Following yesterday's dismal defeat at West Brom, Chelsea have finally pulled the trigger on Andre Villas-Boas. For the heinous crime of leaving the London club three points adrift of the top four, AVB has been dismissed with immediate effect, with assistant Roberto Di Matteo taking over until the end of the season.
While John Terry and Frank Lampard sat around a fireplace in wingback chairs, wearing smoking jackets and cackling maniacally, Chelsea issued an official statement:
Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season.
The club is still competing in the latter stages of the Uefa Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts.
With that in mind we felt our only option was to make a change at this time.
Brought in to rebuild an aging squad after winning an impressive quadruple-winning campaign with Porto, AVB has won just five of his last 16 games, while Di Matteo has a mountain to climb to keep the Blues' Champions League hopes alive — for this season and next.
As part of Roman Abramovich's policy of sacking managers as soon as form dips, it cost the Blues around $44m to remove Carlo Ancelotti and bring in AVB eight months ago. This represents the biggest waste of money at Stamford Bridge since they paid $80m for a former Spain striker who has scored twice in 21 Premier League games. If Chelsea applied the same standards to their players as they do managers, Fernando Torres would have hung up his boots and started his dog training academy months ago.
Rafa Benitez — a man who has been twiddling his thumbs for the past year — is the favorite to become next full-time coach, while Pep Guardiola and a young promising upstart named Jose Mourinho are also hot prospects to be undermined by Chelsea's senior players for the managerial hot seat.