The Week Column - Abramovich's hasty hand is needed now more than ever

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Andre Villas-Boas poses during a photocall after being unveiled as the new Chelsea Manager during a press conference at Stamford Bridge on June 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Time is a precious commodity but you have to feel that Andre Villas-Boas of Chelsea doesn't have much of it left to spend. Money, yes, he can certainly dispense that all he wants, but for every minute that passes by he'll be counting and dreading its conclusion.

No surprises there though - not with a chairman more trigger happy than Bruce Willis at least. However forthcoming Roman Abramovich may be, however, there is a sense of disarray at Stamford Bridge that can't be nonchalantly corrected with loyalty in some vain attempt to correct past misdemeanours. The chairman must act now or risk the security of what has now become one of the English Premier League's most reputable football clubs.

Villas-Boas has always had a rather supreme Curriculum Vitae to fall back on when the times have been tough in South West London. His feats at Porto, not least of which being a season undefeated in what is a misleadingly difficult Portuguese first division, are impressive beyond any reasonable doubt. He brought home the Europa League too, but let's be honest, as much as all in England would like him to be, he's no Jose Mourinho. There's only one of them and he seems up for a return to these shores in some form as it is.

And how would Villas-Boas fare up against such an undisputed great? Not very well, you have to believe. For all the assurances that came with the young Portuguese manager, none have stood the test of time and pressure. His unwillingness to lose was quickly quashed by a resilient Manchester United side within weeks of the season's opening - a team who Chelsea have never looked even close to catching since.

The tactical nous for which he so famed is non-existent in the stringent challenge of English football. Everybody seems to have an answer to Chelsea's threatening assets - and there are many - but Villas-Boas cannot seem to counter the quality of other sides. He has the likes of John Terry, Michael Essien and Fernando Torres at his disposal and yet victories are at a premium while defeats are becoming somewhat of a regularity.

He just can't seem to cope. Perhaps - and the idea was banded about heavily even before he had landed in London - this is just one step too far and one stage too early in his career. The 34 year-old is young, after all. He is still learning his trade and is that something Chelsea really want, even in their so-called 'transitional phase'?

Because that is what the excuses come in the form of right now. They are all about a younger team and about working for the future. That's all well and good, but you just have to look at Arsene Wenger to see that, while there may be benefits of this method, the drawbacks carry great severity. Transition can be done without decay but Villas-Boas clearly hasn't taken such a fact on board.

The signings of the likes of Romelu Lukaku have perhaps proved to epitomise his reign the most. He's a Belgian talent hailed for his boundless ability, but he hasn't even seen the light of day at Stamford Bridge. £13 million was his price tag, and six league appearances surmounting to 88 minutes on the pitch his reward. That just begs the question as to whether Villas-Boas' celebrated transition is even in motion.

Chelsea, quite simply, are looking a shadow of their former selves and even though the masses try to paint over the cracks with talk of necessary changes and required upheaval, you can't help but see the holes that are left. They are gaping and they need to be filled. Villas-Boas won't do that.

For, while Abramovich has made many managerial mistakes in the past, and while he has been oh so hasty with his big red button, he needs to remove Andre Villas-Boas and he needs to do this for the good of the club into which he has invested so heavily.

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