Huffpost UK Sport uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

James Lancaster Headshot

It's Time for Bobby and Sparky to Go

Posted: Updated:

It should be of no surprise that Roberto Di Matteo's tenure is in crisis. John Terry's reluctance to apologise after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand and the collapsed case against Mark Clattenburg are clear evidence that there is no strong management steering this ship. It is becoming very clear that their incumbent manager's days are numbered.

While John Terry probably isn't a racist, he was a fool who made an unacceptable comment. The situation could have been remedied but Villas-Boas and Di Matteo failed in managing Chelsea's authoritative captain, perhaps for fear of losing the dressing room, but who truly knows?

Since last October Chelsea's reputation and credibility has sunk with a fortuitous Champions League medal the only defence for an intolerable eighteen months. Roberto Di Matteo would have almost certainly not held onto the Chelsea job had it not been for Didier Drogba winning his team the Champions League, even then there was still some doubt as to whether Roman Abramovich would retain his services as manager. Today rumours of a dressing room bust-up after Saturday's game against West Brom are circulating and these are of no surprise as the club's discipline continues to leave very little to be desired about the culture of contemporary football. I think it is very unlikely that Roberto Di Matteo will survive until May 2013, as his poor control of Chelsea is not just impacting off the pitch behaviour but has begun to leak onto the pitch with a string of poor results. It is also very unhelpful to have Pep Guardiola and others sniffing in the wings.

It is wholly evident to the rest of the football community that Chelsea is a football team plagued by indiscipline. This was evident from their recent, inaccurate, claims that Mark Clattenburg had racially abused two Chelsea players after their defeat to Manchester United. After the discovery of no concise or relevant evidence these charges were dropped. It is unlikely that the FA will punish Chelsea for abusing the current racism crisis in football, but they have condemned a young referee to serious reputational damage. These sort of incidents only serve to undermine Di Matteo's already fragile position as Chelsea's manager.

While Mark Hughes' recruitment career is clearly in the gutter, after over forty new signings since January he was subjected to another sullen post match interview with QPR continuing their steady decline towards Championship football. It is unquestionable that he is a talented boss but his regime at QPR is clearly failing. To coin a populist and Sun-dosed up phrase 'Give it 'Arry' and not because Mark Hughes is a bad manager but if he wants another top flight job it might be sensible to move on before he is pushed. Otherwise he risks spending the rest of his career sulking next to Graeme Souness on the match pundits' sofa.

I'll end by saying that as an Aston Villa fan I continue to be disappointed, it'd be hard to blame Paul Lambert... we've blamed Houllier and Mcleish, it's probably time to hide behind the sofa for the next six months praying that Villa achieve 17th. Then again it can't be much more difficult that being a Labour Party supporter.