With Luiz Felipe Scolari Gone, What's Next for Chelsea?

chris daviesAnalyst IFebruary 9, 2009

Chelsea Football Club announced today the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari as manager of the first team, with immediate effect. No. 2 man Ray Wilkins will lead in the interim.

In a statement, the board failed to explain their decision, and rather insisted their "gratitude for his time as manager." The club expressed regret with the statement, "Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon."

However, it seems to me as if the board may have had more regret for hiring the big Brazilian than firing him.

Chelsea's recent form did nothing to help save the Brazilian from the axe. After being dropped from the Carling Cup by Burnley on Nov. 12, Chelsea won only four games in two months. A string of wins seemed to re-energize the team and help Felipe's standing in the front office before a loss at Liverpool Feb. 1.

A draw with lowly Hull City, who had gone eight weeks without a win, pushed Chelsea into fourth place and gave the board the cannon fodder needed to sack the man in charge.

In his time at Chelsea, Scolari failed to assert himself as the dominating, command style coach that had won him a World Cup with Brazil. I believe this is more of a reflection upon the Chelsea ownership than on Scolari.

The further down Chelsea slips, the more it seems that Roman Abramovich is not the right person to own the West London outfit. With pressures coming in heaps from the front office, it is no wonder even a man of Scolari's stature failed to meet expectations.

Many reports surfaced that the players were unhappy with Scolari's training regiments and his managerial style, and it seems that the Brazilian was simply trying to be the person that he thought the board wanted him to be. This did not allow him to be the World Cup winner that he is.

Chelsea will now be searching for their fourth coach in less than two years.  The general malaise that has spread over the first team since the departure of Jose Mourinho seems unlikely to be diminished with a revolving door of coaches.

What comes next for the team remains a mystery. Will they attempt to lure Gianfranco Zola to the other side of London?  Or will they look at the international level again to fill the vacancy?

Whoever takes the job will be a stronger man than many people, and will most assuredly believe that he has the cajones to take on the “Russian tzar's” expectations.

The man in charge, for the time being, will be expected to continue the "instant success" philosophy in place at the Bridge. Wilkins' side faces Watford the on Feb. 14, in an FA Cup draw, and a big challenge in two weeks when the team travels to Birmingham to face third place Aston Villa.

As for Scolari, he will undoubtedly return to football in the near future, and most likely return to his winning ways as the coach he has always been. He will do his best to put these past seven months behind him and move forward to better things.