It is such a common sight: Whenever a team endures a poor run of results, it is funny how the fingers will be pointed at the manager first.
Prople would always argue that, hey, it is because of a manager’s poor tactics that the team is unable to perform to their full potential. At Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas’ case is a fine example. Critics have come out recently to blame him for the Blues’ poor run of 4 defeats in 7 games.
Is it fair to jump to conclusions like that? Why haven’t many people thought that it could have been the players’ fault? Andre Villas-Boas has a proven record during his time at FC Porto. Guiding the team to the Portugese league title amongst many other honours, his track record does indeed show that he does have what it takes to do the job. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich even paid a huge sum of £13 million to release him from his Porto contract to secure his services. This is certainly a recognition of his managerial capabilities.
It is undeniable that the Barclays Premier League is very much different from the Portugese League. Apart from their huge market share in terms of the level of viewership that they receive, the players who play in the league are largely world-class and are paid a huge salary. Nevertheless, while it is true to some extent that their huge wages are a sign of their abilities, one must also remember that players are also humans and they do make mistakes at times.
John Terry slipped during the league game against Arsenal which resulted in Robin van Persie scoring. Paul Robinson misjudged a back pass and conceded a freak own goal which resulted in England failing to qualify for Euro 2008. The examples are endless, as seen from the EPL’s history.
A manager’s job is tough and complex. Apart from setting game-to-game tactics, he also has to handle the players’ welfare and need to deliver results to keep his job. Yet setting game-winning tactics are not even enough to deliver victory at games. Ultimately, the level of effectiveness of his tactics very much depends on the performance of the players on the field. Success only occurs when excellent tactics are excuted effectively on the playing field.
Hence, instead of pushing the blame to the manager, should we pause and ponder if there are other factors to why a club is not performing up to standard? It takes 2 hands to clap, and hence it is not fair for Andre Villas-Boas to take full responsibility for Chelsea’s poor form.