Sacked Scolari lifts lid on Chelsea exit
Sacked Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari admitted that he had no relationship with his players away from training and matches, before he was sensationally axed by Roman Abramovich on Monday.
In an interview with France Football magazine, given before his exit, the Brazilian claimed he was not close to his squad and also that the club badly needed the inspiration of Robinho, who snubbed Chelsea for a lucrative move to Man City in the summer.
He said: "There are egos in the dressing room, but that is normal, isn't it? We all have egos. But my relationships with the players are good on the pitch. It is true that they are not the same as the relationships I had with my players in Portugal, but I spent five years there.
"In Brazil (as a club manager) it was also easier. I knew everything about the players. Here, I don't have a family relation with the players. Everything is on the pitch. Outside, there is nothing."
Scolari said that he felt the club were missing a creative force who could unlock opposition defences, with Robinho moving to Eastlands for £32m.
He said: "At Chelsea we don't have the player who can make the difference by himself by producing something magical on the pitch. We miss that. I don't know why. In the past (Arjen) Robben was at Chelsea and he could make the difference. But now there is no-one.
"Robinho could have been this player. He is not afraid to dribble, to take a risk, As a Brazilian, I like this.
"My team isn't Brazilian enough. It is a 'bureaucratic' team. That's the style of my players. That's why Robinho would have done a lot of good for the team."
Scolari went on to explain why he left striker Didier Drogba out of his starting XI even when he regained fitness after injury, and suggested that France winger Florent Malouda was also well below his best form.
He added: "Drogba lacks a lot of confidence at the moment. After two or three big injuries, he is missing something. Drogba doesn't have enough confidence, so I choose (Nicolas) Anelka.
"Malouda, at Chelsea, isn't the Malouda from Lyon. He is OK, but he isn't the same that he was with Lyon. He doesn't make the difference in games any longer."
Assitant manager Ray Wilkins has denied 'player power' was responsible for getting Scolari sacked and insists there are no rifts within the Chelsea dressing room.
''There's no player power here. We have to nail that. There's no player power at this club,'' he said. ''The results haven't been what Roman wanted and that's why there's been a change of manager. Whenever any coach coaches a club as big as Chelsea, the players who don't play will be disgruntled, that's a fact.
''There are no splits whatsoever and we hope to show against Watford that's the case. You can only pick 11 players. It was very difficult for him because then you get a situation where people say the training methods are wrong.
''But every coach will have their different training methods and some players like them and some don't. But we don't have a split, none whatsoever.
''We have big players and they all want to play and it's been difficult for some of them to accept the fact they weren't selected.
''But as I said before, the players who were playing would have loved Phil, the players who weren't would have had an indifferent opinion.
''That's happened from day one in football. If you are not in the side, the manager's a 'so-and-so'. And that's a fact. So what do you do? You get in the side and then he's a nice guy.
''It's results driven and if the results aren't there it doesn't matter who it is they will change the manager. Unfortunately, that's happened here.
''I was shocked and disappointed because I enjoyed his company. He is a very decent man and I enjoyed working with him immensely but football is a tough game, a couple of results went against us and a decision was made.''
But Wilkins accepts there has been too much upheaval at Stamford Bridge in recent years.
''There's been far too many changes over the last couple of years but these things do happen at football clubs,'' said Wilkins. ''I don't think the Chelsea job is a poisoned chalice. We still have many talented players. We are still in three competitions. I'm sure Guus will turn what has been a little indifferent period around.
''We are fourth in the Premier League, still in the FA Cup, still in the Champions League. I don't see why it's a desperate situation, it's well turnable.
''We've had a couple of poor results, that's all we've had. But we have a number of very talented players at this club and that will turn the situation around - if indeed there is a situation.''