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Premier League

Hollins: Scolari lacked club experience

Former Chelsea manager John Hollins believes Luiz Felipe Scolari paid with his job for failing to make the impression on the club scene that he did as an international manager.

Scolari, who coached Brazil to World Cup glory, was this afternoon sacked with the Stamford Bridge club fourth in the Barclays Premier League - seven points behind leaders Manchester United having played a game more.

And former Blues midfielder Hollins, who was himself manager of the club from 1985-88, believes his failure to adapt to club management proved his downfall.

He told Sky Sports News: "You can't knock him for what he's done internationally but club football is a different ball game.

"I feel he couldn't adapt to the every day thing (of club management). Internationally he's had time to look at a game and pick a team but (Chelsea) is instant."

Hollins continued: "Every day is very, very busy and I have to say I don't think there was enough in there from him to carry it through.

"He had to have the players every day - some players have massive egos, it's the case all over the country. But Chelsea are a big side and he had to pick the team that could win a match."

Scolari's last game was a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Hull on Saturday and Hollins continued: "I've seen five games where things didn't change a great deal - and they couldn't beat the lesser sides.

"They were winning home games and had that fabulous unbeaten home record but suddenly they looked an ordinary team.

"He was the man who was going to put the discipline into everything. I feel he appeared to be quite relaxed on the line, yet he shouted and screamed when he was doing his international bit."

Guus Hiddink and Avram Grant are already being talked about as potential replacements, with former Blues favourite Gianfranco Zola - now at West Ham - also being linked to the post.

Hollins highlighted the connection with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich as he added: "Hiddink is big news. He was in the frame I believe prior to Scolari taking the job.

"It's the Russian connection and he is respected for the work he did with the Russian international team and he is also held in the highest esteem with Chelsea.

"Avram Grant got them to the final of the Champions League and but for one penalty kick he would have been a hero."

As for the remainder of the season, Hollins added: "Of course the season can be saved.

"All the equipment is there but its how you juggle with it and adjust it.

"Someone coming in has to be positive and get that winning back into the pattern again - Chelsea need that - they need to lift the supporters."

Former Chelsea defender Ron Harris believes West Ham manager Zola and his assistant Steve Clarke - who left Stamford Bridge shortly after Scolari's appointment - would be the fans' choice.

Harris told Setanta Sports News: "I think that if it was a choice with the supporters, I think that 90 per cent would like to get Zola and Stevie Clarke."

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin urged the Chelsea board to take their time finding a replacement for Scolari.

"His popularity has been plummeting the past few weeks," Nevin told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"The question is, who is going to be able to do it with a squad that is clearly not strong enough.

"They've had a few changes over the past year or two. Since Jose Mourinho left it's not really been settled.

"This is a club that a year ago was one of the biggest in world and quite clearly it seems to have gone downhill quite quickly.

"I hope for Chelsea's sake they don't have a knee-jerk reaction and dive for the first name that comes into their mind, the first big name that becomes available.

"They need to give it an awful lot of thought and maybe consider someone that isn't the biggest name in the world."