The incessant speculation surrounding the future of Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri came to a head this week when the Italian urged his club to put an end to the rumblings, one way or another.
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon moved to quell the rumours by pointing to the fact that Ranieri has three-years to run on his contract but he fell short of an unequivocal endorsement.
Kenyon's comment that Chelsea would 'not add to this speculation by responding' hardly helped the situation and prompted The Sun to claim that Ranieri has been told he will be ousted at the end of the season.
The incessant speculation surrounding the future of Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri came to a head this week when the Italian urged his club to put an end to the speculation, one way or another.
Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon moved to quell the speculation by pointing out that Ranieri has three-years to run on his contract but he fell short of an unequivocal endorsement.
Kenyon's comment that Chelsea would 'not add to this speculation by responding' has not helped the situation and The Sun claim that Ranieri has now been told he will be ousted at the end of the season.
I'm failing to understand why Chelsea would want to oust Ranieri.
What's their criterion for success? Last season he guided Chelsea into third place with an infinitely cheaper squad, with only Man Utd and Arsenal in front. Considering the English Premier League has been a two horse race for several years, that was arguably the best they could have hoped for.
This season he's currently guiding Chelsea through their best season in many, many years. They're second in the league to a team that is undefeated and going for a record that is nigh on unthinkable. More importantly, they're enjoying continuing success in Europe now, making the quarter finals of the Champions League.
Who'd really want Ranieri's job if his current record isn't good enough to keep him at Chelsea? Is Abramovich going to get bored with Chelsea if they don't win a treble in the next two years or something? Is Ranieri somehow managing to rile the Chelsea board without the press knowing?
With the odd hiccup such as Hasslebaink's declaration of a first-team bust-up, the squad seem to respect him a great deal. Will this be the case with a replacement? Will a replacement get the same results out of Chelsea, especially considering their best performers tend to be players like Lampard and Eider who Ranieri has coached for a while now.
Enlightenment on why the club would want to remove this charismatic Italian would be helpful.
I am a Chelsea fan, and have been for longer than I can remember, and I would like to express my disappointment at the Chelsea board. They should either come out and say directly yes we intend to change our manager, or put a stop to all the comments. Unfortunately I see neither.
Claudio has done a great job, and I think like in any business, when new owners come in you have to be prepared for changes and that sometimes mean you the manager. I think Claudio knows that, and considering the publicity I take my hat off to him. He gives his 100% every time and that deserves a great deal of respect - he certainly has mine.
In South America, where I lived for a long time, there is a saying 'when the river sounds, it's because pebbles or rocks it brings', which basically means when you hear so much noise something is going to happen.
I believe, and so does Claudio, that Chelsea will win a major title or cup very soon, but it will not be for the effort or impact of a new manager. It will be because of the vision and constant belief of a man like Claudio.
Despite all the negative press surrounding him, every day reading about his demise, Ranieri has remained a consummate professional; not once has he shown signs of disrespect to the club, management or fans.
Regardless of whether or not his way of coaching has annoyed fans and the owner, he has continued along his chosen path. Personally I don't agree with his methods of selection as this upsets the cohesiveness of the team and the way it plays.
Despite Man Utd's recent form, they, like Arsenal, play as a solid unit with every member of the team knowing where they should be at any given time during the game, especially the strikers. On the other hand the Chelsea goals have come primarily from midfield and the strikers are constantly battling to get into the game.
As a loyal Chelsea Fan since 1966 I would hate for them to treat Ranieri with disrespect and should show some dignity towards him. In any event the multi-million pound team has not found its form yet and will, I'm sure, improve next season.
Arsene Wenger is never going to leave Arsenal for Chelsea, after all it is his team's dominance that looks like costing Ranieri his job. Sven Goran Eriksson is not going to leave England before Euro 2004, although he could join the Blues after the tournament, which means the best man for the job is...well...Claudio Ranieri.
With no cash and the threat of player sales hanging over him he guided Chelsea into fourth place in the league last season and the resulting Champions league birth now sees them in the quarter-finals of the competition. This season, his team are the only realistic challengers to Arsenal and look like finishing second at worst, a finish that also carries a Champions League birth.
Ranieri has improved his team season upon season and to appoint a new manager when he is on the brink of success is absolute madness. If Red Rom does sack him I hope Man Utd axe Fergie and give the job to the always optimistic Italian.
Please leave the Italian to focus on the double tasks ahead; to maintain the second position on the Premiership and strategise towards the Champions League slog-out with the all-winning Arsenal.
You never can tell, a surprise may be on the wings waiting for all of you. If Ranieri leaves, who will the cap fit. I bet you, not even Sven will match the Italian's feat.
James Obekpa Ameh
He has my support! This is a man who exudes professionalism. Even with a cloud over his head, we (Chelsea) are now 2nd in the Premier League and in the quarters in the Champs League. He has done an excellent job balancing a team with all these new players, most of which weren't his choice.
And do we remember last season, when we had no money and the board would sell anyone if the price was right? We came in fourth and qualified for the Champions League. This man has shown excellent skills - managing a team with too many players, managing a team with no new players, and learning English at the same time. I say keep the Tinkerman!
Why is the media so keen on Chelsea's internal affairs. This man has just assembled a new team and the players still need to gel together. We should be commending him for what he has achieved so far with a new, but expensive, team rather than de-campaigning him.
I don't understand all the stick that Ranieri is getting. Chelsea are second in the league, ahead of everyone they can realistically be ahead of. People talk about all the money they have but do you honestly believe they could buy a team better than Arsenal's and that's saying nothing of Arsenal's team spirit.
Other teams aren't willing to let their top players go. So second is the only spot that Chelsea could hope for this year. They have been knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal and probably the Champions League. Arsenal are too good for anyone this year so Chelsea should be happy that they have come second only to them.