Andre Villas-Boas Discusses Roman Abramovich's History of Sacking Chelsea Bosses

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2016

GHENT, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09:  of Zenit Saint Petersburg Head Coach / Manager, Andre Villas-Boas looks on during the group H UEFA Champions League match between KAA Gent and Football Club Zenit Saint Petersburg held at Ghelamco Arena, on December 9, 2015 in Gent, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has criticised the club’s penchant for dismissing managers since owner Roman Abramovich took control.

The Portuguese boss, who is currently the manager of Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg, was dismissed by the Blues during the first season of his reign and claimed Abramovich has made a big mistake in recently getting rid of Jose Mourinho, per beIN Sports (h/t Vaishali Bhardwaj of the London Evening Standard):

The only thing that has been quite incredible to see is that it was applied to everybody. It was applied for their dearest coach and their most successful coach. 

So in the end, we have seen nothing different. Roman has sacked basically every coach he had and is no different - it happened even to the best.  The same criteria he applied to me, to Rafa Benitez and for all the other coaches, he has applied to Jose as well. And it's [now] a new chapter.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

Mourinho was dismissed by Chelsea just seven months on from his side being crowned champions of England.

The Portuguese boss had seemed to lose the backing of his players during that time, as the Blues endured a horrendous beginning to the Premier League season, one which left them flirting with the relegation zone. Subsequently, Chelsea hit the panic button and Guus Hiddink has since been in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher felt Chelsea had no choice but to part ways in this instance. “I don't think they've made a mistake,” he said. “I'm a massive fan of Jose Mourinho, but the way the results were going couldn't continue for a team that's had so much success under an owner whose very trigger happy. So something had to change.”

Mourinho got his marching orders after an awful start to the season.
Mourinho got his marching orders after an awful start to the season.Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Ideally, a manager would be at a club for a prolonged period of time, allowing him to formulate a squad, get his own ideas across and eventually bring success. But at Chelsea, it’s not worked like that.

Throughout the years of Abramovich’s tenure he has been lucky enough to have a core of exceptional players, including the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

Those key figures meant that despite the revolving door of managers, the Blues were successful in many competitions; they’ve won 15 major honours since Abramovich bought the club.

Despite the constant changes in manager, Chelsea have enjoyed the most successful period in the club’s history. Nevertheless, with Terry ageing and the rest of those core men moved on, the Blues are without those figures to fall back upon.

A brilliant core of players always helped Chelsea through major managerial instability.
A brilliant core of players always helped Chelsea through major managerial instability.TOM HEVEZI/Associated Press

It’s not a financially viable strategy, either. According to Tom Pettifor and Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror, given Mourinho signed a new deal with Chelsea after he’d taken the team to the Premier League title, he will be paid the agreed weekly salary of £250,000 until taking on a new job.

If he decides to stay away from football, the Portuguese could earn £45.5 million for doing nothing.

The big test of Abramovich’s ruthless approach to managers will be in the coming years. With Terry’s contract to expire at the end of the term, the last remnant of the iconic Chelsea core could be gone.

To build the team’s next core, a manager will need time, backing and patience from the owner, not a choice between immediate success or a P45.