A match made in Hell has come to a justified end, but the Blues will never be the same again, writes Goal.com's Sulmaan Ahmad...
1) Was it a 'good time' to sack the manager?
2) Was the manager given the backing of his superiors in the transfer market?
3) Was the manager given enough time?
Chelsea's sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari fails to meet even one of the above stipulations for what would be deemed a 'fair' or 'reasonable' dismissal in the football world - but here's the thing: he was never the man for the job anyway.
The Blues went out of the domestic cups with a whimper, scraped into the Champions League knockout stage and are falling away in the Premier League, facing defeat after defeat at the hands of their fellow title contenders.
It may not have been a 'good time' to axe the big Brazilian, but is there ever such a thing? Not really. Any managerial change made mid-season is a risk and the success rate of such a drastic measure is far from convincing one way or another. It is, if nothing else, a sign of desperation and a gamble to try and salvage something from a campaign that most know is already a lost cause. The building will start in the summer.
The unwritten rule for so long has been that a manager is judged by a season's work, but that policy is facing amendment in the Premier League and beyond. Now, you're lucky if you get half a year to deliver - particularly at the highest level - and so rapid has been Chelsea's regression that the Blues board were of the belief that any further time spent would be time wasted. Maybe they were right.
True, Scolari didn't get Robinho or a player of a similar mould as he desired; true, Michael Essien and now Joe Cole have been ruled out for the season; and, true, money was not made available for him to reinforce in January as he would have liked. But he nevertheless had the strongest squad in the league, at least on paper, and did not do nearly enough with it. Deco, as expected, flattered to deceive; Mineiro may as well have not been signed; and there was a general failing in the transfer market to keep the squad appropriately balanced.
The ponderous, forever-shrugging demeanour of Felipao in the Chelsea dugout did little to ever inspire any kind of confidence. His was a reputation that was almost forced upon us. He is great, he will bring success - he's a World Cup winner, after all. Chelsea's parading of their new boss in the summer as their first, their last and their everything now seems so far away and has made a mockery of their entire sporting project.
There have been rumours circulating for weeks and months that the former Portugal and Brazil coach could not handle the squad. There were numerous fallings out and mutual disdain for his training methods amongst several members of the club. Chelsea has certainly proven to be a Bridge too far for the tactician, as shown by a series of irritable interviews with the press and high-profile bust-ups with a few players.
His shortcomings were compounded by a hierarchy that were way off the mark appointing him to begin with and failed to work with him for the duration of his tenure. A hierarchy that mistreated a man who, not to oversell him in the slightest, really was the perfect man for a club such as Chelsea. They drove away their 'Special One' and are unlikely to ever be able to replace him.
What Chelsea need is a complete overhaul: to abandon many members of the current squad in similar fashion to Real Madrid's post-Galacticos era and begin a brand new project with a brand new approach under brand new management. Whether the club's needs will be met by the owner is another matter entirely. Roman Abramovich is a billionaire short on cash and overhauls don't come cheap.
Crisis? Almost. This is a club caught on a cliff's edge, running the risk of falling back into relative obscurity due to a catalogue of errors from the very top right down to the bottom. Mourinho was once the unmovable man in the middle of it all, but no successor can fill his loafers and don his scarf-overcoat combination with quite so much finesse. That era has been and gone.
What's left is a club ear-deep in debt, pole-axed by problems of their own making and left clinging to the vain hope that an even richer buyer than the one that blessed them almost six years ago emerges from the shadows to preserve what's left of the club's integrity.
Sulmaan Ahmad, Goal.com