I am a die hard Chelsea fan. So it was with a certain degree of surprise that I heard the news that the manager, the world renowned former Brazilian World Cup Manager , had been sacked after just 7 months in post.
But it should not have been a surprise. Chelsea started the season on a high. Within weeks they were several points ahead of their main rivals, their goal difference was way ahead of anyone, they held two stunning records in the annals of football, their so called “old man” signing of Nicholas Anelka, which many thought was a joke, had produced the leading individual goal scorer in the season by a long way. That was the position after about 12 or 13 games. The next 12 or 13 games were a complete disaster. A lack of confidence, dropped points, losses against teams way below them in the leagues, the loss of two records and a clear air of despondency.
What was needed was someone who knew how to revitalise the players, to stimulate and enthuse them off the pitch and to provide the tactical knowledge on the pitch to enable them to adapt their style and produce the results that they were capable of . It is an excellent squad of players with outstanding potential. But individual players do not make a team. That is the job of a manager and his coaches.
The point is this. The person who was responsible for producing the results from the tools available to him –the players and facilities- was the manager, and the results were just not coming. There are those that say that the Board were too hasty and that they should have allowed the man more time. But that is not the way that successful organisations work. If a decision needs to be taken, however difficult and distasteful, you cannot put it off. The team is on a downward trend and there were absolutely no signs that the manager had the ability to reverse that trend. In the circumstances the Board had no alternative and I admire them for taking the bold step that they have.