It’s been proven since Roman Abramovich took over the club that not winning silverware means that your out of a job. In his first year Claudio Ranieri was dumped after only finishing second, Avram Grant was dumped after defeat in the Champions League final and Carlo Ancelotti was dumped after a trophy less season, despite winning the double in the previous year.
When a manager takes over the club, they know they have to succeed, Villas-Boas knew it:
“Who expects to stay as Chelsea manager if they don’t win anything?” he said during his first press conference as Chelsea manager. “You are expected to be successful straight away, to win straight away and on a weekly basis. There’s no running away from that challenge. That’s what I face. I’d be surprised to be kept on if I didn’t win. I want to win as soon as possible and build a solid platform for the future.”
The pressure to win from the board however has meant that ‘to win as soon as possible and build a solid platform for the future’ is a lot trickier than Villas-Boas first expected. Imagine if Villas-Boas had been playing the likes of Ryan Bertrand, Jacob Mellis, Lucas Piazon, Josh McEachran and Gael Kakuta and Chelsea were in the same position they currently find themselves. There would be uproar that senior players had been left out and he probably wouldn’t have lasted this long in the job.The most recent example is Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Manchester United, with Ashley Cole suspended Villas-Boas had a choice, pick the young inexperienced Bertrand at left back and hope he has a good game, or go for the more experience and title winning Paulo Ferreira or Jose Bosingwa to fill the gap. If managers felt they could plan for two-three years down the line, perhaps players like Bertrand would have played and probably would have played a lot more games before as well, but when your reputation as a manager and your job is on the line, your going to pick experience over youth every time.
The old guard is coming to an abrupt end, but the problem Chelsea have is that nobody is ready to replace them in the team, so if Abramovich’s wants success, he again is going to have spend big money to bring in ready-made talent, because his own managers cannot afford to try and blood youngsters into the first team, something that the club’s recent transfer activity suggests isn’t going to happen.
McEachran has been on the verge of breaking into the first team for the past two seasons now, but with things not going so swimmingly its hard to pick him ahead of seasoned professionals like Lampard, Ramires, Meireles and Essien. So he now finds himself on loan, which means his training ground displays are impressing the wrong manager, putting him further away from breaking into the first team.
The only way Abramovich can show he has changed his attitude is to stick with Villas-Boas for the duration of his contract, in the past if you didn’t win the title, you were sacked, just look at Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and Carlo Ancelotti, but if Abramovich doesn’t give his manager time to implement his ideas, then Chelsea won’t challenge for any major silverware.
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