Business as usual for Blues

BY foxsports • April 13, 2011

It is understood there have been no meetings between owner Roman Abramovich and board members, or between board members themselves, to discuss the manager's position. Chelsea's quarter-final defeat to Manchester United, which was sealed by last night's 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford, left them on the brink of ending a season without a trophy for only the third time since Abramovich bought the club almost eight years ago. The Russian chose to sack the incumbent manager on the two previous occasions and Ancelotti could be forgiven for fearing the same fate. But a spokesman said: "It's business as usual. "The most important thing is to win all the games we can in the league and qualify for the Champions League." It could be argued this stops short of the kind of backing Ancelotti received at the end of 2010, in the midst of Chelsea's worst run in the Premier League for almost 15 years. There was a tacit admission at that time that he was not entirely to blame for the malaise, with the shock exit of assistant manager Ray Wilkins and a major injury crisis - after the club released a number of senior players in the summer - hampering his efforts to build on last season's double success. Abramovich's subsequent £75million splurge on Fernando Torres and David Luiz was seen as a vote of confidence in Ancelotti but, in Torres' case, it has proven a millstone around his neck. For whatever reason, Ancelotti felt compelled to start the woefully out-of-form striker in last night's second-leg defeat, a move that backfired spectacularly. It is the Champions League Ancelotti was recruited to win but his two seasons in charge have seen Chelsea crash out in the last 16 and quarter-finals, when a semi-final place used to be taken for granted. The Italian's fate would appear to rest on whether Abramovich believes he is still the right man to land club football's biggest prize, which has been an obsession for the Russian ever since he took over. Ancelotti, who has a year remaining on his contract, was philosophical about his future after last night's defeat, saying: "It's not my decision whether I stay or not."

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