Chelsea’s Cold Dagger

6 Mar

Is this a Dagger which I see before me? – English club Chelsea sack their latest coach. The Stamford Bridge club’s owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, slayed Andres Villas-Boas after less than a year in charge of the first team. Poor results and a players’ locker room rebellion burned the young Portuguese manager. He was hailed at the start of the season as the coach hired to oversee the replacement of the aging Chelsea squad. But the ancien regime were quick to the poison. Chelsea old guard, including Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, were stirring unpleasantness against the new Villas-Boas approach depicted as a technical nerd devoid of Chelsea color. During some games, the old boys looked as if they had swallowed lethargy inducing drugs with side-effects of disinterested abandon and confusion. Villas-Boas stood helplessly on the sideline, the team ignoring his whistle to step it up.

Abramovich hand-picked Villas-Boas for the job. No wonder he blames the rebels for the club’s dismal season. Worryingly for the insurrectionists, Roman’s largess is short on forgiveness. The former governor of a Russian province in Siberia, Abramovich knows all about freezing out. A new coach will come to the club over the summer charged with the same mission – bring Roman the preciousness he covets most – Chelsea as Champions of Europe. Should the new man fail to deliver the Holy Grail, he too can expect the Siberian winter with Lampard, Terry, Cole and the other old boys perishing in the freeze.

Under these shivers – six head coaches have come and gone under Abramovich since 2003 – who would take that job? Jose Mourinho is the bookmakers favorite. It would be his second stint at the club but the “Special One” may well be second on Abramovich’s wish list – Barcelona coach, Pep Guardiola, could be shown the jewels first. If he accepts the governorship in Roman’s Empire, who is to say his progeny in Barcelona will not be looking for property in the affluent suburbs of London. Lionel Messi with a “cockney accent” anyone? Photographed with warm ale in hand, holding a Chelsea uniform, quoting Shakespeare – “Is this a dagger which I see before me?”

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