AVB sacking is Abramovich's biggest gaff

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If Chelsea supporters were buoyant following Roman Abramovich's purchasing of the club in the summer of 2003, nine years on they can reflect on a turbulent, albeit often trophy laden, spell under the trigger-fingered Russian.

An often overused accusation in relation to potential football owners is their understanding of the game they're emerging themselves in, but Abramovich finds himself in too deep with a series of boardroom blunders marring his spell in west London.

The sacking of Andre Villas-Boas exposes his lack of understanding of the ability of the squad at the Portuguese manager's disposal, coupled with the time required to finely tune a squad who can contest for the title.

We were all sold down the river in the summer when Abramovich parted with £13.3 million of his oil-lined cash to draft in Villas-Boas, who at 33, looked like a long-term appointment following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti. How wrong we were.

The ex-Porto boss, who has claimed four trophies in his first season in management with the Primera Liga champions, had followed a similar path into management to Jose Mourinho, evidence as far as Abramovich was concerned that he was best equipped for the job in hand.

He inherited a team that many felt would be strong enough to run the Manchester pair at least close in the Premier League title race. The reality is that Villas-Boas was handed a squad which has seen him take the fall for previous stagnated regimes.

Instead of overseeing an overhaul in the playing squad, the likes of Avram Grant, Jose Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti made few alterations while staying loyal to the old guard of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

However, that trio were simply given too little time to bring new life to the squad that helped rise Mourinho to prominence. Those mistakes meant Villas-Boas was simply on a hiding to nothing.

A definitive side-issue in the grand-scheme of things, but the timing of the sacking is also baffling. If indeed Abramovich takes things season by season, then what did he see in November and December to suggest that Villas-Boas should stay, but then hasn't seen since.

If anything, it would make more sense for the two parties to have parted ways previous to the New Year. Now, with only 12 games left, the decision to turn to assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo -with no transfer window - means the Italian faces a thankless task to turn things around. It's a job that would have been made easier had Abramovich been more swift with his decision making.

The blind faith shown in a squad stuck in the mid-noughties, coupled with the timing over the departure makes the sacking of Villas-Boas the most naive and miscalculated decision the owner has made during his time at Stamford Bridge, even more so than the parting of ways with Mourinho or the purchase of the miss-firing Andriy Shevchenko.

Mourinho may possess many traits as a football manager, but the most prominent is his ruthless lust to succeed, hence his failure to spend more than three years with any club. Whether he be sacked, resigned or left by mutual consent, Mourinho's addiction with cosmopolitan supremacy comes with an air of selfishness. Any return must be with the knowledge that Mourinho isn't solely motivated by personal gain.

Before Mourinho could leave the Blues in the lurch, Abramovich took swift action, with the Real Madrid henchman's reputation intact among those on the King's Road. His decision was a posts' width from being vindicated.

Granted, the signing of Shevchenko will never be truly justified, but like any club who delve into the transfer market regularly it turned out to be a flop addition rather than the fundamental reason for the club's decline. It could have happened to anyone.

Instead of the vacant Chelsea manager's position promising a depth of spending, and a healthy squad built with the title in mind, the new manager will be taking a role with the most unstable club in English football thanks to an owner who has turned renewed optimism into a footballing laughing stock.

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