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article imageOp-Ed: Where now for Chelsea FC?

By Vlad Bourceanu     Feb 11, 2012 in Sports
London - After the shambles of the last match's 2-0 loss against Everton, which the Chelsea Football Club manager Andre Villas-Boas called "the worst performance of the season", the question has to be asked: "where now for Chelsea FC?"
Rewind back a while.
A young Portuguese manager had arrived into town.
Fresh from having won a European trophy, he promised to bring good times to Chelsea Football Club.
If it is hard to tell who I'm actually talking about, don't worry - it could be either Jose' Mourinho, the Original Special One, or the current Chelsea FC manager, Mourinho's former head of opposition scouting, Andre Villas-Boas.
Mourinho had won the Champions' League before arriving at Chelsea. Andre had won "only" the Europa League. However, where Mourinho was in his forties, Andre was only 33 on arriving in London. Surely the child prodigy that AVB was being hailed as was going to bring the good times back to the London club that had been lacking since, well (apart from a Double-winning season with Ancelotti at the helm) his old mentor was in town?
Fast forward.
Barely less than a season after AVB's arrival, which was heralded with much fanfare and which made him, thanks to the £15m release clause he had in his previous contract with Porto, the most expensive manager ever signed, a run of several losses and draws to lesser teams on paper which are now leaving Chelsea in fifth place, most Chelsea fans are now calling for his dismissal.
So what went wrong?
What went wrong was the decision to dismiss Jose' Mourinho, the club's most successful manager, because of petty grievances with the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, and the frankly ludicrous decision to replace him with rookie Avram Grant.
What went wrong is that Mourinho continued to go from strength to strength while Chelsea lurched from one disastrous managerial appointment after another. What went wrong is that Chelsea have still not, after so many years, exorcised Mourinho's ghost, and, by sacking and replacing so many managers, have given rise to a dangerous culture of player power in the dressing room.
Ok. That's what you say went wrong, I hear you say. Where now for Chelsea FC, then?
Well, Jose' Mourinho might finally leave Real Madrid in the summer. If so:
Sack AVB now, bring in a caretaker manager who is experienced enough to take this team to 4th place in the table, and move heaven and earth to re-appoint Mourinho in the summer.
Alternatively, if no good enough caretaker is available, sack AVB and bring in the unexpectedly available former England manager Fabio Capello, who has all the credentials necessary and more to manage Chelsea. As a disciplinarian, his appointment would have the added bonus of finally quelling any sign of player power in the dressing room.
If I was Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, I would make an approach for Mourinho now and make him a take-it-or-leave-it offer. If he takes it, go for Option 1 above. If not, appoint Capello as soon as humanly possible.
In any case, sack AVB now. The man may have some talent, but, at 34, the job has clearly come far too quickly for him, and, crucially, he shows no sign of learning as he goes. He therefore has to go now.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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