Chelsea Club Focus – Villas-Boas feeling heat from all angles

As Chelsea lie in fifth place in the Premier League table, 17 points adrift from leaders Manchester City and having only collected 12 points from the last 30 available to them, their season’s ambitions seem to be decreasing with each defeat leaving their domestic goal to merely qualify for the Champions League next season, a feat they haven’t failed to achieve since 2003.

Whilst hope still remains in the FA Cup with the Premier League’s two front-runners having both exited the competition, any chance of Champions League success this term looks unlikely. With all this taken into account the pressure is starting mount on manager Andre Villas-Boas who up until now may have been forgiven the failure to produce instantaneous results upon arrival at Stamford Bridge, as his appointment signalled a season of transition at Chelsea who had hired the youngest manager in the league.

Villas-Boas is not only under scrutiny from club supporters but recent reports claim that following a dismal display in his side’s 2-0 defeat at Everton, club owner Roman Abramovich and senior Chelsea players turned on the 34-year-old, with the players particularly questioning his principles and tactics. The Times reports that the incident took part at the club’s Cobham training complex on Sunday when Abramovich revealed his frustration at recent performances, venting his anger at Villas-Boas and his players.

An unexpected move was for senior players to then question the manager himself, and presumably his attacking methodology which has time and time again left The Blues exposed defensively resulting in an unwanted statistic that only the bottom five Premier League teams having conceded more goals on home soil than themselves.

The Portuguese manager did take ‘full responsibility’ for the manner of their defeat at Goodison Park, but his new found position of accountability to his players will have no doubt undermined his authority. The lack of respect it can create is likely to result in a decline in team morale, and any ex-pro or coach will tell you when you lose the dressing room it becomes awfully hard to exert said authority and command the respect a manager is entitled to.

As well as internal difficulties, it will not have helped the ex-Porto boss to hear his former employer at the Est

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