Today, Chelsea Football Club announced the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari as their manager. It was a decision which seemingly could not have come soon enough for a club clearly in crisis.
The solid foundations that Chelsea have set in the last few years, resulting in two Premier League titles, two League Cups, an FA Cup, and a Champions League Final appearance, have now virtually disintegrated.
These foundations consist largely of three factors, all of which have been shattered under Scolari.
First is the home advantage. Stamford Bridge has been a fortress for years at Chelsea; every team in the league was afraid of going there. Now, however, not only is the huge unbeaten record long gone, but Chelsea have lost to Liverpool, Burnley, and Arsenal at home and have altogether dropped 16 points this season at Stamford Bridge.
Home advantage is truly gone.
Second is the defensive solidarity which was a huge part of Jose Mourinho's and, to a lesser extent, Avram Grant's success.
It wasn't long ago that Chelsea had by far the best defence in the league, and despite only small personality changes, the defence seems frail, and downright weak in comparison to the solidarity previously instilled. Defensive stability—gone.
Finally, the ability to graft out close victories is missing. Mourinho was famous for winning 1-0 at Chelsea against the smaller teams. Nowadays, these sorts of tricky games usually end up 0-0 or 1-1.
Even when down 1-0, Avram Grant made changes and won 2-1, notably against Arsenal and Manchester United in crucial games last season. Resilience to win ugly—gone.
Whoever takes over the Chelsea post needs to be someone who is strong, able to control the egos of the players, and ultimately able to completely rebuild this club's crumbling foundations.