Chelsea sacked Carlo Ancelotti last night after the Blues ended the season trophyless under the Italian gaffer. Ancelotti’s sacking means that he is the seventh manager to leave Chelsea in the last eight years, and as the BBC head of sport Phil McNulty described, his axing is ruthless even by Roman Abramovich’s standards.
Ancelotti enjoyed success in his first season at the Bridge, landing them a Cup and League double. Unfortunately for him, he was not able to replicate the success in his second season. Despite a strong start to the league, Chelsea faltered midway and were unable to pick up victories when needed the most ( the last 2-1 loss to Man United in the league being a classic example). Of course, the sacking of Ray Wilkins did not help, with Chelsea’s decline in fortunes coinciding with the former’s departure from Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti’s sacking somewhat mirrors that of Avram Grant ( yes the same Avram Grant in charge of now relegated West Ham!), who was dismissed when Chelsea finished second in the league and lost on penalties to Man United in Moscow.
The modern game has got more demanding, with every new owner in the league dreaming of instant success. Chelsea would do well to remember that Manchester United and Arsenal and even Liverpool, the other components of England’s big four, have all kept faith with their managers for a fair while.
The manager’s job at Stamford Bridge is looking more like a temporary posting now and I very much doubt whether Porto’s Villas Boas or the legendary Guus Hiddink, both of whom are Abramovich’s initial targets, will want to sit on the hotseat at the Bridge.
The jobs at Chelsea and Man City look the most dangerous next season, simply because their owners want instant gratification, which given the competitive nature of the league, might just not be possible.