'Sacking will make us a better side' says Osgood

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The Independent Online

Peter Osgood, the former Chelsea striker, believes Gianluca Vialli's sacking ought to have come sooner and that his old club will definitely be the better for a parting of the ways .

Peter Osgood, the former Chelsea striker, believes Gianluca Vialli's sacking ought to have come sooner and that his old club will definitely be the better for a parting of the ways .

"At the end of the day it is going to make us a better side," he said. "We have to aim for the Champions' League. That means the Premiership was our main priority and we are six or seven points behind already - so something has to be done and the problems put right. You have to get your players right - you have to get them to play for each other. Luca will be very disappointed, but he will go away and I am sure he will become a better manager for it."

Osgood added his voice to those who want to see the former Chelsea player and one-time England coach, Terry Venables, replace Vialli.

He said: "I think you have to go for Terry Venables or George Graham. I think they are both great managers who can get people playing. Chelsea may go foreign - but I honestly hope not."

Another Chelsea old boy, Ron "Chopper" Harris, said: "Sometimes unrest is swept under the carpet, but it has given the club the ammunition to act. There are a lot of stories linking Gianfranco Zola with the job and Dennis Wise has a clause in his contract to give him a job on the staff. I can't see Ray Wilkins taking over."

The former sports minister and Chelsea fan, Tony Banks, is another who thinks Venables is the man to fill the Stamford Bridge manager's chair.

"I would like to put my money on Terry Venables. I believe he would be great for Chelsea," he said.

While reactions to Vialli's dismissal have been mixed in England, the sentiments voiced in his native Italy are of continuing admiration and sympathy.

Roberto Mancini, the assistant trainer at Lazio, said: "I'm very disappointed for Vialli because he's a good friend and a good manager.

"He's done very well at Chelsea and they've won many trophies under his management. I'm sure he'll have a good career in management, maybe not in England, but certainly in Italy."

Pierluigi Casiraghi, the Italian striker bought by Vialli whose career was ended by injury, claimed Chelsea should have kept faith with the manager who had brought so much success to the club.

He said: "Ken Bates [the Chelsea chairman] does not know the meaning of gratitude. He has made a mistake."

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