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1 Agustus 2008

Scolari: Titles Come First, Not Entertainment

It is a widely held belief that one of the key reasons Scolari is at Stamford Bridge is that his predecessor, Avram Grant, failed to deliver on his promise of improving the Blues' stylistic approach to the game.

The manner in which the west London club played never seemed to matter much during Jose Mourinho's reign; but then, the Special One had this knack of leading his side to titles, which Grant was (just barely) unable to do.

A season without silverware seemed to compel Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to instigate some significant changes at the Bridge, and chief executive Peter Kenyon recently outlined the club's aim to become the biggest and most attractive football franchise on the planet.

Step one of the re-branding process obviously lies with the football itself, and it has been suggested that Abramovich has made it clear to Scolari that titles alone will not be satisfactory if they are not attractively won.

But the Brazilian coach has dismissed such speculation, insisting his primary focus is to steer Chelsea to trophies rather than to entertain the crowds.

“I am not here to play pretty but to win titles," Scolari said in The Sun. "If we do both, that’s great.

“There has never been a situation when Roman said ‘We have to play beautiful’.

“I met him twice and we talked like two ordinary people, not as owner and coach.

“He said ‘Do better for Chelsea’. That’s it. Nothing more.”

Mike Maguire