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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy