Time Is Running Out For Andre Villas-Boas to Put Chelsea Back On Track

If Andre Villas-Boas was not feeling the pressure after Chelsea’s recent league form which has seen them lose three of their last four league games, the young pretender to the throne of the self appointed “Special One” must now definitely be feeling some unease after the Blues went down to defeat in the Bay Arena on Wednesday night in the Champions League.

Already 12 points off the pace in the race for the league crown, Villas-Boas and his men now find themselves needing a victory against Valencia at Stamford Bridge in two weeks time to secure their passage into the last 16 of the Champions League. A scoreless draw would also be enough to see Chelsea through. However given their recent defensive form, coupled with a rampant Valencia attack, it does not suggest a game without goals and as such Villas-Boas must go for all three points.

It is unfortunate that Villas-Boas has found himself in this position as he has not gotten it all wrong and the blame for Chelsea’s recent poor run of form should not be laid solely at the feet of the young Portuguese. He has made Chelsea’s style of play more fluid going forward as they now play a more attacking style of football. Much of this work has however been undone by maniacal defending at the other end thus bringing under the microscope an area of Chelsea’s play that has usually been rock solid.

What has gone wrong with the Chelsea defense? Since the departure of Ricardo Carvalho, none of the other center backs have stepped up in a consistent way to occupy that spot next to John Terry, thus resulting in constant chopping and changing at the heart of the defense. It has been a case of musical chairs between Ivanovic, Luiz and Alex. None of whom has so far looked the part.

The form of John Terry has also been a bit dodgy of late and it is quite coincidental that Chelsea’s run of bad form commenced with that defeat at Queens Park Rangers and the subsequent allegations of racist abuse leveled at Terry by Anton Ferdinand. It is clear this controversy has affected not only Terry but also the team, of which he is the leader. He has not been as commanding or confident and it has had a ripple effect throughout the entire team.

Another massive headache for Villas-Boas must be what to do with Fernando Torres. Here is a player he has inherited and who he is forced to play even though this player is clearly not producing the goods. Frank Lampard has found the back of the net more often than any other Chelsea player this season with 7 strikes, while Daniel Sturridge has been the team’s leading man up front with 6 goals. Torres misses more often than he scores, Drogba has not been his old self and Anelka is clearly not a favorite of Villas-Boas and therefore spends most of his time watching from the dug out. In short, the goals are not coming from the strikers.

The Champions League has always been coveted by Roman Abramovich and previous Chelsea managers have been judged solely on their inability to win it. Villas-Boas was brought in (at huge cost to the club) to remedy this situation. Therefore, his team’s indiscretions in the league will no doubt be forgiven once he delivers in Europe and at present Abramovich’s European dream is hanging by a slim thread and so too is Villas-Boas’s job if his boss remains true to form.

Villas-Boas must get his defense sorted out and quickly. He also needs to get his strikers scoring goals if he is to get his team back on track. He has some quality players at his disposal. What he does not have is time and he needs time as much as humans need air. The next three weeks could determine Villas-Boas’s future at Chelsea and as much as he would like to say he is under no pressure at the moment, I think he knows that his time is very limited and he will only be judged on the results he delivers in the European kingdom of Roman “the machete” Abromovich.

6 thoughts on “Time Is Running Out For Andre Villas-Boas to Put Chelsea Back On Track”

  1. Chelsea certainly aren’t feeling invincible these days, by the looks of things on the field, and AVB doesn’t seem to have succeeded at instilling that sort of feeling in the players. His finger pointing at referees doesn’t suggest that he knows how to take responsibility for his own poor decision making (particularly with respect to high defensive line), so why should his players take responsibility for theirs? He does seem to have done a pretty good job, however, making certain players nervous and self-conscious – Anelka, Torres, Mikel. As with any team, there are positions on the field that could be strengthened, but Chelsea’s real problem is a lack of organization and team spirit. They were more together even during the last days of Scolari’s reign, and certainly more together under Hiddink.

    Terry’s form in recent weeks is the biggest disappointment for me. Something needs to be done about it. Perhaps a spell on the bench would work for him as it did for Lampard.

    I was at Stamford Bridge last March when Luiz stunned Man United with an equalizer, but things have certainly gone down hill since then (not least when he allowed Hernandez to beat him in the opening minutes at Old Trafford last spring and effectively ended Carlo Ancelotti’s time at Chelsea).

    I don’t see faulting Ivanovic. I like him on the right far more than Bosingwa, but he’s solid in the center back position – certainly more so than Luiz.

    I don’t see writing off Drogba either. His goal against Leverkusen was a result of his tremendous force of will. Who is better at pulling the ball out of the air? Did he give up after half stumbling? Did he attempt to play for the penalty? No, he hammered the ball home. And minutes later when he deserved a penalty, to my mind at least, it wasn’t offered.

    Things are hard for AVB and the team at the moment. The match against Wolves would seem to be an opportunity for them to right things – but Wolves have troubled them during past slumps. Things have to get better soon, because otherwise they could quickly get worse. In a matter of weeks, Chelsea could be dumped out of the League Cup, the Champions League and sitting seventh in the table. How long after that before AVB is on his way back home?

    Having said that, it’s hard to imagine how much time Abramovich has for Chelsea at the moment, while he’s being sued for a third of his fortune. It’s quite possible that he has other things on his mind. And he might prefer to keep the 20 million pounds sending AVB packing would cost him.

  2. If Chelsea want to get anywhere other than mid table this season then they need to go and buy the best part of a full squad in January because what they’ve got these days doesn’t gel together and some of them are getting on a bit! Did anybody seriously consider Chelsea as title contenders this time around anyway?! They can join Newcastle down the pecking order by new year.

  3. AVB needs to sort out what his best team is. He needs to change his defense by picking Alex and Ivanovich in the middle as they are the most consistent. Terry has lost his pace and is beginning to make too many mistakes. Luiz plays with a midfielder’s mentality and makes too many poor decisions.

    Up front AVB needs to pick Torres as he has more to offer than Drogba right now. Drogba is past his best and the club needs to look ahead rather than back. Miereles should replace Mikel as well.

    Does AVB have the guts to rustle a few feathers by benching the likes of Terry, Luiz and Drogba? With the fans calling for his head he cannot afford to try new tactics and different players. Time is not on his side. And time is what he needs to get it right given Chelsea’s ageing squad.

    If they drop points against Wolves and lose to liverpool in the Carling Cup it could well mean the end for AVB. Shame ’cause I think he is a decent manager who has the potential to succeed at Chelsea. Unfortunately given the owner’s lack of patience and a penchant for instant success I see this ending badly for AVB. Then again Abramovich might just surprise everyone. Not holding my breath though.

  4. Avb is great but the epl is not his game and Chels no way is it a team for him ok so roman chose the special one back in the glory days but really you think avb is as good as Jose ha ha roman mistake again should of treated Jose better so he would of never left and Chels would be CL champs 3rimes in the running Chels need to buy youth and I agree swop up the defense and is chech the man you need in net give that kid a shot what can you lose now avb your job haha it’s already gone buy some youth mata was a great signing really the only Chels player to earn anytype of praise this year there going to need some newyears luck to finish fourth

  5. Wouldn’t mind seeing Chelsea sign Gregory van der Wiel and Kevin De Bruyne in January. I would also like to see Lukaku and Josh McEachran get more time. I don’t watch too much Bundesliga, so I was wondering if anybody knew how well Bruma was doing on loan with Hamburg?

    1. I would love to see lukaku shine I think he is a fantastic player Chels isn’t the team for him tho he would have been perfect at ars really if there is one coach that could get the best out of him it’s wenger for sure but I’m sure we will see lukaku step into the light and become the player we all want him to be van der wiel would be a great signing aswell but he is high profile and could be hard to acquire die to the amour of other clubs that are interested

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *