Daniel Gregory’s weekly column: Villas-Boas never stood a chance as Chelsea boss

Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea on Sunday
Andre Villas-Boas left Chelsea on Sunday

ROMAN Abramovich was up to his usual tricks at the weekend - pushing the panic button and sacking Andre Villas-Boas as manager of Chelsea without him even being granted a full season at the club to change an ageing and almost stagnant squad.

And now the Russian is searching for his eighth new manager since buying the Stamford Bridge club in 2003.

Starting with the sacking of the hugely popular Claudio Ranieri, via the ‘special one’ Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti to name but a few, Abramovich has demanded that the club win trophies and compete for honours every season, or else he simply gets rid.

Take Ancelotti for example. One of the best and most respected managers in world football with countless titles and honours to his name from his time in Italy.

He won the Premier League title and FA Cup double in his first season, his side scoring 103 league goals in the process and then got sacked for finishing second the following year.

He had £50million flop Fernando Torres and £22million defender David Luiz lumped on him by Abramovich, and their season curtailed from there.

Following Ancelotti’s ridiculous sacking, Abramovich, it seemed, had one eye on the future and decided on a change of strategy for the club, paying about £13million to hire 33-year-old Villas-Boas.

It seemed the owner wanted Villas-Boas to oversee a ‘project’.

But his sacking only further highlights the reckless meddling that an influx of foreign owners have introduced to the English game.

The superb BBC 2 documentary, QPR: The Four Year Plan, aired on Sunday night, gave an insight in to how a modern club with foreign owners can be run at times.

Former shareholder Flavio Briatore (right) ran the club in a terrible fashion, exercising his right to make decisions over the manager’s head, loaning out top scorer Dexter Blackstock to Nottingham Forest without telling the manager at the time, Paulo Sousa, for example.

There was a moment in the programme where Briatore got sporting director Gianni Paladini to enforce a half-time substitution during a match after a foul-mouthed rant aimed at caretaker boss Gareth Ainsworth from the director’s box.

It will certainly have surprised a few people. But maybe opened a few eyes to how a lot of modern clubs are being run these days.

A superb watch if you get the chance to get on the BBC i-Player.