5 Leading Candidates for the Chelsea Manager Job
Last week Jose Mourinho was in London house shopping. Days later Andre Villas-Boas gets the sack. Was it a planned coup? Is Mourinho returning to the club where he made his name? He apparently doesn’t like Spain, nor the Spanish media so is he going to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season?
But Pep Guardiola is in it too. He hasn’t signed an extension to his contract with Barcelona. He’s always said he wants to coach outside Spain one day. He joked about coaching Chelsea didn’t he? Surely it was just a joke? Maybe leave Barcelona on a high note?
Wait! There’s still Rafa Benitez, who recently said he wants to coach again and would be interested in the Chelsea job. Maybe he doesn’t mind coaching a team where the owner is a renegade and acts on his own accord?
Sven. That’s right Sven-Goran Eriksson said he “would take it, of course.” Is Sven coming back to the England? He doesn’t think it’s a “poisoned chalice,” so he might take a shot at it.
Roberto Di Matteo might just stay on though, why leave? A couple of wins here and there, get the players on his side and maybe he’ll get the job. Does he even want to try from the poisoned chalice?
The Trequartista looks at the candidates to take over the Chelsea hot-seat and whether these men will suit the Chelsea faithful. And what might get rid of them:
1. Jose Mourinho
- Why he’s right for Chelsea: Well because he put them on the world map in the first place. He has unfinished business at Stamford Bridge, so a return wouldn’t be out of the question. Whether he gets the money to make a complete new team is.
- Will the fans love him: Find me a Chelsea fan that doesn’t.
- Will the players want him: John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard would happily commit adultery with Mourinho. So yeah.
- Why would Roman fire him: If he demands an infinite amount of money; act like he’s running the club and go back to playing 1-0 football.
2. Pep Guardiola
- Why he’s right for Chelsea: His record over the last three years is exceptional. He’s created one of the greatest teams ever; playing the most pleasant football people around the globe have seen.
- Will the fans love him: If he brings them the same success he has with Barcelona, they’ll adore him. Plus the pretty football.
- Will the players accept him: It’s Guardiola; he demands presence and respect when he walks in the room. Whether or not, the players will be happy for him to implement Villas-Boas-like changes remains to be seen. But unlike Villas-Boas behind that cool, calm persona, Pep’s a hard bastardo
- Why would Roman fire him: Rome wasn’t build in a day. Neither was Barcelona. Time is the biggest factor.
3. Rafael Benitez
- Why he’s right for Chelsea: Rafa has a decent record as a manager. Titles in Spain, England and Europe speak for themselves.
- Will the fans love him: Benitez recently said Liverpool fans would still love him if he went to coach Chelsea. As for Chelsea fans, they see as a second-rate Mourinho. Just look at him when he took over at Inter Milan.
- Will the players accept him: Players have known Rafa for his cold demeanour. He doesn’t befriend them or provide them with support; he’s a model professional, so maybe that’s what the Chelsea dressing room needs. Plus, he’s made Torres a star player, so maybe he could do it again?
- Why would Roman fire him: He plays boring football.
4. Sven-Goran Eriksson
- Why he’s right for Chelsea: He has bags of experience: European, International, domestic and a wealth of trophies to show his success.
- Will the fans love him: Eriksson has become an unpopular person in England following his wasted spell of the so-called “Golden Generation”. Although he was unlucky to get out of finals on penalties twice (World Cup ’06 and Euro ’04). So it’s a straight 50-50.
- Will the players accept him: The oldies will have worked with him before and although they never won anything, there was never a bad word said about him.
- Why would Roman fire him: For Sven to a great coach, he’ll need good players, which requires spending on Roman’s half. Which might not happen; resulting in Sven relying on the players he has now, which aren’t too good either. It will be tough for him.
5. Roberto Di Matteo
- Why he’s right for Chelsea: He knows the club inside out. He’s great at man management. Plus he’s got an eye for attractive football. He’s already off to a good start with a 2-0 win in the FA Cup over Birmingham already. A good finish to the season, might see him grab the role permanently.
- Will the fans love him: He was voted in Chelsea’s greatest IX. So yeah, they love him.
- Will the players accept him: It seems they already have. The 2-0 win over Birmingham didn’t feature Lampard or Drogba, but there was no problem or political pull. He simply took them aside and told them why they were starting on the bench. No problems, no fuss. He’s got them on his side; something AVB never had.
- Why would Roman fire him: Highly unlikely that Roman would fire him – he’s only contracted till the end of the season anyway. Another sacking would cause more chaos in the Chelsea staff. If he gets them to fourth place he might stay around. Or Roman might still fire him anyway.
Out of the five candidates, which one do you think should get the Chelsea job and that will be able to turn the team around? Or is there a candidate you think that should be considered that’s not listed above? Share your opinions in the comments section below.