November 22nd, 2011
05:59 PM ET

AVB job safe despite Chelsea's wobbles

On the brink? Reports in the British media have suggested Andre Villas-Boas' position at Chelsea is under threat.
On the brink? Reports in the British media have suggested Andre Villas-Boas' position at Chelsea is under threat.

So, the English media has started to speculate about the future of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Many of the tabloids have already hinted that his job is in jeopardy and that Guus Hiddink is being lined up as a replacement.

Don’t believe the hype. There is no way AVB will be shipped out anytime soon.

Let me start by saying that I agree Chelsea should be doing a lot better than they are now. After 12 games, the Blues find themselves 12 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and that is not good enough for a side that has challenged for the title every season for the past seven years.

Their run of three defeats in four league games is the worse since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003.

Therefore, I understand why there would be questions asked about Villas-Boas, especially if we consider his lack of experience. We must not forget that he is only 33 years old and has just two full seasons as a manager under his belt.

However, the thought that Chelsea owner Abramovich would fire a coach he paid $20 million to hire from FC Porto five months ago is an absurdity.

Furthermore, I believe the team has underachieved because of the players, not the manager. It is my opinion that the spine of the Chelsea side is too old and too stale and unless it is revamped, the Blues won’t win anything any time soon.

Let me try to make a fair assessment of the performances of the key members of Chelsea’s starting XI this season–

Petr Cech – The Czech goalkeeper, considered by many to be the best on the planet a few years ago, has made a series of mistakes. He was to blame for Liverpool’s first goal at Stamford Bridge last weekend and also let in some uncharacteristically soft goals in other recent defeats.

John Terry
– He hasn’t been the same player since Ricardo Carvalho left. The England international keeps on being caught out of position and no longer has the pace to make up for it. Of course David Luiz hasn’t helped JT’s cause. The Brazilian is erratic to say the least and puts too much pressure on a man who fans must realize is in the final stages of his career.

Frank Lampard – The midfield maestro had a couple of games where he showed flashes of brilliance but right now he is simply too slow. His passing is still excellent and his attacking positioning allows him to score goals, but his engine can no longer take a whole game of running from box to box. The fact he doesn't have adequate cover (Mikel has been poor) accentuates the fact that Super-Frank just isn’t that super any more.

Fernando Torres – What a roller coaster ride the striker has had since joining Chelsea. Where is El Nino of old? The one who was among the best finishers in the world? He certainly hasn’t shown up since his mega move to London. His erratic performances mean AVB’s 4-3-3 formation hasn't been working as well as it did at Porto with someone like Falcao leading the line.

You can be thinking right now that it is the manager’s job to get the best out of his players. I agree. My point is that some of Chelsea’s key players just aren’t that good any more. Like Mourinho said a few years ago, it is tough to make a good omelette without good eggs, and Villas Boas is really struggling to find Grade A eggs at the moment.

What does all of this mean? It means AVB has to find a way to convince Abramovich that he needs time and he needs new players. This season the manager must win a trophy, any trophy, maybe the FA Cup, and buy some time to continue his revolution next season.

Only then can we judge his ability to build a team. Because right now he just doesn’t have the players to suit his style of play. He just doesn't have the players that can compete with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United.

Posted by ,
Filed under:  Football
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. wale

    Pedro, I don't agree that Cech was at fault for the first goal against Liverpool. Mikel lost the ball cheaply leading to a 3v2 situation and Maxi finished really well. Other than that, good article.

    November 23, 2011 at 3:15 am | Reply
  2. Rodrigo

    Pedro Pinto, always looking out for his fellow countrymen.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:21 am | Reply
  3. Prakash Moktan

    Chelsea is going to sink couple of world class coaches, already 3 have departed and it looks like Andre Villas-Boas will be going too.........without doubt ! Pramok

    November 23, 2011 at 11:48 am | Reply
  4. Charles

    I agree Pedro you really make sense. nice one mate...

    November 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  5. bismark

    i think AVB is trying his best to put up a formidable side. am not especting any miracle this season but next season wld be great for chelsea. Essien wld be back fron almost a season long injury. let see if he can announce his presence by holding the mildfied, something MIkel obi has failed to do.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  6. Ogo

    I often read Pedro Pinto's comments; he is a great sport analyst. I partially agree with his present analysis but generally, he seems to have that soft side for his country men.

    November 24, 2011 at 5:23 am | Reply
  7. ifeanyi okolo

    pedro you are rite the players are jokers

    November 24, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  8. coluoch

    Result now fire Boas bring Hiddink back and i wonder why pedro pinto never critisizes his fellow country men like the useless Boas , Bosingwa

    November 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  9. omegafifteen

    Mr. PInto it's a shame that not even a single word of comment has been left on CNN in respect of yesterday's game between AC MILAN and BARCELLONA: one of the best games in the last 6 months all over the world !

    November 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  10. alehandro

    AVB knew what he was getting into when he joined Chelsea, a blind man could have seen this was a team on the decline. His job was to get the best out of what he had while also planning and building for the future. Clearly he's come up short, but I still hope Abramovic gives him longer to prove himself provided AVB shows some guts. Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Anelka, Malouda and Mikel should each be on the for sale list. Likewise Essien because he's simply too injury-prone. Torres should be given a run but also an ultimatum - " deliver the goods or you're gone in the summer." Luis should be moved into the middle of the park where his attacking tendencies would not be a liability and might actually have some benefit. Chelsea currently have just 3 players of real quality - Matta, Sturridge and Cole so they need new blood as a matter of urgency. They're not even close to being title-contenders this season and if the Roman empire is not to come crashing down money will have to be spent.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:27 am | Reply
  11. udin

    I agree that Terry must be submitted with the young one.

    November 25, 2011 at 7:51 am | Reply
  12. eke ifeanyi johnson

    i belive one day chelsea fc will do some thing great, but let us solve our problem with our players first, b/4 we go ahead,,

    November 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  13. paa bonku

    missing michael essien. i'm sure he's going to put up an impresive performance on his return. apart from from this my boys need to be athletic.

    November 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  14. Udemezue Victor

    If Chelsea will On Earth Win The Champions League , I assure U AVB is The Man

    November 26, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  15. Karen

    Who/what is AVB?

    An Accident Vasculo-Cerebral? An Atrio Ventricular Block or the name of a person?

    Fancy calling Sir Alex Ferguson – SAFO? Harry Redknapp – HARE! or David Cameron – DC or VIDCAM?

    I suspect Norman Fairclough would explain the phenomena better in terms of Language, Ideology and Power.

    I am surprised to see Mr. Pedro Pinto (whom I understand shares the same nationality as Mr. Villas-Boas) join the bigots bandwagon and opt to call Mr. Andre Villas-Boas an AVB. At least call him Andre!

    It is all vaguely reminiscent of the days the media in Britain used to try and denigrate Mr. Mourinho by calling him "Jose" – as in "no way Jose"...

    November 27, 2011 at 12:13 am | Reply
  16. Oppong Bismark Junior

    I know AVB is doing his best to help the club but players like John Terry, Mikel Obi, Ivanovic and Lampard are to be replaced by new strong and younger players. Lampard is very good but a bit slow because he is growing and the power he once had is not longer around. I wish you all the best and i know deff AVB will make chelsea a better team next season.

    November 28, 2011 at 9:06 am | Reply
  17. Michael

    Couldn't have said it any better. But I also don't agree Cech was to blame for the first goal. Great article!

    November 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  18. Archie Plinger

    Seems I'm not the only one to notice Pinto's extreme biased reporting, both in print and on TV. Villas-Boaz and Carvalio wouldn't be Portugese by any chance would they? Terry and Lampard wouldn't be English by any chance would they? Oh, and the terrible English media!
    Well England are still two places ahead of Portugal in the Fifa rankings so eat your heart out Pinto.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  19. egbe, ekpenyong

    Its just too early to judge the performance of this chelsea boys. I think there will fare better as the league progresses may be after xmas. You can't determine the price of a commodity by what it sells in the early hours of its sale.

    November 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  20. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Never write them off. There is quality in the Chelsea ranks. Wishing footballers, fans and the Chelsea manager all the very best in the weeks and months ahead. Good luck.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  21. Rosalva Harjo

    Like dogs in a wheel, birds in the cage, or squirrels in the chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never achieve the top.
    When the career you have selected has some unexpected inconvenience, console yourself by reflecting that no career is without.

    March 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.