Andre Villas-Boas has had a week and perhaps a season to forget. Results have not gone his way and the young Portuguese manager has found it a lot harder to transition from Porto to Chelsea '03 compared to his mentor Jose Mourinho. To be fair to AVB he has had to deal with a senior group of players who are used to winning, and more importantly, used to getting their own way. Villas-Boas has reportedly lost the dressing room. One of the quickest ways for him to get it back is to be ruthless. John Terry may have too much influence in team affairs and with the club owner and he has become bigger than Chelsea '03 itself. If Villas-Boas ships him out at the end of the season along with Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and a few others his reign may begin in earnest. If not, Terry and company will become the next manager’s problem. Then again Terry might fancy himself as the next manager. He is after all, Mr. Chelsea.
Glasgow Rangers went into administration last Monday and were officially docked 10 points the following day to effectively hand the Scottish title to Celtic. The majority of Rangers fans on the internet forums now feel that the 2011-12 title is tainted. They don't do irony do they? Their club has spent at least 10 years involved in financial doping, a form of cheating, to win them at least four titles, yet it will be Celtic’s title that is tainted. I don’t think so. The situation at Rangers is embarrassing for Scottish football, but if anyone thinks Celtic fans should have sympathy for their Glasgow counterparts they don't understand football rivalry. Celtic fans are going to enjoy the mother of all celebrations as HMRC helps make up for 140 years of sectarianism, bigotry, arrogance, cheating and corruption when it takes Rangers down a peg or two. The Scottish Football Association and the Scottish media are not blameless in Rangers downfall either and in time their roles in this sorry situation will be called into question. In time Celtic will need Rangers, but for now their fans will gladly enjoy their rival’s misery. Jelly and ice cream anyone?
Mick McCarthy’s position as manager of Wolves became untenable after a heavy home defeat to bitter local rivals West Bromwich Albion. The Irishman did a great job in getting Wolves promoted into the EPL and deserves great credit for keeping them, there. He will not be short of job opportunities this spring. Lee Clark was undeservedly shown the door by Huddersfield Town. Town were one of the biggest clubs in England in the 1930’s and Clark has paid with his job for failing to get them back to the top division. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for the vacant job at Leeds United; however, Ken Bates appointed Neil Warnock instead. Those two will form the most volatile relationship in English football and Leeds will be must watch TV for the tenure of Warnock’s reign.
To paraphrase Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the reports of the demise of Barcelona have been greatly exaggerated. Yes Barca’s recent loss to Osasuna handed the La Liga title to Real Madrid, but they won't part with their Champions League without a fight. Barca showed in the first leg at Bayer Leverkusen that retaining their Champions League title will continue to motivate them and bring out the best in their players. Barcelona are driven to be recognized as the best team in football history and winning another UEFA Champions League will help stake their claims to that mantle.