Andre Villas-Boas is getting stick this week for losing the Stamford Bridge dressing room, but Chelsea fans need to look at the bigger picture.
This is why they should stick with their talented young manager…
CHELSEA NEED STABILITY
Chelsea need a manager who feels comfortable planning for the future. At Man United, Sir Alex is happy to sign players like Fabio and Rafael, who he nutures into the starting line-up gradually over time, whereas every Chelsea manager is always looking over his shoulder, thinking about the short-term.
MAN CITY AND VALENCIA PERFORMANCES PROVE HE HAS GREAT POTENTIAL AT CHELSEA
If Villas-Boas is so out of his depth, how did he manage to mastermind deserved victories over league leaders Man City and dump Valencia out of Europe with a convincing 3-0 victory? Yes, it's his job to get players performing every week, but senior players are paid millions to put in as much effort against Wigan as they do against Man City or Valencia.
ARROGANT CHELSEA STARS SHOULD CHANGE, NOT VILLAS-BOAS
The unforgiving performance at Goodison Park last weekend wasn't down to Villas-Boas. Chelsea's players weren't run ragged or out of position, they were organised but seemed to lack any real desire or bottle. It's time they stopped feeling sorry for themselves and battled for fourth spot. No team has a god-given right to be title contenders.
THEY'RE (MOSTLY) NOT HIS PLAYERS
Villas-Boas was employed to oversee a transitional period at Chelsea, bring in his own young players and reinvent the club's philosophy from the very bottom. But it takes time; Barcelona didn't develop their current crop overnight, did they? So what if a few senior players are throwing their toys out the pram? They're not bigger than Chelsea and won't be around for much longer.
PORTO PLAYERS RESPECTED HIM AND WON THE TREBLE
At Porto, there weren't any individuals bigger than the club. They respected the owner's choice of manager, embracing the philosophy he chose to instill. The result? A treble in Villas-Boas' first season in charge including an unbeaten league campaign and European success. The Premier League is a step up from Portugal, granted, but there can be no doubt Villas-Boas is a precocious managerial talent and was always going to be up against it against the vastly experienced Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Arsene Wenger and Kenny Dalglish, not to mention the resources and extra time Roberto Mancini has had at Man City.
HE COULD COME BACK TO HAUNT CHELSEA LIKE MOURINHO DID
If Villas-Boas gets the boot from Abramovich he won't find himself short of options and, like Mourinho did at Inter, he will probably come up against his former charges at some stage in the Champions League. Would Chelsea rather the lessons he learns at Stamford Bridge be put to good use in West London or elsewhere?
MOURINHO FEELS THREATENED SO HE'S CLEARLY TALENTED
Mourinho was opposed to Villas-Boas' ambition to be a manager, when he left Jose's back room staff to embark on his own managerial career, in 2009. In fact, they've fallen out over it. The 34-year-old's incredible success at Porto and subsequent hring by Chelsea confirmed why Mourinho was worried.
HE HASN'T SPENT MILLIONS LIKE MOURINHO
Comparisons to the Special One are absurd when you consider their differing circumstances at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho was appointed with a blank cheque book, able to offload ten players immediately and buy whoever he pleased, whereas Villas-Boas is being forced to work with the ageing players Mourinho brought in almost ten years ago. He has splashed out once on Juan Mata and guess what? The Spaniard has been Chelsea's best player this year.
SIR BOBBY BELIEVED IN HIM
Ten years ago, the late Sir Bobby Robson - who took a young Villas-Boas under his wing at Porto - sent him to shadow George Burley, then manager of Ipswich. Burley recalls: "Bobby told me the boy was going to be something special in the coaching world. He never stopped asking questions... Jose Mourinho is a legacy of Sir Bobby, who gave him a job as his intepreter at Barcelona, but Andre is even more so as Sir Bobby took him under his wing at an early age." What would Sir Bobby make of a man with Andre's talent, who will succeed regardless of whether it's at Chelsea or somewhere else, being undermined by his players?
LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
A young, tactically astute and attack-minded manager, Villas-Boas remains the perfect choice to emulate the kind of footballing philosophy at Stamford Bridge that Pep Guardiola is reaping rewards for at Barcelona. So what if they go a couple of years without a trophy? It's clear as day that one of the problems Chelsea have is kneejerk decisions to get rid of managers - the club needs to keep the faith with their manager and they will reap the rewards. If Chelsea ever intend to dominate Europe, they should consider getting rid of the inflated egos preventing their talented manager building his own team.
What do you think the problem at Chelsea is? Let us know by leaving a comment below…