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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Scolari SACKED !!!! What Next For Chelsea FC ?


Posted on: Mon 09 Feb 2009

Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club today (Monday) with immediate effect.

The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager.

Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon.

Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.

In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now.

The search for a new manager has already started and we hope to have someone in place as soon as possible.

While that continues Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins will take charge of the team on a temporary basis.,,10268~1551166,00.html

AC Siena v FC Inter Milan - Serie A

Who next for Chelsea? takes a look at the possible candidates to take over from the Brazilian at Stamford Bridge.


The Dutchman, currently employed as Russia coach, was reportedly high on Chelsea's wish-list before they settled on Scolari in the summer. Regarded as one of the most astute tacticians in world football Hiddink's efforts in taking Russia to the semi-finals of Euro 2008 mark him as an obvious candidate for Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. Unlike Scolari, the Dutchman has also made his name at club level in Europe having guided PSV Eindhoven to three Eredivisie titles as well as the semi-finals of the 2004-05 Champions League.


A legend during his playing days at Chelsea, Zola would be a hugely popular choice among the Stamford Bridge faithful. Despite his relative inexperience in club football he has forged a good reputation since taking over as manager at West Ham this season with former Blues assistant Steve Clarke by his side.


Chelsea's most successful manager having led them to back-to-back league titles, the Portuguese is the most exalted of all Blues managers. Sacked at the start of last season, Mourinho has since stated he would one day like to return to management in England. A return to Stamford Bridge would, however, seem unlikely with an apparent falling out with Abramovich leading to his departure, while he remains contracted to Inter Milan - who currently lead Serie A by seven points.


The 44-year-old Italian was sacked by Inter Milan at the end of last season despite leading them to the past three Serie A titles. He remains a high-profile candidate despite remaining out of work and has history in England having played at Leicester at the start of the decade.


The former Barcelona boss has been out of work since leaving the Catalan club at the end of last season. During his five-year spell at the Nou Camp the 46-year-old led Barca to two league titles as well as Champions League success when they beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2005-06 final.


Another former Blues fan favourite Di Matteo is best remembered for scoring the fastest FA Cup final goal as the Blues beat Middlesbrough 2-0 in 1997. He was named as manager of League One club MK Dons in the summer and has them on track for promotion in his first season with the team currently sitting second in the table.


The Israeli was replaced by Scolari in the summer after taking the Blues to their first Champions League final where they lost on penalties to Manchester United. His softly-spoken mentality, and the fact he succeeded Mourinho, meant Grant was never truly accepted by Blues fans.

Chelsea v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Semi Final

Terry says sorry to fans

Chelsea captain John Terry has apologised to the club's loyal fans for his team's recent run of poor performances.

The Blues were booed off the Stamford Bridge pitch on Saturday after a goalless draw with Hull and Terry accepts the players are responsible for the fans' unrest.

The stalemate against the Tigers saw Luiz Felipe Scolari's side slip to fourth in the table, seven points behind leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

"I apologise to the fans because our performances at home and away have not been good enough and we have not been putting on the performances which give their ticket value for money," Terry told the Evening Standard.

"They are working awfully hard to afford to come with their friends and families and we are not turning it on for them."

Midfielder Salomon Kalou also sympathises with the supporters after Chelsea missed out on a home win against the Tigers.

The 23-year-old thinks a return to form and possibly a trophy can be achieved with some hard work.

"For the fans and for us it was a really difficult afternoon," Kalou told the club's official website.

"The most difficult thing is that we had a lot of chances to win the game and we didn't take them.

"We had a couple of amazing games at home at the beginning of the season but now there is the momentum where it is difficult to win at home, but we have to find a solution because there are some very important games coming up at home, so we have to keep working hard.

"You can always do better, push yourself and improve, and I believe there is a lot of things we can do to improve, so now we have to show the fans we are still working hard.

"As players we are frustrated, but we can still go for a trophy."

Terry: We have to win something!

Chelsea captain John Terry warned his out of sorts teammates that they have to win some silverware this season.

Chelsea slipped to fourth place in the Barclays Premier League as a goalless draw against Hull meant they have dropped 16 points at Stamford Bridge this season.

The Blues are three points behind Aston Villa and their chances of catching title favourites Manchester United are fading fast.

Chelsea face Watford in the FA Cup next weekend, then travel to Villa in the league before a first leg tie against Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues felt the frustration of Chelsea's fans against Hull as they taunted Scolari with chants of 'You don't know what you're doing' before booing them off at the end of the game.

Assistant coach Ray Wilkins labelled the minority as being 'out of order' but an FA Cup and Champions League exit could put an end to a disappointing first season under Scolari.

Terry, though, is determined to lead the Blues back into the title race and delivered another rallying call.

"The challenge is massive," said Terry. "We can't take our focus off it for one minute. We have to win something this season.

"We have to do everything we can to get ourselves back in the thick of the title race.

"We have to start winning and keep on winning. We have to win big games like Villa and Arsenal away and Watford next week.

"What is important is that we all stick together and that's the supporters as well."

Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet against their four rivals at the top of the table and Terry accepts that is not good enough.

They have failed to beat Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool but managed a 2-0 success over Villa back in October.

"In games against the top five we've only kept one clean sheet this season, the win over Aston Villa, and that's not good enough.

"We haven't scored enough goals against them either."

Scolari may have been the target for a section of the Chelsea boo boys but there is no doubting his desire to push their title rivals all the way - despite the gap in points.

Scolari said: "We are prepared to fight and we are aware that there are many points still to play for and for the teams above us to drop - it is only February and the league ends in May.

"We want to take our battle for the title right to the end of the season."

Chelsea were unable to overcome a stubborn Hull side, who squandered a couple of chances to win the game themselves, and even winger Ricardo Quaresma, on loan from Inter Milan, failed to inspire them.

It was his substitution in favour of Didier Drogba, in the second half, that sparked the chants from the boo boys but Wilkins backs Scolari to cope with the pressure.

"Whenever someone manages at a club as big as Chelsea there is always pressure to bring home trophies that is not only here but at Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool," said Wilkins.

"And to a large degree the guys at the bottom end of the table face pressure to keep teams in the division.

"There will always be that type of pressure to win trophies and he will strive for that and we will work extremely hard to try and achieve that goal."

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League

Blues have their fill of 'Big Phil'

Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke are favourites to become the dream managerial duo at Chelsea after the club.

This comes after the sacking of coach Luiz Felipe Scolari. The Brazilian coach was dismissed by the Blues on Monday afternoon after just seven months in the Stamford Bridge hot- seat.

Scolari paid the price for a season in which Chelsea have dropped 16 home points, were bundled out of the Carling Cup by Coca-Cola championship side Burnley and slipped to fourth in the Barclays Premier League.

A statement issued by Chelsea confirmed his departure: "Luiz Felipe Scolari has been dismissed as manager of Chelsea Football Club today (Monday) with immediate effect.

"The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager. Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon.

"Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season.

"In order to maintain a challenge for the trophies we are still competing for we felt the only option was to make the change now.

"The search for a new manager has already started and we hope to have someone in place as soon as possible.

"While that continues Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins will take charge of the team on a temporary basis."

Scolari, looked increasingly like a man out of his depth in the Premier League and Saturday's goalless draw with Hull only highlighted the Brazilian's inability to get the best out of his squad.

'Big Phil' was taunted with chants of 'You don't know what you're doing' by fans who also booed the players off the pitch at the final whistle.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had pointed to Chelsea's ageing squad at the start of the campaign but the problems ran deeper than that.

After a flying start to their league season under Scolari, including nine straight away wins, the team's confidence evaporated to such an extent that they only just overcame Southend in the FA Cup.

The Brazilian's pedigree was undeniable at international level - but the consensus of opinion was that the 60-year-old had been out of league football too long and found himself unable to cope with the English game.

Scolari generally under-achieved when it came to tactics and his insistence on a 4-3-3 formation was ultimately responsible for his downfall.

His treatment of a clearly demotivated Didier Drogba was also baffling during a period when the Ivorian's pace and power would surely have been preferable to the languid efforts of the league's top scorer Nicolas Anelka.

But perhaps the biggest clanger dropped by Chelsea this season was the decision to allow assistant coach Clarke to leave for West Ham last September.

No wonder that much of the talk among Chelsea fans already revolves around the dream ticket of Zola and Clarke.

The message on banners unfurled at Stamford Bridge on Saturday demanded the end of Scolari's reign and the appointment of Zola and Clarke.

Chelsea have now met one half of the request, but prising the duo from West Ham will be difficult.

Zola, whose side narrowly lost to Manchester United on Sunday, insists he has no intention of walking out on the club that has provided him with a chance to manage in the English top flight.

But Chelsea may well test that resolve in the coming days as they look to appoint what will be their third manager since Jose Mourinho was axed in September 2007.

Gianfranco Zola of Chelsea celebrates his goal during the FA Carling Premiership match against West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London. Chelsea won 4-2.

Zola camp coy on Chelsea link

Gianfranco Zola's lawyer has refused to rule his client out of the running to become the new manager of Chelsea.

The Blues legend has already emerged as one of the favourites to succeed Luiz Felipe Scolari, who was sacked by the London giants on Monday.

Zola has impressed hugely at West Ham, after only taking charge at Upton Park in September.

But Chelsea fans are keen to see the Italian - who is assisted by Jose Mourinho's former number two Steve Clarke - back at Stamford Bridge.

Zola's lawyer Fulvio Marrucco has been quick to confirm that although no approach has been made, Chelsea could be hard to turn down.

"At the moment we know nothing about the link between Gianfranco Zola and the vacant position at Chelsea," Marrucco said in a statement.

"Gianfranco is very happy at West Ham and still thanks them for giving him the opportunity to be a coach in the Premier League.

"It is very difficult to say if anything will happen but Chelsea is a special place for Gianfranco Zola."

Inter Milan v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League

Agent: Mancini not on Blues shortlist

Ex-Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is not a candidate to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea, according to his agent.

Scolari was dismissed on Monday afternoon following the Blues' poor results of late.

Mancini, who is unemployed since being sacked by Inter Milan last summer, has been linked with a move to the London club in recent months.

However, his agent Giorgio De Giorgis has had no contact with Chelsea.

De Giorgis said to the Italian media: "No-one has contacted us, hence, I exclude the possibility that Mancini will go to Chelsea.

"We are aware of Scolari's sacking but they would have contacted us in the case they had though about him (Mancini).

"Instead, they have contacted others."

Chelsea v Fulham - Barclays Premier League

Drogba vows to help Chelsea

Didier Drogba admits he is finding things "a little difficult" but has vowed to help Chelsea get back on track.

Drogba has fallen out of favour under Luiz Felipe Scolari, and his introduction in place of Ricardo Quaresma against Hull on Saturday prompted taunts of 'You don't know what you're doing' from fans towards the Blues boss.

But the 30-year-old is confident both he and the west London outfit - who slipped to fourth in the Barclays Premier League after being held to a goalless draw by the Tigers - will overcome their current troubles.

"It's a little difficult at the moment, but we will find ways to return," he told L'Equipe. "I hope in the Champions League we will do well.

"You can't have a 10-year career where everything is great. I am in a period like that - a little less good.

"Is this difficult to experience? If I say no, people will say I am not ambitious. If I say yes, people will think I am demoralised when it is really not the case.

"It is not easy but it is not the end of the world. The main thing is that I am in good health physically."

The Ivory Coast frontman, who stopped off in France en route to Turkey for Wednesday's friendly international, played down talk he could be interested in a return to Marseille.

"Nino (Wiltord) is there and Brandao has just arrived. Let's trust these people rather than talk about Drogba," he said after watching his former team beat Bordeaux 1-0 at the Stade Velodrome last night.