Chelsea managers: Roman Abramovich's most brutal sackings

Former Chelsea managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte

Frank Lampard's days as Chelsea manager appear to be well and truly numbered after losing to Leicester City on Tuesday night. 

talkSPORT reported before kickoff that defeat could cost Lampard his job but anyone with any prior knowledge of Roman Abramovich won't need media speculation to tell them how precarious a position the Blues' legendary midfielder currently finds himself in. 

No owner in Premier League history has been as ruthless as Abramovich when it comes to firing managers - in some instances, even winning cup finals hasn't been enough to save them - so Chelsea's run of just two wins in eight Premier League games is ample enough grounds for dismissal by his own standards. 

So with Lampard seemingly on the brink, GIVEMESPORT felt it fitting to rank every Abramovich sacking to date, ranging from 'brutally undeserved' to 'simply had to go'.

We'll let you decide where Lampard fits into all of this if he get the bullet. 

Brutally undeserved

Jose Mourinho Part I

Maybe if Mourinho and Chelsea hadn't parted company the way they did the first time around, then the Blues' managerial history under Abramovich would be entirely different. That's just a theory but this dismissal definitely set the standard of boardroom brutality which ultimately dictated how little tolerance Chelsea would show towards underperforming managers in the years to come. 

Not that Mourinho was exactly underperforming. Even though Chelsea failed to win a third consecutive title under the Portuguese in 2006/07, they still lifted the League Cup and FA Cup that season and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. 

Nonetheless, after an underwhelming start to the following campaign, Abramovich decided to pull the trigger. Mourinho left the club with six trophies in three years without ever losing a game at Stamford Bridge, which pretty much tells its own story of how ridiculous it was to sack him at that point. 

Carlo Ancelotti

A decision that still defies belief, especially considering Ancelotti has won titles in Spain, Germany and France since leaving the Blues as well as lifting the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014.

Despite guiding Chelsea to the 2009/10 Premier League title while scoring a record-breaking number of goals and winning the FA Cup, the absence of any trophies in the following season was enough for Abramovich to hand the Italian his marching orders. 

Pretty brutal considering Ancelotti was the first manager under Abramovich to combine attractive football and silverware, not to mention the fact he's famous for being a fantastic character that players and supporters naturally warm to. 

Chelsea have won plenty since Ancelotti was swiftly moved on, but Abramovich might still regret this one. 

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti

Should've been given longer

Luiz Felipe Scolari

Of course, Chelsea were accustomed to the highest of standards when they appointed Big Phil Scolari in 2008 but the decision to sack him when they did remains somewhat baffling.

He'd taken the team in a slightly different direction by signing Deco to play alongside Frank Lampard in midfield and while Chelsea had developed a habit of losing big games, overall results were relatively encouraging. 

In fact, before a loss to Liverpool and a scoreless draw with Hull cost Scolari his job in February, Chelsea had won four games in a row and lost just one of their previous twelve across all competitions. 

It wasn't immediate success paralleling the effect Mourinho had in 2004, but it was an acceptable start considering Scolari had never worked at a European club before and his biggest successes were all in international football. 

With another summer transfer window, he could've made a real mark at Stamford Bridge. 

Would've happened sooner or later

Claudio Ranieri

Ranieri's biggest crime as Chelsea manager was finishing second to arguably the greatest team the Premier League has ever witnessed, Arsenal's legendary Invincibles. That being said, he was given a blank cheque by Abramovich and yet a lot of his signings - Glen Johnson, Geremi, Wayne Bridge and Scott Parker - proved to be largely second-rate in comparison to the raft of future superstars Mourinho brought to west London. 

It highlighted how Ranieri perhaps failed to truly grasp the grandness of Chelsea's potential under Abramovich and lacked the vision to make the Blues an unstoppable force in English football. More pertinently to the Italian finding himself in this section, Abramovich inherited Ranieri when he bought the club - it was always going to be a matter of time before he brought his own manager in. 

Roberto Di Matteo

Let's face it, Di Matteo was well out of his depth as Chelsea boss and his greatest quality in the role seemed to be simply letting the players get on with it. Of course, winning the Champions League and the FA Cup as Blues manager can never be taken away from him, but maintaining the position long term was always going to be a struggle. 

Perhaps he deserved a bit more time considering the glories of the previous campaign, having been sacked just a few months after winning the European title in 2012. But ultimately, keeping Di Matteo in the role would have been delaying the inevitable and we only need to look at the Italian's struggles since at Schalke and Aston Villa to know he was never really cut out for it.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo

Antonio Conte

Conte is a fantastic manager and neither of Chelsea's appointments since have matched him in terms of proven track record, tactical nous or winning mentality. That being said, Conte dug his own grave when the club's underwhelming signings during summer 2017 triggered a complete shift in his behaviour, transforming from an incredibly intense, passionate manager into essentially a sulky school-boy. 

Now, one only need look at the signings Chelsea made after Conte won the Premier League to understand his side of it - Alvaro Morata, Danny Drinkwater, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Davide Zappacosta, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero have all proved to be pretty disappointing additions. But the fact Conte never seemed to be able to move on from it, coupled with the Blues missing out on the top four, made his dismissal largely inevitable, even if the season ended on a positive note in the form of winning the FA Cup. 

Essentially, Chelsea pulled the plug before things got really nasty.

Maurizio Sarri

Technically wasn't sacked as he decided to join Juventus but from the start, Sarri just felt like a poor fit for the Premier League and particularly Chelsea, whose squad was built around a completely different way of playing. 

Results weren't to be sniffed at as Sarri made the top four, won the Europa League and reached the League Cup final and yet, for all the insistence on revolutionising Chelsea's philosophy to fit his possession-based ideals, the Blues weren't any more exciting to watch or particularly more effective than they were under Conte. 

A summer fling that always appeared destined to end abruptly.

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Juan Cuadrado in action for Chelsea

How much did Chelsea pay for Juan Cuadrado in February 2015?

Simply had to go

Avram Grant

No disrespect to the man because he certainly didn't let anybody down during his short stint as Chelsea manager. The Blues reached a Champions League final and signed a couple of cracking players - Nicolas Anelka and Bransilav Ivanovic - during Grant's time in charge. 

The only problem is that he never should've been made Chelsea manager in the first place, with his single genuine qualification for the role being that he was close friends with Abramovich. Grant didn't even have the necessary license to manage in the Premier League when he was first appointed, and he'd initially been brought to the club as the Director of Football. 

It worked for a short time but Grant clearly lacked mandate from the players, fans and media and the time was right to bring his spell to a close in summer 2008. 

Andre Villas-Boas

It might seem harsh to lump Villas-Boas in this category considering he didn't even last a full season at Chelsea but the Portuguese ultimately forgot the most important rule at the west London club - the manager is always more dispensable than the players. 

He tried to change too much too quickly and while you have to respect the bravery of a man willing to drop Lampard, Terry, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole, he never earned the authority or had the natural charisma take on the political power core in Chelsea's dressing room. 

It felt like Villas-Boas was marginalising top-quality talent for philosophy's sake rather than working with what he already had, and history ultimately proved how naive that was. By the end of the season, with Chelsea's old guard featuring prominently, the club won their first ever Champions League title. 

Jose Mourinho Part II

Mourinho is the only manager on this list who arguably deserves his own category of 'should've gone sooner'. There will probably never be another gaffer Abramovich shows as much loyalty to while he remains Chelsea owner, because in all honesty Mourinho's 2015/16 title defence was a complete disaster from the very start. 

Chelsea didn't even win a game in pre-season, while their first competitive game of the campaign resulted in the Eva Carneiro scandal. From there everything seemed to snowball and Mourinho only made matters worse by developing a rotation policy of dropping key players regardless of performance for seemingly no reason other than he couldn't work out how to get his side winning again. 

By the time he was sacked in December following a defeat to eventual title winners Leicester, the Blues were just a point above the relegation zone. 

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