Hard to be critical of Abramovich at Chelsea - Souness

Sunday marks 10 years to the day since the Russian first took over at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2003, and the former Liverpool man believes he has made a huge impact
Graeme Souness insists Chelsea fans should still be "delighted" with Roman Abramovich as the Russian billionaire reaches a decade at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich's lavish spending has overseen the most successful period in the Blues' history since his arrival in the summer of 2003, though not all his decisions have met the approval of the club's fans.

But with the return of Jose Mourinho and the development of an exciting young team, Souness believes Chelsea supporters - and the rest of English football - still have much to be grateful for.

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"You can say all you want about Roman but nobody really knows him," he told the Mirror.

"The thing I like about him is that he never says ­anything in ­public. We all have to second guess.

"What you can never argue about is that he put his cash down. You can never get away from that. If you are a Chelsea supporter you are delighted with him.

"He may have his own style – if he is not happy he will change things.

"There have been times when I am sure even he will admit that he got rid of a ­couple of managers too ­quickly – Carlo Ancelotti for one.

"But it is hard to be critical in any way of someone who has put trophies on the table.

"It is not the British way of hiring and firing, and that will be an issue for some. But that’s the way our game’s evolved.

"There are also a lot of ­players around – at Chelsea and elsewhere – who should be grateful for the money they are on now, and much of that is down to him.

"When Roman came in and paid the big salaries it raised the bar everywhere."