Taking over Chelsea was always going to be a tough task and maybe AVB underestimated the task in hand. It was not just the expectations of the fans and them wanting to win and win in style or the pressure from on high but also the aggro from the players in the dressing room that he had to contend with.
He may have had success with Porto but being a young manager he still had a lot to learn and he may have been better of learning in more forgiving surroundings. Though in saying that he may not have faced such a learning curve as he did while at Chelsea if he had stayed at Porto, so it’s a little bit of a double edged sword.
Like after a major break-up, no matter how painful, there is always some good to come from it – as long as you learn from it that is. AVB made mistakes during his stint at Stamford Bridge. How he went about handling the players publicly I am sure was only a snap shot of what it was like on an everyday basis at the club. When it comes to the stats, in the Premiership, Mata – with 9 assists – leads the way for Chelsea, and then Ashley Cole with 6 and then Frank Lampard with 5.
Much was made of the non-picking of Lampard, but I agreed with AVB that Chelsea needed to start to faze him out, but I didn’t agree with how he went about it. Lampard is still very much an essential member of the team, like I mentioned he has contributed 5 assists and has scored 10 goals in 23 games.
In the end it seems player power killed off AVB. He had lost half the dressing room, but that only tells half the story. He had lost the “old guard” if you like, and they were key to Chelsea winning or losing. When it was clear they were not happy with the manager and were seemingly more than happy for him to go, they didn’t play. AVB tried to curb this but a bad atmosphere is not going to breed success.
Abramovich should have backed his manager as the manager is the one that should have out lasted the likes of Asjely Cole, Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba, but with the manager gone, they still have control, which just makes it a precarious place for the next
sucker manager. If AVB had of been backed then that would have sent out a message to the players to shut up and play or shut up and go. Chelsea could finish top of or just outside, which is going to be seen as a disaster, but if during the summer the right players came in and the right one were sold or left, then Chelsea would be a new younger, fresher more attacking team.
This far into the season, there is no doubt that AVB was in the process of drawing up his plans for next season and what players he would have wanted to be bought. I can never understand why a club will buy players in January that the manager wants, that is a part of the manager’s long-term plans, and then a few months later sacks the manager. When a new manager comes in he is going to have to work with another man plans for a short time while he tries to implement his own.
Did Abramovich do the right thing?
Really it all depends on who the next
sucker manager is. If they get someone in and Chelsea go on to win the League or get to the Champions League final next year, then Abramovich did the right thing, but if the next guy comes in and does as well as or, god forbid, worse than AVB then Abramovich would have made the wrong decision. Hey I was against Newcastle firing Chris Hughton and hiring Alan Pardew and look how that turned out!
Personally I think Roman Abramovich should have back AVB and not the players. There is one manager and eleven players on the field and it should really be the player/s that are accountable and not the manager. If new players are bought or tried out and things still don’t change then the attention should be turned to the manager.
When AVB was hired there was a lot made of his age, and the age of many of the current players. There were already stories being written before he had taken charge of a match, before a bad performance or loss and before a problem with a player occurred – in short the knives were already out and being sharpened.