Andre Villas-Boas painted a vivid picture of the brutal reality of life as Chelsea manager by claiming that sackings represent "just another day at the office" at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are looking for their eighth permanent manager of the Roman Abramovich era after dismissing Roberto Di Matteo, who was Villas-Boas's assistant and had succeeded him in March. Villas-Boas's reign at Chelsea lasted nine months. As he prepared for tonight's Europa League tie against Lazio, the Tottenham manager could not resist a swipe at his former club.
"I'm aware of the position I occupied in that club and each club is responsible for its own actions," said Villas-Boas. "At Chelsea, a sacking is just like another day at the office.
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said he was "very sad" and "very surprised" that Di Matteo had been sacked, and almost surprised at the terms on which Rafael Benitez had replaced him.
"It was a complete surprise to me," said Wenger. "He came in during a difficult situation, he won the Champions League and the FA Cup, and he has not been given any time this season. It is very sad news. It is important on our side to show loyalty."
Wenger added of Benitez's initial appointment as manager for the rest of the season: "He is a guy with a record, a manager of stature. I am surprised he has been appointed for such a short time and surprised he accepted that."