Ancelotti pays the price for trophyless season as Chelsea owner Abramovich wields the axe again
ANCELOTTI SACKED AFTER CHELSEA END WITH A LOSS ++ BLACKPOOL DOWN AFTER DEFEAT AT MAN UTD ++ BIRMINGHAM CONDEMNED BY SPURS LATE SHOW ++ WIGAN AND WOLVES ESCAPE ON FINAL DAY ++
CHELSEA kick-started their summer revolution by firing manager Carlo Ancelotti in the aftermath of yesterday’s defeat at Everton.
It had already promised to be a summer of upheaval at Stamford Bridge with a number of senior players, synonymous with the club’s recent successes, linked with moves away from west London.
Owner Roman Abramovich is already looking to replace outgoing sporting director Frank Arnesen, as well as recruit a new chief scout, but finding a successor to Ancelotti now becomes the Russian’s priority following the swift and ruthless decision to remove the Italian.
Porto’s highly-rated Andre Villas-Boas, a disciple of Jose Mourinho, is rated as the bookmakers’ favourite, while former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, revealed on yesterday still to be on the Stamford Bridge payroll in an advisory capacity, and fellow Dutchman Marco van Basten have been linked with the vacant post
Ancelotti’s position had been perilous from the moment his side’s form began to dip last November, but a late season revival, which drew Chelsea to within three points of champions Manchester United with three games to play, offered last season’s Double winning coach hope of a reprieve.
The former AC Milan coach said he expected to meet with club officials this week to discuss his future following yesterday’s defeat at Goodson Park, inflicted by Jermaine Beckford’s second-half solo effort.
But the 51-year-old wasn’t afforded that luxury with his exit confirmed just hours after the final whistle in a statement that read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Carlo Ancelotti parted company with the club.
“The owner and board would like to thank Carlo for his contribution and achievements since taking over as manager in July 2009 including winning the Double.
“However, this season’s performances have fallen short of expectations and the club feels the time is right to make this change ahead of next season’s preparations.”
WHO’S NEXT? | ABRAMOVICH’S WISH LIST
Andre Villas-Boas: Porto secured the treble yesterday, adding the Portuguese Cup to the domestic title and Europa League, under the guidance of the 33-year-old tipped as the next Jose Mourinho.
Guus Hiddink: The Dutchman enjoyed a successful six-month spell at the helm in 2009 but is more likely to return full-time in a more technical capacity
Marco van Basten: The Dutch legend has had a mixed managerial record to date but may work well alongside an experienced head like Hiddink.