Villas-Boas under growing pressure after training row

 

Andre Villas-Boas's position as Chelsea manager looks increasingly insecure after the coach was involved in a heated discussion with some of his senior players on Sunday, the day after a limp defeat at the hands of Everton.

Villas-Boas claimed "full responsibility" in the aftermath of the 2-0 loss but did not hesitate to haul in his squad on their day off. And there were some angry exchanges at the club's Cobham training ground as the Portuguese gave his underperforming squad a dressing down.

On arrival at training the players were again confronted by the sight of owner Roman Abramovich, who spoke both to them and Villas-Boas in an attempt to get to the bottom of yet another winless run.

Abramovich has now visited the training ground almost every day since last Saturday, taking the time to inspect the current regime at close quarters after being sidetracked by a high-profile court case. The Russian billionaire is far from happy with recent results that have left Chelsea languishing 17 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and outside the top four.

The ongoing availability of Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, who replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari for a short stint at Stamford Bridge in 2008 and remains a firm favourite of Abramovich, is a significant threat to Villas-Boas's chances of continuing with his project at the club. Although the club maintain no change is imminent, the owner is understood to have made his dissatisfaction very clear to both players and manager alike.

The midfielder Frank Lampard, who is on his seventh manager in his 10-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge, yesterday insisted that it was the players who needed to take a look in the mirror after their display at Goodison Park.

"Of course we do, it's a group thing," Lampard said. "It was a bad performance from start to finish. When you come to Everton, the one thing you know they're going to do is fight you, press you and make things tough and we didn't react to that. We created two or three chances and that's not up to standard. We can only take that on the chin and apologise to the people who came up and watched it because that's not good enough for Chelsea."

Villas-Boas has been cut more slack than all of Abramovich's previous managers, with the Russian seemingly acknowledging the difficulties of revamping an ageing squad.

But Lampard insisted transition was no excuse for the current malaise, warning the club could forget about beating Napoli when the Champions League resumes unless they got their act together. He said: "We have been fighting to win leagues. Now, we are fighting for fourth and that hurts, so we have to react. We know we are in a bad way and we have to dig ourselves out of it. Different players do come in but whoever plays has to live up to the standards we have set."

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

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003