Wednesday, June 11, 2008

England: Nice Timing, Chelsea

You have to laugh at the circumstances surrounding Chelsea's announcement today of Luiz Felipe Scolari as their new manager. Hey, it's not like Big Phil's Portugal side were playing in a major tournament or anything. The statement the Premier League and Champions League runners-up released today was highly comical.

"Out of respect for his current role and to ensure minimum disruption to this work there will be no further comment from Chelsea nor from Felipe about his new role until his employment with us commences."

Well, sure, that should keep the questions around the Portugal camp to a minimum. Fortunately for the squad, the results of today's games leaves Portugal's final Group A match meaningless, so most of the Scolari-to-Chelsea talk will have died down by the time Portugal play their quarterfinal match next Thursday.

Despite their timing, Chelsea have made an excellent hire. There was little doubt the Blues would land a top manager, but the hiring of Scolari should squelch the rush of players looking to join Jose Mourinho in Milan- justification for Chelsea making the announcement before the conclusion of Euro 08. With Drogba, Lampard and Carvalho all rumored to have a foot out the door, Scolari gives them an attractive reason to stick around.

And with Portugal's star player still under Scolari's watch, you have to wonder how much he'll encourage Cristiano Ronaldo to pursue a ticket to Real Madrid. After all, that would deprive Scolari's new rival, Manchester United, of their top player.

1 comment:

Monica 08 said...

As a fan of Portugal, I didn't like it. How can Chelsea FC be so direspectful? The Portuguese FA even said that Chelsea didn't tell them before they were going to announce it.

Even though Scolari's now at Chelsea, I still think Ricardo Carvalho will leave at the end of the transfer market. Hopefully to Inter. I'm sure Drogba and Lampard would rather follow Mourinho to Inter than stay at Chelsea with Scolari.