Scolari opens up on player ‘problems’ that cost him job at Chelsea

Former Brazil boss Phil Scolari has revealed that there were “a few problems” that cost him his job at Premier League side Chelsea.

The 73-year-old, who was still managing last season at Brazilian club Gremio, took over at Chelsea in July 2008 but didn’t last a full season as he was sacked in February 2009.

In a statement released at the time, Chelsea cited ‘the results and performances of the team appeared to be deteriorating at a key time in the season’ as the reason for his dismissal.

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And Scolari has claimed his main problems at the time were “off the field, not on the field” in his only job in one of the major European leagues.

Scolari told the Daily Mail: “I had a few problems with one or two players. Didier Drogba was injured and when he returned, I had a bit of difficulty organising the team with him and Nicolas Anelka. I tried to speak with the players to make them understand their positioning, but I wasn’t able to make myself understood to make them do what I needed.

“So we had a few problems off the field, not on the field. Some results happened, which nobody wanted, but I left the club in good conditions in all competitions: fourth in the Premier League, qualified to the Champions League and in the FA Cup.

“Unfortunately, there was this communication problem with the players. But we talked about it a few years later and it is all in order. I don’t think it deserves a lot of attention now. It’s all in the past.”

On whether he wanted to stay in England, Scolari added: “When I left Portugal, I was a bit afraid of English journalists because I thought they were more preoccupied with what happened outside of football, but that was just a myth.

“The journalists were very correct with me. I had a good relationship with them. When I was Portugal coach, I almost went to coach England. I said no but I wanted to stay longer in England as football there is different from all others. It’s very organised.”


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