So it would seem everyone’s agreed then? Andre Villas-Boas should be first sacked, second dragged through along the Kings Road by horse and cart and then fired from a cannon, at a wall, from a very short distance. Of course the British media are never ones to under-react to the slightest whiff of crisis, but the only way the young Chelsea manager is going to put these irksome stories to bed – particularly with club and Abramovich favourite, Guus Hiddink’s recent availability – with some victories and points.
Back to back home defeats, losses against their perceived main competitors, a blunt edge at the business end of their supposed attacking formation; all of these things have led to the departure of, amongst others, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti in recent seasons. So what can the Portuguese do to arrest his side’s slump?
by Dean Mears
It’s been quite a summer of change at Stamford Bridge this season, even though in terms of playing staff nothing much has changed at all. There’s a change in direction, a shift in focus, a realisation, especially by Roman Abramovich that he had got it all wrong. You see, since 2003 Roman’s aim has been to win the Champions League at any cost. Managers have come and gone, players bought and sold, all of which has made a dent in his bank balance that was bigger than his divorce The club now however has a young manager and are targeting a different style of player. The future could be very bright indeed for Chelsea, if only they could sign someone.
England’s engine room has, over the years, been the territory of the likes of Nobby Stiles, Alan Ball, Sir Trevor Brooking, Bryan Robson, Glenn Hoddle and of course, David Beckham. Capello enters this latest qualifier however, devoid of his midfield general and seeming automatic pick, Steven Gerrard. With places up for grabs in Gerrard’s absence, the emergence of some stunning new talent , the maturation of other more established youngsters, the constant barrage of knocking on the manager’s door by established Premier League stars and the waning prowess of established players, Capello has a very real selection headache.
In recent weeks we have been inundated by media reports detailing how the England team’s injury crisis, loss of key players and seeming lack of strength in-depth will destroy any slim glimmer of hope of success in South Africa this summer.