Is Time Running Out for Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea?

February 22, 2012 - by mosesbet · Filed Under Sports News Comments Off on Is Time Running Out for Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea? 

Skip back to the end of last season and 33-yr Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas looked like he was about to set the football managing industry alight.

4 trophies in his first season (including the Portuguese Super Cup, Primeira Liga, UEFA Europa League and Portuguese Cup), AVB looked just as good, if not better then Mourniho after his 2004 Champions League success with Porto when he was 41.

Skip ahead just 6 months at Chelsea FC and now AVB looks under extreme pressure, with a lack of backing from owners, players and most importantly, the fans.

Andres always knew had a difficult job when he resigned from Porto in June 2011 to become the new Chelsea FC boss.  The fifth manager at Chelsea in just 6 years, Andre must have know the demands from the club, both in terms of success and Champions League glory.

However, so far it is all going downhill.  In addition to being challenged with monumental task of rebuilding a Chelsea team which has been so used to dominating European proceedings in recent years, he also has to manager senior players, placate the owner and compete with rising teams such as Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.  Life could not really be harder for the young Portuguese manager.

However, we still need to remind ourselves that he is managing a team that finished 2nd in the Premier League last season.  The battle for a UEFA Champions League place should be a mute point.  A team with world-class players and experience such as Czech, Terry, Lampard, Drogba and Essien should not be struggling with a desultory Arsenal team or Newcastle for 4th place.   They should be involved in the thick of it at the top of the table, and I think time’s starting to show that Andre isn’t up for the job.

Of course, we need to be careful criticising a manager who has lacked the financial backing of previous managers at the club, however 5 games without a victory and 17 points of the league leaders Manchester City is an outright disaster for Chelsea.  While I’ve agreed with the need for giving new managers such as AVB time to adjust to the league and build his team, he should still be digging out better performances then we’ve seen so far.  A 1-1 home draw with Championship side Birmingham in the FA Cup is not good enough for any manager at Chelsea, and after his 3-1 loss to Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo, time must be running out for the “new Mourinho”.

Of course, luck is very important in football.  A single poor performance in the Champions League Semi-Final (against Monaco in 2004) cost former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri his job, while a last minute goal from Francisco Costinha against Man Utd in the First Knockout Round set the path for Mourninho to win his first ever Champions League Trophy.

However, Chelsea seems to be a team in decline.  Their performances have not improved of late and now a power struggle between the manager and the experienced players seems to be creating a crisis situation at the club.  This is not just about a series of poor performances at Chelsea, but a manager who looks like he is out of depth and unable to do the job that Abramovitch has asked of him.  Maybe he will be given until the end of the season to improve Chelsea’s performances, however an impending exit from the Champions League against Napoli on the 13th March could be the final piece of the straw.

Overall, while AVB is a proven manager in the Portuguese Leagues and has won many plaudits for his attractive, attacking style of football, he seems to lack experience running an obstinate, Chelsea team that has become a European giant in recent years.  His lack of experience managing star players and dealing with the politics of big clubs such as Chelsea could eventually be his downfall.