Monday, February 9, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Scolari out at Spartak London

Wow. Just, wow.

Right about when you thought this season couldn't get more unpredictable and insane, we get this:


Reut11:18 02-09-0902-09-2009 16:18UTC / ( /
News is trickling in now with some words on the CFC website. They paid him about 6.25 million pounds a year to get them back to the top, and he's gone after 7 months in charge, proving that absolutely no-one's job is safe in the world's most pressurized, demanding domestic league.

In a statement, Spartak gave the usual bullshit:
"The Chelsea board would like to place on record our gratitude for his time as manager. Felipe has brought many positives to the club since he joined and we all feel a sense of sadness that our relationship has ended so soon. Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season."
And the man now in charge, Ray Wilkins, will presumably get the ship righted. Meanwhile, Mourinho is in Italy, laughing over an afternoon aperitif, and Avram Grant realizes he could now be stuck in a bidding war.

It also begs the question: just who on earth is out there that could possibly be the high-level replacement they're obviously looking for? Alan Curbishley? Keegan?

To recap: Tony Adams and Luis Felipe Scolari fired within 24 hours. Avram can't replace them both at the same time, can he?

More to come, obviously.

[Update: not to trumpet our own skills or anything, but Bigus saw this coming a month ago.]


ΓΌ75 said...

Avram is so coming back to the EPL.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Also, what about Mourinho??

Ibracadabra said...

mourinho loves zlatan too much.

Keith said...

absolutely no-one's job is safe

Martin O'Neill, Prof. Wenger and Ol' Purple Face beg to differ with that assessment, LB.

The NY Kid said...

the sad part is we're still 5 points adrift of Spartak and they are killing us on GD

Lingering Bursitis said...

Keith, if it weren't for all those own goals your team has needed to keep winning lately, who knows?

bfriel0120 said...

Time for Shooter Flatch to sober up and show Chelski what he's got.

Precious Roy said...

Ooh... now the uppidty Liverpudlians are taking shots at Villa. Are the Reds getting scared?

Okay, back to Scolari, Grant, Adams, and other managerial shenanigans and chicanery.

Lingering Bursitis said...

PR: despite your wonderful efforts to stir the pot, I'm just saying, no-one is safe! Not even Rafa.

Wenger and Fergie are probably the two most safest managers EVAR, although the thought that Arsene's tenure is unthreatened while he stubbornly soldiers on and doesn't buy the right players is equally frightening.

And yes, this is an uppidty Liverpudlian taking a shot at Arsenal. And no, I am not scared.

The Fan's Attic said...

so does Zola come back?

Andrew said...


But seriously, Avram is making a grand return where he will either: a) save Pompey from relegation
b) do the job he did last year and make Chelsea play better.

Ibracadabra said...

I think Steve Bruce, Roy Hodgson, and Gianfranco Zola are pretty damn safe.

Precious Roy said...

Ibra... for now.

Think that's kind of the point. Bruce just had to sell two of his better players. What if they start sliding? How long of a grace period has he bought himself if fortunes reverse? Seems to be getting shorter and shorter for everyone not named Wenger (or O'Neill or SAF).

Andrew said...

"Unfortunately the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season."

Did they mean the team itself, because Ballack and Deco are looking old.

Mike Georger said...

For the love of GOD let them hire Sven

phil said...

Wow. I at least thought he'd survive the season.

I'm with Georger. Hire Sven!

Keith said...


a) If my aunt had bollocks. .

b) Lerner's not the capricious type. Even without any OGs, Villa are likely still in fifth, if not buzzing around Arsenal for fourth, which is progress enough that Lerner stays happy. Plus, he bought the club because he knew he had a solid manager that he could stick with and just have to sign checks.

c) Second Ibra's thoughts on Fat Jay Leno, Rescue Roy and Zola, and add Moyes to that list.

Lingering Bursitis said...


This is all predicated on "if", that's the point. If Pompey kept Defoe and Diarra, maybe Adams is still there.

Based on recent evidence involving Chelsea, I just cannot say that so many EPL managers really are safe.

Lingering Bursitis said...

plus if your aunt had balls, she'd be your brother

Keith said...

Fair point on if. I'm just relating what I know from a) SAF being the only 10+ year-tenured manager; b) the ownership at Villa being a little less arbitrary than at Pompey, Spartak, Blackburn, or Newcastle; c)Wenger being bulletproof ever since the Invincibles at the latest.

Also, I'm from Jersey. So if my Aunt had balls, she'd be in the driver's seat of the IROC.

phil said...

If the managerial situation at Spartak is going to be this uncertain, I wonder how much longer Chelsea can continue to lure top managerial talent there. Is there a point at which the better managers just consider it not worth it to try and manage at the Bridge?

Ibracadabra said...

LB -

let's not overlook that Abramovich is a volatile oligarch who has had 3 managers in 1.5 years..

We can't equate his play toy managerial skills to the rest of the EPL can we just because he has sacked three managers?

Other managers are safer than you think...

Adams was rubbish at Wycombe and Portsmouth, and had to go, and Scolari - though his sacking is a bit hasty- wasn't doing the job either.

One point in 5 games vs the "Traditional" Top 4.

Even Avram beat Man U and Liverpool without a pre season training, without his own players, and with turmoil up to his head...

badly drawn boykins said...

@ Phil - " I wonder how much longer Chelsea can continue to lure top managerial talent there."

Exactly what I was thinking. Plus, who knows how long Roman is going to be funding his hobby? If I were a top level manager, I'd bide my time. You can always make money as a pundit, you know?

It's too bad about Chelsea, though. They were actually half decent before Roman came along, winning the FA Cup, advancing to the CL knockout phase, playing Sexy Football, etc, etc.

Eladio said...

The guardian's football podcast last week had an interesting suggestion re: Tony Adams. As he is a famously recovering alcoholic, and part of that recovery is to try to be sympathetic to others, that he might not have the intestinal fortitude to be a top-flight manager. Not sure I agree with it, but it's certainly worked for SAF and Eastender Harry.

Roy Keane, not so much.

Keith said...

Well, phil, the thing is that top-level managers (at least the types that take on volatile jobs like Chelski or Real) have the mindset going in that they're so good, the normal rules of volatility won't apply to them. They're determined to be "the guy that changes things." It's literally win-win. You succeed, you're the guy that changes things. You fail, eh, whattayagonnado, no one can succeed with that ownership, even if they do win.

30f said...

Phil -

I agree about Chelsea lessening their ability to get quality managerial talent as they join Madrid in giving their managers more and more MacGruber-like periods of time to get-er-done.

This kind of fast-twitch fire-hire-fire thing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Look at who Real got this last time, Juande Ramos. And they only got someone that 'good' only because he had just been fired (from Tottenham, no less). Maybe Zola or Grant leaves a steady job to come to Chelsea THIS time, but if this kind of merry-go-round continues at the Bridge - this may be their last chance at luring a manager away from a real job.

Roman, Levy and the other top office types are so meddling, who wants the damn job at the Bridge? Either someone unemployed or who needs the money more that they fear the 'shame' of being fired in a few months. Chelsea will start to look more like a circus and less like a quality job to top level people.

Remember a few weeks back when the rumor was Real Madrid was after Wenger. Why on earth would anyone leave a stable job (at a still reasonably big club) to go and get fired in Madrid? Wenger likes the fact that he is confident he will be at Arsenal in 2 years. Who knows what manager will be getting fired in Madrid in early 2011. Chelsea is now entering the same territory.

Keith, I agree that top managers have enormous egos and probably think that THEY will be the ones to turn it around. But, once there is a string of big names fired after less than a two seasons, even the meglomaniacal start to get the message that there is no pleasing the bosses at Real/Chelsea. This leads to a round robin of the usual managerial suspects with big egos but no commitment to the team. Like the aging star players Real and Chelsea buy, their manager options are gonna start to look like a bunch of men whose best days are juuuust slightly behind them while the younger (ish) management stars chose a more sane place to work.

And Portsmouth is obviously rearranging the deck chairs. Selling off two of the top players hurts on the pitch (obviously) but also lets the rest of the players know how much 'support' they are in for from the management. Not a shock that they would struggle after that. Suddenly, Stoke looks more likely to stay up.