This weekend brought the end of the road for struggling Chelsea coach Andre Villas-Boas who was fired by Russian owner Roman Abramovich, marking the end of the eighth coach in nine years for The Blues. Villas-Boas was acquired by Chelsea for a three-year contract in June, after winning four trophies with Porto last season. His team’s streak of late was enough to can him before the season’s end, with only three wins in the last 12 total matches.
After incredible success with his native Porto, AVB was cast as a mini Jose Mourinho: a coach that could come in, restore a dynasty, and nab championships at will. AVB actually was as a scout for Mourinho between 2004-2007, who won five major trophies during that time.
But like Mourinho and the coaches that succeeded him, AVB came up short particularly in the Champions League, what seems to be of significant importance to Abramovich. The loss to Napoli in the first leg might have been the straw to break the camel’s back. The 3-0 victory against Bolton last weekend was little to stall fate he would face after losing to West Brom on Saturday.
Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his sympathy for the young Villas-Boas, noting that his experience at Porto should not be forgotten. Fergie also pointed out the tremendous pressure on young coaches to perform in a short time frame. While it might take several seasons for AVB to reach his potential, he unfortunately isn’t given that time.
The larger issue at hand is probably not AVB, who will likely return to soccer in the near future given his youth in the coaching arena, but instead the dynamic of Blues owner Abramovich and the fate of all coaches to be persuaded to Stamford Bridge. With an unsteady record from season to season, Chelsea can’t seem to secure the consistency to please an insatiable Abramovich.