It was announced yesterday that our main title rivals, Chelsea, will be managed by Luiz Filipe Scolari next season. The current Portuguese boss turned down the potential job offer as the England national team manager two years ago after feeling as though our media was too intrusive.
“There are 20 reporters outside my house now,” said Scolari. “If that is part of another culture, it is not part of my culture. I am not the coach, and will not be (England’s) coach. I don’t want this situation involving England because in two days during which I was not coach, I never agreed to anything, my life was invaded. My privacy was totally under siege.” Of our culture, he said, “that’s not part of my life and its never going to be.”
Does Roman Abramovich have more money to spend than the FA? It would appear so, as now, the fact that his private life was left in tatters and his dislike of the English culture doesn’t seem to matter.
I’ve made my feelings on Jose Mourinho known. I think the guy lived largely off his own publicity, and once he had broken up the great squad he inherited, his flaws were left blatantly obvious. I’ve not been shy on letting it be known what I thought of his replacement either, Mr Avram Grant. Still, would either of these men do what Scolari has?
Portugal are in the midst of a Euro 2008 at present, standing as one of the favourites to win. However, it has now been announced at the end of the tournament he is leaving them. I find this absolutely scandalous for a number of reasons.
Why on earth is Scolari talking to Chelsea about a potential move when his team are playing in a major international tournament? He has a contract with Portugal and he is obliged to fulfil that, but instead of giving 100% to his job, he’s on the phone to Abramovich working out whether the roubles being offered are enough to make him give up his privacy and immerse himself in a culture he detests.
Whilst the Portuguese players might have predicted Scolari was going to take the Chelsea job on, I imagine none of them would have believed Scolari would be spending the past week or so in talks for another position. They are within their rights to expect a certain amount of professionalism, but Scolari has let them down entirely.
What effect this will have on Portugal’s championship hopes is yet to be seen, but it isn’t out of the question that the knowledge Scolari has been dealing behind their backs will have negative impacts on the team. Why should they care what this man has to say any more? Why listen to his team talks or play in the way he tells them to? His interests lie elsewhere now.
“Out of respect for his current role and to ensure minimum disruption to this work there will be no further comment from Chelsea nor from Felipe about his new role until his employment with us commences,” read the Chelsea statement. If avoiding disruption was the aim of this exercise, why on earth has the announcement been made now? Why has Scolari allowed Chelsea to make it known he is their coach when he is the middle of what could be, or more, could have been, a massive summer for Portugal?
For Scolari to make his opinion on our culture and media so public just two years ago, only to go and take the position at Chelsea, shows how his drive is entirely focussed on money. He has shown a complete lack of integrity with his timing of this decision as well as making it public, but that is only emphasised by his abandonment of his principles for money.
So, next season approaches, and another dislikeable Chelsea manager is on board. Now, how long before the Ronaldo to Chelsea rumours begin?
It is interesting to note that his current position with Portugal is his longest period with one club in his 26 years of management. He was been with the Portuguese for just 5 years. Next to this job come the 3 years he spent with Palmeiras and Gremio. Other than that, he is spent 1 or 2 years at a total of 15 different clubs. I suppose when Abramovich makes him the 4th sacked manager in Roman’s 6 years with the club next summer, it will be in keeping with the rest of his career!
Do you think Chelsea will pose a larger threat to the title with Scolari in charge, despite his lack of recent league football experience?