Andy Gray: Why Chelsea have not recovered from Carvalho sale

Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…
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Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to tribalfootball.com…

AFTER watching Chelsea’s performance in Naples this week it’s become increasingly clear to me that Andre Villas-Boas isn’t quite ready for the job he’s taken on.

All of the players have to take more responsibility for what has been a very poor start to the season for a club of their stature.

But I can’t get away from the fact that this job has probably come a year too early for him, he would have been better off in Portugal for another 18 months just learning his trade but if Chelsea come calling it’s very difficult to say no.

Any manager and I don’t care how experienced he is, would have had trouble with Chelsea this year because they are an ageing side and there is lots of work to be done.

The players who are ageing like John Terry, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have big personalities and hold a lot of weight around the dressing room so any manager going in there would have had a problem.

I just think a more experienced manager would have handled it better. There are ways of losing players – it happens, it’s natural, but you have to deal with it the right way.

AVB like he’s looking for friends and I’m not quite sure how many he’s got. But if you spend all that money to get a young manager in and then you want to get rid of him after five months, sometimes you just have to accept you’re going to have a bad season.

Defensively is where they appear to be struggling the most, there’s no doubt David Luiz and Gary Cahill don’t know each other that well at the moment.

They both are probably players who either of them alongside John Terry would be different footballers, and that’s what they need at the moment, someone who’s been there, someone who can talk to them and get them in the right positions.

They looked like a couple of strangers at Napoli, which is what they are to be honest, making poor decisions as individuals and as a duo, and they got punished for it.

It’s very difficult for a manager to eliminate basic errors. He can arrange all the tactics he wants, he can set up his team with five, six or seven at the back, but if your footballers are making mistakes individually and collectively then you are going to have a problem.

We’re talking about a Brazilian international footballer and an English international. We’re not talking about novices here.

I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t take responsibility on their own to get their positioning right. Defending is defending, and if you’re a centre-back the only thing that should concern you is defending.

Chelsea’s problem is they haven’t replaced Ricardo Carvalho at all. He and Terry were a fantastic combination and they haven’t yet found anyone who fits that bill.

They’ve tried various ones, Branislav Ivanovic, Alex, Luiz, Cahill. But I don’t think they’ve found anyone who compliments Terry the way Carvalho did, and that’s the biggest problem.

But that can be amended. There is nothing that cannot be sorted on the training pitch with hard work and organisation. Andre Villas-Boas has got Robert Di Matteo there with him – I don’t know how much power he has with regards to coaching but I hope he’s given certain licence to influence things because he’s a decent coach.

 
Andy Gray is an official ambassador for Sharethematch.com – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store; http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/share-the-match/id450784289?mt=8

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