Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Court of King Roman Needs a Revolution

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Court of King Roman Needs a Revolution

Article excerpt

Byline: David Mellor

NOW that the dust has settled, do I feel any better about the removal of Big Phil Scolari than I did yesterday? No I do not.

Phil was always a risk and turned out to be a disappointment. He was a gamble because, as I wrote last summer, he had no previous managerial experience at club level in Europe.

The pressures of management in the Premier League are totally different from being an international manager, which is, frankly, pretty much a job for the semi-retired.

Phil's like-for-like substitutions were the first sign fans got that he lacked flair and imagination, a fault apparently even more obvious on the training ground.

But the idea this can be reversed in the twinkling of an eye by Guus Hiddink, who is equally unfamiliar with England and the challenges of the Premier League, is crassly naive.

Or, in Roman Abramovich's case, just terminally arrogant.

He doesn't have to think about the consequences of his actions like ordinary mortals. He can just go out and buy somebody and then blow him away when it all goes Pete Tong.

How long before Hiddink -- a friend and long-time associate of Abramovich, just like Avram Grant -- suffers the same fate? Which is why, for me, the best of Abramovich, the exhilarating Jose Mourinho months, is over.

Think about it. He won't tell us what's in his mind.

As the late, great Tony Banks always said, "Abramovich has bought a team, not a club", before adding, for good measure, that he thought the Russian would play the games behind closed doors for him and a few mates if he thought he could get away with it.

With Abramovich erratic, uncommunicative and increasingly absent, he needs someone on permanent watch at the Bridge, someone wise enough to get the key decisions right and strong enough to force them through. Instead, he ends up with Peter Kenyon. …

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