Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Would Be Crazy to Give Scolari the Boot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Would Be Crazy to Give Scolari the Boot

Article excerpt

Byline: David Mellor

NEWS that William Hill has suspended betting on Luiz Felipe Scolari's future at Chelsea following a rush of bets he's the next Premier League manager for the chop is not at all surprising. The vultures always gather at the first sign of a big beast being wounded.

It is, however, stupid that anyone should think that even a ramshackle outfit like Roman Abramovich and Peter Kenyon's Chelsea would be crazy enough to force the Brazilian out. It would turn an already much-disliked club into a detested laughing stock.

As for Scolari himself, he's surely too much of a man to let a few poor results make him walk away.

That's not to say there aren't causes for concern. There manifestly are. For the last 10 or 11 games, Chelsea have been awful and to ship late equalisers to outfits like Fulham and Southend is unforgivable. It suggests that Steve Clarke is much missed and Scolari needs urgently to address the club's defensive coaching, particularly against set-pieces.

I believe the fans still have confidence in the manager.

They like his obvious strength and commitment to the cause, as evidenced by the intensity of his body language and verbals during matches.

But understandably a few reservations are creeping in, notably over his f lawed handling of substitutions, which tend to be too little too late and, all to often, like for like. Jose Mourinho made radical changes to alter the course of matches, sometimes as early as the first half. Big Phil is too stolid to do that.

Most fans, however, accept Scolari's major problems are his inheritance and bad luck with injuries and suspensions.

Ageing players like Michael Ballack and Scolari's own signing Deco are no The major for Big luck with and longer fit enough to deliver consistently high-class performances, while Didier Drogba, whose wastefulness in the Southend game was a disgrace, seems to be irretrievably mired in self-love. …

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