West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is unsurprised at the pressure currently on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas given club owner Roman Abramovich’s record of sacking managers in recent years.
Hodgson, whose side entertain the Blues tomorrow, came under the same sort of spotlight during his brief reign as Liverpool boss before being dismissed 14 months ago.
Now Villas-Boas is the subject of speculation concerning his job and reports of some players questioning his tactics.
Hodgson said: “One always has sympathy for other managers but I guess he knew, moving from Porto to Chelsea, for the enormous salary and big ambitions from the owner, that it wasn’t going to be an easy job.
“That’s basically how it has turned out. Nothing surprises me. If you look back, there have been an awful lot of managers at Chelsea in the last eight or nine years.
“If you take Jose Mourinho out of the equation, who was there for three or four years, there has been an awful lot of turnover in terms of coaches.
“I suppose you can’t be surprised if you go to that club as a coach that you are under enormous scrutiny every time your team is not top of the table.”
Hodgson knows his side, who have scored nine goals in winning their last two games, will have to be at their best and hope Chelsea have an off day if they are to gain any tangible reward from the game.
He said: “It all depends on how well we play. With their quality, Chelsea are capable of giving very good performances and causing problems for everyone.
“We are aware what we are up against but you win nothing on paper and with your reputation. You win if you perform.
“We hope they have a bad day and must ensure we are at our very best if we are to have a chance.”
Hodgson will come face to face with Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, whom he managed at Liverpool, and believes the Spaniard will eventually regain his top form and goal-power.
He said: “There is no doubt Fernando will be back to what he was in his hey day at Liverpool because he is a good quality player and also a good person.
“When Fernando scores goals again, he won’t be a different person but it might just be what he needs to get his season started kick-started, a good performance and some goals.
“Much as I like him and wish him well, I hope his revival doesn’t start against us but, once that is out of the way, I shall be batting for him to score as many goals as he can.”
Hodgson has seen a similar scenario to Torres in Albion striker Peter Odemwingie who has netted five goals in the last two games after a difficult spell.
He said: “Goals are what strikers live for, it is their bread and butter. When they are going well, there is a spring in their step.
“His attitude has always been fine but now the goals are going in. Those goals he has got in the last two games can be the catalyst for future goals.”