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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 18, 2009

Fergie rules Chelsea out of title race

Sir Alex Ferguson claims Chelsea have played right into Manchester United's hands with their sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari. Temporary boss Guus Hiddink was installed last week and immediately stated the title race is not over. Yet Ferguson feels the main threat to his side now comes from Liverpool, with Aston Villa still an outside bet.

"I think they have played into our hands and that the title race now is going to be between ourselves and Liverpool," Ferguson told United Review.

"However, I shall be keeping a wary eye on Aston Villa, who seem to have picked up the baton from Arsenal.

"I was shocked that Chelsea should part so soon with a manager of such great experience and proven success as 'Phil' Scolari.

"Their haste is a reflection of the sad way the game is going, with everyone from owners, the board members, the supporters and the media demanding instant success and showing absolutely no patience in the pursuit of their ambition."

On the brink of an 11th league title, Ferguson's own longevity provides ample proof of what can be achieved with a stable backdrop.

At Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has also enjoyed plenty of success, while Everton are now established as a top-six club under David Moyes.

In contrast, Chelsea have now gone through four managers since they last won the title, less than three years ago, with Jose Mourinho's departure followed by that of Avram Grant and Scolari, with Hiddink now at the helm on a part-time basis.

"I would have thought it self-evident that winning prizes comes with stability and long-term planning," said Ferguson.

"Yet so often, when a club is faced with a few problems, wisdom flies out of the window in the hope that a new man can bring about a quick fix.

"Chelsea have called in a very experienced manager in Guus Hiddink and I am sure he will make an impact.

"At the same time, he has to start from scratch, perhaps putting together his own staff and gathering round him players of his choice which may take him some time."

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