Abramovich's visit raises pressure on Villas-Boas

 

Chelsea last night confirmed that their billionaire owner Roman Abramovich had visited the club's training ground before their controversial draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The move puts further pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas, who has struggled to implement the needed transition at Stamford Bridge, both in terms of playing style and personnel.

For the first time this season, Abramovich watched training and spoke with Villas-Boas at length on Saturday and then spent time in the home dressing room after a 3-0 lead had been surrendered in such dramatic style 24 hours later, with Chelsea now fighting to qualify for the Champions League.

"Roman was able to visit on Saturday and he and Andre had a good chat after the training session, which is normal," said a club spokesman. "Roman likes to get down to Cobham and watch training whenever he can."

There is at least an apparent acceptance from Abramovich that overhauling a side and style determined by former manager Jose Mourinho will take time, but patience is not the Russian's forte.

Villas-Boas's repeated assertion is that he will be allowed to see out the three-year contract he signed last summer when he arrived at Stamford Bridge.

However, Chelsea trail league leaders Manchester City by 14 points and have Newcastle United, Arsenal and Liverpool now vying to claim fourth spot in the Premier League.

Sunday's capitulation at home owed much to the two penalties awarded against Chelsea by referee Howard Webb. Villas-Boas declined to be overly critical of the official but Sir Alex Ferguson did not.

Ferguson believed that Gary Cahill should have been sent off for a foul on Danny Welbeck in the first half of Sunday's game, a decision that could have significantly altered such an important contest.

"They should've had a man sent off... [but there was] nothing, no decision," he said. "That linesman [Darren Cann] [has] given a penalty kick against us from 40 yards away last year against Liverpool, this year against Arsenal, and he can't see that? He is all too happy to flag at Old Trafford for penalty kicks."

The Manchester United manager however, will not be sanctioned by the Football Association, which feels he was within his rights to criticise Cann and that he did not question the official's integrity.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable