Chelsea’s rogue owner, Roman Abramovich, has historically shown no mercy to his managers when results don’t meet his satisfaction. Names like Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari and even the self proclaimed special one, Jose Mourinho have all fell prey to the wrath of the ambitious owner. With hard losses to Arsenal, Liverpool, and Bayern Leverkusen, current manager Andre Villa-Boas seemed only destined to be next.
With their Premier League title hopes fading fast and an all or nothing match against Valencia to decide their Champions League fate, Chelsea finally put their right foot forward. The 3-0 victory has restored some sense of order in the West London club, and Villa-Boas has now taken it upon himself to accuse the media of “persecution”.
In some ways he is correct, as his job has been declared by some to be practically over already. The poor recent run of form is unacceptable for a club of such powerful standing, but soccer is a sport of maintaining form, and even the best teams go through struggles during the brutal 60 match season. But if Villa-Boas thinks that this win alone justifies lambasting the media, he is dead wrong.
In our modern world, a victory is only celebrated until the next match. And after that, work begins anew. Chelsea have dug themselves a ten point hole in the EPL table, and will need to quickly remedy their team for the hectic winter fixtures. These fixtures include an all important match against league leaders, Manchester City, and a trip across town to Tottenham. Both teams are ahead in the table, and if Chelsea loses more ground in the race, barely progressing to the knockout phase of the Champions League may not be enough.
Players like Fernando Torres and captain John Terry need to quickly step up their game. They are missing chances left and tackles and right. The players have looked old and lazy, only a shell of the former ruthless powerhouse they once were. Mistakes at the back are costing them points, and could still easily cost Villa-Boas his job.
As we enter the holiday fixture madness, the Chelsea manager can sleep easy for tonight. But if this victory does not lead to a great run of form and a re-introduction into the Premier League title race, his job will be lost before the New Year. I like the man, and think he can be successful at Chelsea, but his team needs to prove it now, or he may never get another shot.