Saturday 18 November 2017

Cech: Chelsea managers face sack if they fail to match Jose

Jason Burt

Chelsea arrived in Hong Kong yesterday -- with its amazing density of skyscrapers and high-rises -- with Petr Cech claiming that successive managers have been sacked by the club for failing to reach the daunting heights set by Jose Mourinho.

The spectre of The Special One still looms large. Cech said he regarded Mourinho as the benchmark for Chelsea and that, until he is emulated, whoever is in charge will struggle to stay in the post for long.

"Managers have their own philosophy and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't," said the goalkeeper, who is entering into his eighth season at Chelsea, working with his seventh different manager in Andre Villas-Boas.

"Of course Jose Mourinho set a standard and of course the others have to try and do better than him."

Since Mourinho there has been Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, the caretaker period of Guus Hiddink and two years of Carlo Ancelotti -- Cech's assessment would appear harsh on the double-winning Italian.

Failure to win a trophy last season, however, meant Ancelotti was sacked and without spelling it out, Cech appeared to agree with the sense among some of the Chelsea hierarchy that the Italian failed to turn things around quickly enough when it got tough during the last campaign.

"You change the manager when you see there is no way to continue," Cech said bluntly.

The lack of new players is a worry for some and neither has there been a discernable change in style from the 4-3-3 template set by Mourinho which others have tried to adapt into a more attacking approach. It's one that Villas-Boas favours also.

"He has got his own ideas how he would like us to play," Cech explained. "We have always had a strong defence and build from that and so far we have not conceded a goal in pre-season."

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