With Luiz Felipe Scolari, Chelsea were guaranteed to win the Premiership. If they could push United until the final day of the season with that gimp Avram Grant in charge, then they would certainly take it up a gear under Scolari’s leadership, right?
So far, I’ve been fairly impressed with Scolari, with him coming across far better than the likes of Arsene Wenger or Rafael Benitez. He seems fairly laid back and is reluctant to dive in to the mind games other managers in the top four enjoy.
However, apart from leaving questions over whether Peter Kenyon is screwing Didier Drogba, the striking differences between him and Sir Alex Ferguson became apparent in Scolari’s dealings with the Ivorian striker.
Reports emerged this week linking Didier Drogba with a move to Inter Milan to join former manager, Jose Mourinho.
“I don’t have anything to say,” Drogba said in response to questions about the link. “I am upset about the reaction on my comeback game, I made an error.”
So what did Scolari have to say about it?
“We are coming into December, then Christmas – and Christmas is for agents, the time when they open their mouths for the world and say ‘we know this team or that team wants a player`,” he said. “Now is their month. Maybe you will read about 15 players coming to Chelsea from outside and 15 leaving. But I don’t sleep with him, sure. Where he was, I don’t know. I’m not a policeman for the players. Do not ask me. Ask Peter Kenyon, ask Roman Abramovich. I don’t know I’m only the coach.”
Chelsea have won 71% of the games where Drogba has been playing, just 59% without him, yet Scolari doesn’t seem to care where this player was or what he was doing.
Can you imagine when over the summer Ferguson was asked about Ronaldo, him replying, “ask David Gill, ask the Glazers, what do I know? I’m just the coach.”
Scolari’s comments seem to suggest what most of us have thought anyway, that he sees his time with the rent boys as entirely transient. It also seems to confirm the problems that both Mourinho and Grant had, being that the manager will never be top dog at that club. Abramovich is the organ grinder, the manager will always only be the monkey.
Ferguson started his career nine years before Scolari, yet has has had fifteen fewer managerial posts than Big Phil. The five years Scolari spent with Portugal was the longest job of his career, and other than three year stretches with Palmeiras and Gremio, he has spent up to a year or two in charge of every other club.
It appears as though he is anticipating the same with Chelsea, so it would be best not to get too attached.