Villas-Boas was out of his league

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas
Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas
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It’s hard to report on the soap opera at Chelsea while keeping a straight face.

Trigger-happy Roman Abramovich is looking for his eighth manager in nine crazy years after firing Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday.

How many in the stroppy, over-powerful Stamford Bridge dressing room can really look themselves in the mirror after this?

Player power has won, via a thousand leaks to favoured journalists.

But the 34-year-old Portuguese boss had to go and, it must be said, in recent weeks appeared to be on a soccer suicide mission.

Petulantly, leaving out ‘rebels’ Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien for the vital Champions League tie at Napoli was a daft decision which inevitably backfired in a 3-1 defeat.

Despite his success in the less-demanding environment of Porto, AVB simply was not ready for such a big job with one of Europe’s elite clubs.

Aloof and arrogant, his micro-management style made enemies.

Mind you, that is quite easy to do at Chelsea.

Standing outside his office on a balcony with a watch, making sure players were on time, symbolised a headmasterly regime.

Then there were the ill-judged comments about being ‘out of the title race’ as early as Boxing Day and saying he ‘did not need the players’ support’.

None of that would have mattered had Chelsea been producing the right results on the pitch.

But AVB’s tactics were ill-suited to an ageing team who were not pulling for him.

Three wins in 12 Premier League games has left Chelsea in danger of missing the top four cut-off, and their place in this season’s Champions League is hanging by a thread.

But who is really to blame here?

Certainly, AVB did not help himself – and the cabal of top players who have way too much influence need to be cleared out by the next manager.

Yet the real culprit for this mess is Abramovich for sacking double-winner Carlo Ancelotti and replacing him with a novice whose appointment was little more than a punt.

The Russian oligarch apparently wants Pep Guardiola to leave brilliant Barcelona to come and work for him at Stamford Bridge.

If I was Guardiola, I would find the offer of leaving the Nou Camp about as tempting as a glass of wine laced with arsenic.