Fergie disappointed but not surprised to see AVB go
Published 20:52 04/03/12 By MirrorFootball
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was among those to sympathise with sacked Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, despite admitting the news did not surprise him.
Villas-Boas was shown the door at Stamford Bridge following another poor result, this time a 1-0 defeat West Brom, and Ferguson was disappointed to see a highly-rated young manager given such a short time to prove himself in the Barclays Premier League.
Villas-Boas, 34, was appointed at the start of the season following a superb record with Porto, but was not allowed to see through his much-discussed three-year plan to overhaul the playing squad.
Speaking prior to his own side's 3-1 win over Tottenham, Ferguson told Sky Sports: "The news is not surprising to me really.
"There was all the build-up in the media and obviously the results haven't been kind to him. But it is disappointing because he is a young manager.
"When you are young you need time and obviously in this industry you don't get a lot of time unfortunately, so it is sad in a way.
"I hope he does well because he has got the potential. His work at Porto can't be ignored and I hope he comes back into the game soon."
Avram Grant, one of Villas-Boas' predecessors at Chelsea, was sacked by owner Roman Abramovich despite coming within a whisker of Champions League success.
"I don't know what happened at Chelsea from the inside but some managers before have been sacked at Chelsea and it's all about results," Grant told Sky Sports News.
"In this case, without knowing what's happened inside, the results were not so good and the football was not so good. I always like more patience but we expect this, no?
"You need to bring results and good football, this is the target of Chelsea. The owner has made this clear and he has put a lot of money in to do things in the right way.
"This is the name of the game. It's a club that's spent a lot of money to achieve the best so every time you are losing games there are some problems about this.
"I think in this case he was lacking a little bit of experience but I'm sure he'll succeed at the end of the day because he knows football."
Roberto Di Matteo has been placed in charge until the end of the season, while a host of high-profile names have already being linked with the job.
Among those are former boss Jose Mourinho, who could be leaving Real Madrid in the summer, and ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.
Ray Wilkins, who previously worked at Chelsea as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant, would not be drawn on the identity of the long-term successor, but feels the club are in safe hands for the time being.
"(Di Matteo) has managed in the Premier League, he's been around quite a while and I would say it's probably better Robbie takes over until the end of the season than somebody coming in until the end of the year," he told Sky Sports News.
"Robbie's the right guy to do it, along with (first-team coach) Steve Holland, that would be the perfect match. We'll see where they go at the end of the season."
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who has made it on to some bookmakers' shortlists despite continuing to be strongly linked with the England job, said: "Unless Mourinho comes in, it's not going to affect it (the title race), and I don't think he's coming this week."
Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew pointed the finger for Villas-Boas' sacking firmly at some of the club's under-performing stars.
Villas-Boas' strained relations with the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Ashley Cole - not to mention Alex and Nicolas Anelka, who were both sold - have been widely credited for some of the 10 defeats he suffered since his arrival.
"I have a lot of sympathy for him because that is a really, really talented coach we have lost in this country," Pardew said after his side's 1-1 draw with Sunderland.
"He has had to take on a club there with a lot of senior pros and in the background probably had a very, very difficult job.
"When you are in a transition year like that - and I have been in it because I was at West Ham when I inherited a lot of senior pros who had just been relegated - it was very, very difficult.
"They made it difficult for me, and one or two of them have apologised since, and so they should. I hope one day that happens to that manager because I think he deserves a better turn than he has had."
Winger Juan Mata was the first Chelsea player to react publicly to Villas-Boas' departure tonight, posting on his Facebook page: "It hasn't been an easy day for those who, like me, are part of Chelsea.
"I would like to thank the manager and wish him luck.
"We have to keep working hard and better days will come. Thanks for your support!"