Reports of a training ground bust-up at Chelsea have led, inevitably, to rumours surrounding the future of Andre Villas-Boas.
The claims are that the Portuguese called his squad to their Cobham training ground in order to berate them after the dismal loss to Everton on Saturday, only to result in an argument with some players.
While it was a low-point in what has been something of a disappointing season for the Stamford Bridge club, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
Villas-Boas reportedly has the backing of owner Roman Abramovich and this must surely be the correct decision.
The former Porto boss is young, has fresh ideas and has shown he will be successful when his players buy into his philosophy wholeheartedly.
Reports are suggesting the Blues senior players are not doing this, leading to accusations and criticisms being thrown around at the team meeting.
This may be the turning point for Villas-Boas’ reign at Chelsea, but it could turn in the direction of two opposite outcomes.
One outcome is that the players’ dissatisfaction leads to more poor performances and a failure to qualify for next year’s Champions League cause Abramovich to react by sacking the 34-year-old coach.
The other is that poor performances by the club’s more senior players inability to adapt to a system that has proven success convinces the Russian oligarch to renew his faith in Villas-Boas and sanction an overhaul of an ageing squad.
The latter of the two outcomes should be the one favoured by Chelsea fans if they are serious about the future of their club being safe.
If entrenched senior players are unwilling, or even unable, to adapt to a system of play that saw Porto go a whole season unbeaten, winning 27 out of 30 games, wining the Portuguese cup and breaking various scoring records in the way to Europa League success, then they must have said seniority questioned.
It will be difficult for the Blues faithful to turn their backs on players who brought the cub unprecedented success during the years under Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, but it will be necessary if the west Londoners are to experience similar triumphs in the long term.
While these players have obviously been of the highest class in the Premier League for some time – and still not done – it is an inevitability that they will begin to decline in their effectiveness on a football pitch.
There will always be friction when the prominent parties of two different eras come together, but it is a necessary evil to be endured that will set the tone for the coming years at Stamford Bridge.
However it turns out, this season is set to be pivotal in the future of the club and Roman must hold his nerve for the sake of a brighter dawn.
It is essential to let Villas-Boas take control of the squad to mould it to align his vision and dispense with all those who are proving to be obstacles for this, whether consciously or not.
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