If you look at a list of our past managers it reads like a who’s who of the top global managers in the game over the past 20 years. Consider names like Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Felipe Scolari, Andre Villa Boas, Ruud Gullit and Guus Hiddink and it is hard to argue. Working with a host of highly, talented international players, having an unlimited transfer budget (as long as Mr Abramovich agrees on the transfer), playing in the Champions League, being a perennial contender in all competitions as well as receiving a huge salary will tend to attract the top managers and to be fair it has. The question is who will our next permanent manager be? It seems increasingly obvious that it will not be Rafa Benitez. Not just due to his still frosty relationship with the fans but mainly because he has failed to deliver a consistent string of performances even if he has tightened the team up a bit defensively.
I think the treatment of Roberto Di Matteo, and to a lesser extent Andre Villa Boas, has caused managers to really begin to question whether it is really worth taking the Chelsea job when you have a very small chance of implementing your philosophy on the team when you only get less than 6 months to do it and you have virtually no chance of seeing out your contract. When it was announced that Pep Guardiola had taken the Bayern Munich job, I think most Chelsea fans were slightly gob-smacked to say the least. I think we believed that Pep was our destiny and it certainly seemed like Roman wanted him to implement his up tempo, high intensity, possession football philosophy at Stamford Bridge but it was not to be. When you look at the clubs side by side:
- they both have incredibly talented squads packed with international stars which is hard to pick the better one from
- they are both perennial contenders in all competitions
- they are both perennial participants in the Champions League (we hope!)
- they both can offer living in truly cosmopolitan cities
- they can both offer very attractive financial packages.
Therefore we can only think that it came down to whether or not Guardiola believed that he would be left alone to do his job and complete his contract with patience and understanding and belief in his philosophy without upper management publicly doubting him or meddling in team affairs like firing your first team coach in the middle of the season for example. Guardiola must have felt that he would have a more guaranteed autonomous position in Munich or his brand of football would be better suited to the Bundesliga. I gotta believe that it is the former rather than the latter.
So where does that leave us? Do you think we have a chance of securing any of the top managers out there? For instance, Borussia Dortmund’s Jürgen Klopp, Swansea City’s Michael Laudrup, FC Anzhi Makhachkala’s Guus Hiddink, the newly unemployed former Barca coach Frank Rijkaard, Brighton’s Gus Poyet or naturally Real Madrid’s Jose “The Special One” Mourinho. Maybe Guus would come back for a full contract this time and maybe Jose would come back if him and Roman could patch things up but any other high profile, desirable candidates are surely thinking twice when it comes to Chelsea despite the undoubtedly attractive financial package available as well as the other obvious benefits. I wish Mr Abramovich had not fired Roberto Di Matteo as I think he had the full support of the team and given time he would have delivered. As if a Champions League trophy and an FA Cup in your first few months in charge is not enough to deserve a fair crack at things.
Check out our Latest Chelsea Poll and vote on who you think should be the next Chelsea FC manager as opposed to who you think will be the next permanent Chelsea FC manager. In the early voting it seems that Jose Mourinho is the man we think should get the job.