No surprises

End of the road for AVB

Last Updated: 05/03/12 1:59pm

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Graeme Souness and Gary Neville told Sky Sports they not surprised that Andre Villas-Boas was sacked by Chelsea.

"What are Chelsea going to do in the long term? Are they going to allow players every single time to get rid of the manager? That is now three managers that the players have seen off"
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Villas-Boas only took charge at Stamford Bridge last summer following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti but has endured a difficult time at the helm.

The former Porto coach arrived in west London with a reputation as one of the brightest managerial talents in world football, but he has been unable to replicate his past success at Chelsea.

He has seen the Blues slide out of the Premier League title race in recent weeks, while qualification for next season's Champions League is also in doubt.

Chelsea are also facing up elimination from this term's Champions League after suffering a 3-1 defeat away to Napoli in the first leg of their last-16 clash.

There have also been reports of rifts between Villas-Boas and several senior players in the dressing room over the past couple of months.

A 1-0 defeat at West Brom on Saturday proved to be the final straw for owner Roman Abramovich and Roberto Di Matteo has now been placed in charge until the end of the season.

"It is not surprising when you look at the people who have been managers at Chelsea and not lasted very long," said Graeme Souness.

"It is sad when any manager loses his job in football but when he took the job he knew deep down that if it does not go right in the first season there is every chance that he wouldn't get a second season.

"It is disappointing but that is the price on the ticket when you manage a big club; there is a lot of pressures that comes with it."

Gary Neville believes that Chelsea's doubtful qualification for next season's Champions League would have forced Abramovich's hand, but is also concerned that the players cannot keep on getting rid of managers.

"For me the scary thing for Abramovich would have been losing yesterday," said Neville."With Arsenal winning it puts a real risk of them not making the Champions League.

"He realises that his players are not going to play for Villas-Boas and I think he has reacted in the way Roman Abramovich does.

"What are Chelsea going to do in the long term? Are they going to allow players every single time to get rid of the manager? That is now three managers that the players have seen off."

Souness believes that any successful club needs a strong core of senior players and says that Villas-Boas should have managed them better.

"There is no secret that senior players in the changing room were not having him," added Souness.

"You can bet your house on it that that message got back to Abramovich, and that is the beginning of the end. You must have your big players with you.

"You cannot have a success without good senior players and he was taking on a group of players who have given Chelsea more success than they have ever known.

"I think if I had been him going in I would have sat them down and said: 'Listen, I am not going to play you every game but I want you with me and I will keep you onside'.

"I think he has alienated too many players and they have turned on him."

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