Mark Holmes blasts the Chelsea mafia and hits out at the behaviour of those involved in the North-East derby in his latest Monday Moan blog.
This week I focus on Chelsea's decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas......
Villas-Boas sacking stinks
I'm neither a Chelsea fan nor a relative of Andre Villas-Boas', but I was genuinely fuming when I heard he had been sacked by the Blues on Sunday.
I actually feel a tad sorry for Roman Abramovich as I think he wanted to stick by Villas-Boas, but poor results ultimately took the matter out of his hands. When some Chelsea fans joined their West Brom counterparts in singing 'You're getting sacked in the morning' to Villas-Boas, it was inevitable Abramovich would wield the axe.
It was the players that cost the 34-year-old his job and I suspect there were a fair few of them with big smiles on their faces when they heard the news of their manager's demise.
It stinks to high heaven. I said back in November that it was the players rather than the manager that needed to be replaced but the under-achieving, over-the-hill bunch of parasites have won the war.
I'm loathe to criticise the likes of Frank Lampard who I have previously always respected, but it's shameful that players such as him that claim to love Chelsea so much have acted so abhorrently during Villas-Boas' reign. It doesn't matter how good a player thinks he is, the manager picks the team and the players have no right to question his decisions. Certainly not publicly.
It was their only option, though. Unlike previous Blues managers, Villas-Boas stuck bullishly to the blueprint provided to him by Abramovich, who wanted to see a better style of football, with younger, more technical players. That left a lot of Chelsea's old guard on uneasy ground, and Villas-Boas was ruthless in shipping out Alex and Nicolas Anelka.
Lampard found himself marginalised, John Terry and Ashley Cole were uncomfortable in the new defensive set-up, and even Didier Drogba, to a lesser extent, became less relied upon under Villas-Boas. Even now, there are 11 players at Stamford Bridge that worked under Jose Mourinho - and they longed to be reunited with their former mentor, who valued them so highly and played to their strengths.
But Mourinho left Chelsea in 2007. Are the old guard so naive that they believe the 'Special One' would have stuck by them no matter what until they were ready to retire? If so, they are kidding themselves. Abramovich made a mistake in sacking Mourinho, not because the Blues would be walking away with the Premier League playing the old boys in their familiar 4-3-3, but because Mourinho would have gradually overseen an overhaul of the squad.
Unfortunately no manager since Mourinho has been allowed the time to replace the old with the new, and Villas-Boas' biggest mistake was perhaps that he tried to do it too quickly. While the end goal in his mind was perfectly reasonable, a manager must make the most of the tools at his disposal and Villas-Boas did not do that.
He upset too many players too quickly and the end result was that they stopped performing for him. Even if he'd have buckled and played the formation they wanted, one suspects there'd have been no improvement. The Chelsea mafia had decided they wanted a new Don, and Villas-Boas' time was up.
I only hope Mr Abramovich now sends out hits on the likes of Terry and Lampard otherwise I'll be writing a similar blog in 12 months' time when the next manager has tried and failed to get old dogs performing new tricks.
North-East derby disgrace
It's well known I am a fan of a bit of blood and thunder, and I wouldn't normally complain about what was a terrifically competitive North-East derby at St James' Park on Sunday.
However, I found myself spitting feathers when listening to the MOTD2 pundits defending the behaviour of the players and management during the game. Alan Shearer even said the game had 'everything a derby should have', specifically referring to the bad tackles and sendings-off. Even Alan Pardew's despicable behaviour on the touchline - he even apologised for it himself - was dismissed as all part of derby day.
Now hang on a minute. If all of those incidents had happened in a Stoke versus Blackburn game the likes of Shearer would be calling the two teams a disgrace. The newspapers would be full of columns stating that the teams had 'let down' the Premier League, and journalists would ensure the game would be a topic of conversation in every manager's press conference over the next week.
Why should it be any different because it's a derby? After all, the English media is quick to lambast the behaviour of Barcelona and Real Madrid's players in El Clásico.
This country needs to make its mind up. Either we appreciate blood and thunder football - I do, and will happily say so - or we think the game needs sanitizing. Let's have some consistency, eh?
More moans, and a secret
As always, there were a few other things that annoyed me over the weekend and I thought I'd share them!
Firstly - and this is a subject I've covered many times, including last week - I couldn't believe I heard a commentator yet again defending a player, this time Luis Suarez, that dived in the penalty area. I won't go into the incident in detail as I've done so many times before, but nobody will ever convince me that Suarez did not cheat to win that penalty and it's something that needs sorting out as soon as possible.
The second thing to annoy me was the reaction of some Liverpool fans on this very site to Tottenham's defeat to Manchester United. 'Harry's boys rolled over again for the master, Fergie', they posted in their droves.
I don't know if some football fans even believe what they write at times, but anyone that thinks third-placed Spurs didn't do their damndest to win that game on Sunday is clearly an idiot.
Talking of forum and message board posts that are clearly rubbish, what is it with fans' fascination of inventing rumours of a next-morning press conference at their club?
Whenever a manager is under pressure at a club, you can guarantee we'll receive a post in our Rumour Room from some 'insider' assuring us a press conference has been called for the following morning to announce the departure of the manager.
1) How often does a club announce a press conference to sack a manager? 2) If there was a press conference, don't you think us, the press, would have heard about it? Seriously, anyone that believes a rumour like that needs their head testing!
I'll leave you this weekend with an extremely dirty secret. I've suspected it for a while and it was confirmed to me when watching Soccer AM on Saturday morning...I like Arsenal.
I must state that I still find some of their fans extremely objectionable, but Arsene Wenger has bought a lot of very likeable players and I found myself laughing at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wojciech Szczesny and Bacary Sagna on Soccer AM's Team Mates.
What's more, I've been rooting for them to finish in the top four all season just so Wenger can prove everyone wrong again. Now let me wash my mouth out!
Let me know what you think of my latest moans and feel free to have your own in the comments box below.