Big phil is a quality manager, but just wasnt used to the day to day running of a major european football club. Having taken a day or so to take in the sacking, I do feel that it was the best idea. The whole team had lost confidence and that is down to the manager, not the players. It was the same situation with the England team, Capello has the same players that McLaren had, but because of the confidence he has instilled in them, Fabio's men are playing better than they ever have done. This is the same as Chelsea, we need someone to come in, stop the defensive errors, and give the attacking players the confidence to play with freedom and to the best of their ability. These are the same players that narrowly lost the league and European Cup last year, so they havent lost that ability overnight. They are also the same players who were playing with great freedom only 5 months ago, tearing up opposition in the league.

    I do think Hiddink is the right choice for Chelsea, has the proven record and can obviously inspire lesser players to give everything for him (see S.Korea, Australia and PSV). Just the sort of manager we need!

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  • 275. At 3:55pm on 10 Feb 2009, karl_C wrote:

    #269 and #270. OK I missed Hiddink's time at PSV, but the fact remains that he is essentially an international manager. like Scolari.

    So effectively Chelsea would be trading one intenrational managerfor another.

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  • 276. At 4:06pm on 10 Feb 2009, dandolinho wrote:

    think they need a charismatic unknown, they a few months too late for zola who would have been ideal, i mean look at pep guardiola at barca... he aint doin too bad with a proppa football club, with waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more expectations on his head n he took over a team with no self esteem too... just a thought on all this. just coz chelsea have money doesnt mean they command the worlds best, n the worlds best still dont guarantee jack atm

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  • 277. At 4:18pm on 10 Feb 2009, Gilo wrote:

    There used to be 38 games in a season. We are an era where fans and chairman expect you to win the Champions League before the competition has even reached the qualifying stage.

    Portsmouth, Spurs, Newcastle, Blackburn, Sunderland, are all only 2 wins away from 'talking' up about Europe chances. West Ham are evidence that even after half a season that from being 'doomed' by all the bloggers in September, Zola now is being hailed for the Chelski job.

    What a difference 3 points can make...

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  • 278. At 4:32pm on 10 Feb 2009, mariopinco wrote:

    The true is: Roman Abramovich is an stupid idiot that do not understand nothing about football. He looks like a spoiled child playing a PC or playstation game. Good football doesn't come like he wants. Liverpool and MAN U , both have been over bad periods but now they are solid teams. Arsenal team is not good enough in the premier league and they have a briliant squad, why they don't sack its manager? Scolari is a world champion and knows a lot about football and is a great man. In my opinion the problem on Chelsea is Roman Abramovich, Jose Mourinho was luck because had a lot money to spend in that time. I hope Scolari get a position in a medium or lower team so he will be able to show how good he is! Shame on you Roman Abramovich.

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  • 279. At 4:35pm on 10 Feb 2009, Outswinger wrote:

    Chelsea is paying for the arrogant, unappreciative dismissal of Avram Grant.

    He took over a team which had been struggling under the great Mourinho. He was unspectacular, but he turned the team's fortunes around, to where it challenged for the Premiere League title in a close finish to the season, and came with in one kick (and a goalpost) of winning the Champion's League (closer than Mourinho ever got with Chelsea).

    Sacking someone who had put in such a performance displayed a sad lack of appreciation, and left one to wonder what exactly the club expected, or what it wants - someone to do the impossible?

    Something is wrong with their attitude. They didn't even have the regard to let Scolari finish the Euro finals with Portugal before announcing his move to Stamford Bridge.

    And sacking Grant was like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Bearing in mind the odds he had to overcome, he showed clearly he could handle the job, and could have brought success to the club with a little more time, and just a bit more luck.

    He should have been given his head, and a full season, to prove himself. But Chelsea got too impatient, and shot themselves in the foot.

    I suspect the club will take some time to find itself again, unless, of course, they issue a suitable apology to Grant, and bring him back to pick up where he left of, and pick up the pieces.

    He has already shown that he is the man for the job. On the other hand, there's no guarantee about what else is available, as we've seen with Scolari.

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  • 280. At 4:50pm on 10 Feb 2009, 606 is Best wrote:

    Scolari deserved to get fired, his tactic was inferior, under his term chelsea didnt beat for the first time Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal instead they lost all games for the first time to big 3, its obvious chelsea should never hire again a coach who plays with just 1 striker and more defense, we might need tactic like alex ferguson with all atack midfield and 2 strikers.

    If not Zola and Di Matteo bring Roberto Mancini.

    i like Frank Rijkaard but i doubt he plays with same old 4-3-3. but if Frank Rijkaard bring barcelona style with 4-1-3-2 it will be just fine.

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  • 281. At 4:56pm on 10 Feb 2009, Footballer_BR wrote:

    Scolari is one of the best managers Brazil has ever produced. He gained notoriety when he led Grêmio - with a somewhat limited squad - to an outstanding performance in the Brazilian League.

    He is very respected in his home-country and he is my personal choice to succeed Dunga in the Seleção. His mistake was to believe that his personal qualities could overcome the obvious problems Chelsea has – changing the manager will clearly not be a solution here. A Team that is driven by greed can not possibly solve problems in the field by hiring a new coach.

    The way he was treated is a little bit unfair in my opinion – arrogance leading the way, as expected when you’re dealing with the type of person that views a football club as an investment. I’m sure the dismissal package will bring some comfort, though…

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  • 282. At 5:03pm on 10 Feb 2009, panucci wrote:

    The prompt sacking of Avram Grant and the blind pursuit of the now ever-eluding prize of Europe has prompted the board to make one of the most difficult appointments in Chelsea's history.

    The club just had to win something, something really big to banish the ghosts of that horrible Moscow penalty kick miss... It's too sad that such a fine manager like Felipe Scolari has to leave so early...

    Chelsea were even stronger last season than the Mourinho years... hard to beat in 90 minutes. All too often the manager's pinpointed as the lone scapegoat... this has to change.

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  • 283. At 6:02pm on 10 Feb 2009, Spooks123 wrote:

    I think the appointment of Hiddink is a great move by Chelsea - I wonder how long Wilkins will last? Grant along side Hiddink would be the 'dream team' - bring it on!!

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  • 284. At 6:16pm on 10 Feb 2009, Ricter wrote:

    The Chelsea "era"? A few years of success is hardly an era.

    The team consists of very-expensive, aging stars (Ballack, Drogba, A. Cole, Lampard, Deco, Carvalho, etc). There's no young players or quality youth system.

    Roman's model of a club is for short-term success and without a huge injection of cash, the short term success will be followed by years of mediocrity.

    Scolari was the scape goat for the owner's flawed business model and hype-ego.

    Unless Chelsea spend big or make some shrewd investments this Summer, then you'll see Hiddink's head on the chopping block this time next year.

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  • 285. At 6:23pm on 10 Feb 2009, The_Toonster wrote:

    I see they're still censoring any comment which suggests the article writer is poor in any way. (Which we all know he is) anyways, real comments... Scolari seemed to have lost the dressing room if you read between the lines... it was only a matter of time.

    Though Chelsea fans could do to learn from the Newcastle ones about creating banners trying to get rid of the manager... learn from the pros ;-)

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  • 286. At 6:57pm on 10 Feb 2009, Symeon wrote:

    Great article Phil. I am particularly intrigued by your argument regarding the spectre of Mourinho being partly responsible for the heightened expectation placed on subsequent Chelsea managers, which may however be difficult if not altogether unattainable. I also believe that Chelsea, like most big time football clubs, are in search of a consummate magician who has very limited time to consistently demonstrate he really does have that oomph factor, or is it the X-factor?
    As I read your article though, my mind kept going back to the argument I had with a Manchester United supporter while we watched United take on West Ham. He teased me that Liverpool haven't won the premiership for ages. I responded that he should start praying that sir Alex Fergerson lives forever! It is a mark of the utmost respect have I have for the great Scot. But if Chelsea are struggling to cope with the high expectation brought about by the successes of Mourinho, I look forward to the drama that most surely follow the post Fergerson era with the same interest I have shown the post Dalglish era at Liverpool. Magicians, present yourselves, I say!

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  • 287. At 8:08pm on 10 Feb 2009, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    I don't really feel sorry for Scolari. They don't exactly walk into a EPL without knowing what they are about to get themselves into, do they? They know what is expected of them, and they get paid time for their 'failure' after they are sacked. All managers get the sack at one point or another in their careers. There are two ways about it: Either Chelsea style where you sack as soon as possible, giving JM, for example, no time to undo all the good work he did, or as in Arsenal, wait until AW undoes all the good work he did over the years, and then sack him. All big clubs do it the Chelsea was. Look at Capello, Del Bosque, Rijkaard, Criuff, Shuster etc. Soon as the manager runs out of ideas, or does not follow the board's vision, he goes.

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  • 288. At 8:37pm on 10 Feb 2009, BillBobJoeKenny wrote:

    CHELSEA SUPPORTERS GROUP SPOKESPERSON DAVID JOHNSON
    "Inevitable is the word that sums it up. He had been going backwards this season. He's a nice enough guy but just couldn't cut it.
    "We need someone in there to buck the players up because one or two of them haven't been putting it in for the club."




    Well I guess that sums it up, he was forth in the PL, seven months into his first year. This is clearly the throwaway club of the I want it NOW! generation. Lets throw lots of money at it, buy some leading names, treat people like sh*t and we will be successful.

    The way big Phil has been treated is a disgrace, and I think it says more about the type of club that Chelsea is and aspires to be than anything else. Reflective perhaps of the nouvo riche that inhabit the apartments in that part of West London.

    Mind you in recent years Chelsea do not have a good record of treating good managers well, perhaps that is what has lead them to where they are today?

    I hope they win nothing again this season, just to show that money cannot buy everything.

    Chelsea fans hold you head in shame.

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  • 289. At 9:12pm on 10 Feb 2009, Jayceey wrote:

    It is very sad that big Felipe was sad just after 7 months as a Chelsea manager. While time was not on his side money was't either.
    That is why all talks of Mourinho should not come into this. Yes Mourinho won trophies during his time but at same time Chelsea might be considered to have bought them looking back at the amount of transfer money made available by Roma Abramovich. Currently those players are no longer what they were and therefore the perforemance expected from the manager with same players were grossly over the bar.
    Winning in all walks of life requires solid foundations over some period of years. The same is true of football and so Chelsea fans must forget about Mourinho and move forward with the hard reality of life i.e that they cannot win trophies always and that it demands investment in time.
    Finally the chief financier (Roma Abramovich) must understand that sacking managers and bringing new ones might not necessarily be the answer to the problems and that rather it might foster instability in the management of the club. To be honest, it can creat short-termism and even agency problems as managers come to understand that they will be sacked if results are short of the owners expectations.

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  • 290. At 9:13pm on 10 Feb 2009, Culo wrote:

    John Terry, ""He had my full support, that's for sure, and I'm sure two or three of the other players would say the same."

    This implies that the rest of the squad had not given their manager their full support and shows a shocking lack of respect and discipline within the Chelsea dressing room. I, along with most of the country I suspect, presume that Drogba and the ever-whinging Anelka were amongst the stirrers.

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  • 291. At 9:41pm on 10 Feb 2009, Super_Frank wrote:

    Firstly,

    i would like to point out that actually Arnesen has produced some good youth. I saw Miroslav Stoch play for i believe 10 minutes in the game against stoke. In this game he out in 2 crosses. The rest of the game Malouda and Kalou didnt deliver a single cross. Also i would point out chelsea could have scored twice, both off of his crosses. Yes i know this isnt an arguement to say he is a good player, but he is know for his technical ability and he isnt afraid to run at defenders. Surely this is a reason to play him ahead of Kalou and Malouda.

    I think there are many reasons as to the downfall of Scolari. Many people have said that he could not cope with the brutality of the Premier league, which goes hand in hand with the fact that for around 2 months chelsea were flying and it has slowly gone downhill. I think that this bears close comparisions with the fact that scolari would take charge of players for around 2 month (World Cups/ Euros). I think that considering all his sucess chelsea thought he would be the man to bring sucess. If you look at scolari's previous teams he had never played with 2 strikers. He never even attempted it with his famous brazil team.

    Drogba played a huge role in scloaris depature. I believe we should get rid of him now. I thought the final straw was the CL final. I cannt understandwhy we need him. Look at his game against Man U. I havent seen a £30m striker play that badly for a very long time. I am afraid to say that Drogba plays for himself and therefore when the going gets tough he would rather hide. I can also vouch again for Mr.Arnesen and say that Franco Di Santo could be a very good player.

    This is where Scolari arguably brought it upon himself. He did not play our youth. Apart from the most excetional "super subs" how many people can make an impact on a game when they only play for 10 minutes? If you are a 19/20 year old and mr scolari comes up to you and says " ok, 2-0 against liverpool. We have 8 minutes. I want you to score Hat-trick... GO" what chance do you have? We need to invest in young players.

    We also need to WINGERS. As much as people will say that we have 2 in the form of Kalou and Malouda they are not wingers. Wingers scare defenders. Wingers run at them and make them turn their backs. If i have you a list of all the Wingers of the top 4/5 clubs and asked every full back in the country who they would enjoy playing against. Kalou and Malouda just dont scare anybody. I like Quaresma. I think the BBC said that he is inconsistant. I would accept that as it says he might have a good game every 4 or 5 or 6. This would be better than both Kalou and Malouda put together.

    Chelsea need fresh blood.

    Mr Abramovich Thank you for all that you have done for chelsea. I still believe your heart is at the club. I think that fans are angry because of things that may seem your fault but really are not. Mr Kenyon. I believe you should step down. And use your over inflated salary to pay for my season ticket.

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  • 292. At 00:16am on 11 Feb 2009, tarquin wrote:

    I love the Chelsea fans interviewed on the radio, whinging that they want Mourinho back like they have some god-given right to him and the success he brought

    and now they're going to steal Russia's coach, even tho it'll apparently upset Abromavich's mates...not that I mind

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  • 293. At 03:42am on 11 Feb 2009, LFCGiant wrote:

    3 Points from me...

    1, It waqs a poor appointment in the first place- Scolari was an international coach for 6 years before and no real clue of the premier league.

    2, Scolari's signings were poor- kou can blame the Robinho mistake on Kenyon- but deco is a waste of time and the new Portugese signing only demonstrates his lack of knowledge.

    3, IF.. IF Scolari was going to win anything it would be a cup comp- similar to International knock out comps- so maybe time until the end of season would have been a better idea!

    I'm not complaining being a Liverpool fan though!!!

    Ps. The "Suprise" sacking was only a suprise becasue the media (including bbc sport) have had they're claws into Rafa for weeks and not seen the real story unfolding!.. well done you award winning journalists!

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  • 294. At 09:32am on 11 Feb 2009, ifarka wrote:

    im sorry alll this scolari was under jose shadow, scolari was hard done by ect ect ect.

    is very unrealistic!

    scolari was brought in to firstly manitain the standrds already at the club.

    secondly to restructure the squad.

    thirdly to bring a more fre flowing style to our play.

    but if we are honest he failed miserably in the first part of the remit, which in turn led to club questioning if was the right man to restructure.

    we enjoyed a more free flowing style in the honeymoon period, but after the first draw with spurs it was over.

    our subcequent form , our failure to break down quality sides and the gaping whole in scolaris tacticle capacity all led to the clubs decision.

    finaly all those who say , " well it took SAF five years before it worked"

    have seriously got that wrong im affraid .

    SAF DIDNT INHERIT THE QUALITY OF SQUAD LPS DID!

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  • 295. At 09:35am on 11 Feb 2009, Kapnag wrote:

    All this talk about Grant being mis-treated badly - WHERE WERE YOU LAST SUMMER?

    The "sack Grant" campaign was started in the media, taken on by the "fans" and concluded in Moscow. All because he wasn't as witty or entertaining as Mourinho in a press conference

    I'll never forget Chelsea's clueless minions chanting "you don't know what you're doing" at Grant halfway through a game they eventually won against Arsenal.

    Every interent blog, and newspaper article about Grant was about when he'd be sacked, not if.

    You get what you deserve

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  • 296. At 10:37am on 11 Feb 2009, Jack London wrote:

    Mourinho was very clever.

    He made sure that the Chelsea fans would always want the 'special one', and that made it impossible for them to move on.

    He was great for English football, the press loved him, chelsea fans loved him, and opposition fans loved to hate him, and he loved it all.

    Fabulous stuff. (I'm a Villa fan, but even I miss him)

    Only one problem as far as I can see.

    It's Abromovichs club, and he doesn't like people behaving like its theirs.

    And for all intents and purposes it was Mourinhos' club.

    In other words, the owner is easily led to Jealousy and has expectations/demands that exceed reality..

    That's a BIG problem.

    What do they say.....stupidity is repeating the same mistaken action whilst expecting a different result.

    or something like that.

    and so it goes round and round and round.

    What will he do if they don't make the top 4 this season ?

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  • 297. At 12:34pm on 11 Feb 2009, angelicFOOTBALLFAN wrote:

    I agree with the sentiments already expressed. The aging prima donnas on the field should be fired - never mind poor Scolari! has beens on the field deciding who leads the club - how poor is that!

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  • 298. At 1:25pm on 11 Feb 2009, Northern_Dancer wrote:

    Why all the credit to Grant all of a sudden? The man won nothing and couldn't get past Barnsley in the cup?

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  • 299. At 2:09pm on 11 Feb 2009, cpeskett wrote:

    Some facts:

    1. Chelsea were struggling to win games at the end of Mourinho's tenure (remember Rosenborg), and Mourinho was more and more becoming an embarrassment in the press. His total unwillingness to at least go half way with Abramovich over Ballack and Shevchenko made him seem petulent and childish. While he certainly did not set the PL alight, Sheva tried hard, and performed very well on many occasions - Drogba was the biggest recipient of that. Yet Mourinho froze him out. Yes, I believe that Mourinho did great things for Chelsea, but when he became more than the team, it was a problem.

    2. Grant was a good man but not a manager, especially for a PL/CL team. I believe the team did well IN SPITE OF his management, and probably only because Steve Clark was keeping them in tow. The best evidence for this was Grant's total lack of involvement during the CC Final against Spurs. It was JT giving the pep talk, and Grant just wandered around.

    3. Scolari's tenure started out reasonably well, but it became quickly obvious that Chelsea were struggling against the tougher teams. That seemed to sap the confidence in the new, more fluid style of play, and even the weaker teams became tough propositions. There did not seem to be a backup plan. Now, I think that this goes along with the general inability of all of the top PL teams to put away supposedly weaker opposition, but the fact that Scolari was not adapting to this weakened his position to an untenable state.

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  • 300. At 2:50pm on 11 Feb 2009, nando1301 wrote:

    Phil, this what the Brazilian blogs are saying about Scolari's departure: 1. Roman told Scolari he would have time and money to build a great squad that would win trophies AND play "the beautiful game", Scolari's mistake was to believe him. After a beautiful start of the season, the budget was drastically reduced. 2. No Robinho, no other Robinho equivalent to be hired. 3. The team started staying at "3-star hotels" to save money, players complained. 4. The big-name players questioned Scolari's style and methods: Peter Cech refused to train with Scolari's goalkeeper coach, Drogba became a shadow of what he was a year ago. Scolari was not backed by the club's management to confront his "rebel stars". 5. Scolari tried to shut out the big names from the squad and build a new team with the younger players, but he was forced to re-instate Drogba and Ballack. 6. Scolari's plan was to have a showdown at the end of the season and propose a total overhaul of the team. If they did not approve his plan, he would leave. They didn't wait.

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  • 301. At 2:50pm on 11 Feb 2009, gracook wrote:

    The biggest loss for Chelsea has been Steve Clarke. He was the link between the manager and the players, the one all the players respected - in short Mr Chelsea. I think its no coincidence that Chelseas downturn and West Hams upturn coincided wiht him leaving chelsea for west ham.

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  • 302. At 4:19pm on 11 Feb 2009, BaliChris wrote:

    Correct decision, nice chap but didn't produce the results.

    Now, somebody needs to deal with the many under-performing players. They have obligations which they are not meeting.

    Who's first, Drogba, Ballack, (or should Terry as captain be next to take responsibility?)

    And Kenyon ... bye bye!

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  • 303. At 04:25am on 13 Feb 2009, bimpta16 wrote:

    I, too, feel disheartened to see Scolari leave with such high expectations to bring Chelsea back into the spotlight, and in the end, exit in relative failure.

    Truly inspirational writing, Phil.

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