Rants and musings from the magazine team
Alright, who's next for the Chelsea hot seat? Craig Matthews looks at some possibilities
Rafa Benitez Although he has been out of the game since 2010 after his disappointing six-month spell at Inter Milan, Benitez is the bookies' early favourite to take the Chelsea hot-seat. Boasting an impressive CV, including Liverpool's 2005 Champions League win plus two La Liga titles and a UEFA Cup with Valencia, Benitez could be the man to take Chelsea back to the top. His great relationship with £50m Fernando Torres will help him in the interviewing process and he could be just the man to get the former Anfield favourite scoring again.
Pep GuardiolaThe former Barcelona manager will be high on the wish list for any vacant managerial job. With such incredible success at the Nou Camp (three La Ligas and two Champions Leagues in four years) Guardiola would surely be an appointment to bring a smile to any Chelsea fan's face. Questions have been asked about how good he is tactically and the fact he inherited such a phenomenal squad, but no one can take away the success he brought. If elected he would bring his tika-taka style to Stamford Bridge, which would go down great with Roman Abramovich, who seeks good-looking football as well as victories. Guardiola is first choice for majority of Blues supporters.
Guus HiddinkThe current Anzhi Makhachkala manager became a favourite amongst many at Stamford Bridge during his 2009 spell as interim Chelsea manager. The Dutch tactician can be proud of his exploits then, with a record of just one loss in 22 games and a cruel Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona on away goals. With a 30-year management CV, Hiddink is a management veteran who would surely will be looked at as a possible target. But with Anzhi not short of money and Hiddink only having been there for nine months, Chelsea would have to pay full whack to get their man.
Jose MourinhoThe Special One is destined for a return to English football, having also departed the Bridge in the wake of a demoralising Champions League fixture. The Premier League has been deprived of his tactical nous and egotistical nature but a much-anticipated homecoming will depend on whether old wounds have fully healed. Mourinho's name crops up whenever Chelsea’s managerial hot-seat becomes available, but while a back next summer isn't inconceivable, he is extremely unlikely to leave Real Madrid until they too have conquered Europe.
David MoyesMuch has been said about the loyal Scotsman being able to create something from nothing. However this would not be the case at cash-rich Chelsea. With plenty of Premier League experience, Moyes could certainly be the man to turn the Blues' fortunes around. Impressing constantly during his decade in charge at Everton, he has been able to find great buys for the blue side of Merseyside. However his lack of trophies may go against him in this one.
Unai EmeryPrevious Valencia and current Spartak Moscow manager Unai Emery has become known as a master tactician from his time at Los Che. With such impressive displays at the Mestalla, Emery’s name has to be included for his work on a shoestring budget. His strange yet effective rotation system is enough to bamboozle any opposing manager. Although he only joined Spartak on a two-year deal in May, the compensation package for the Spaniard wouldn't dent Abramovich’s bank balance.
Paolo Di CanioOne of the most outspoken men in football, Di Canio is surely a long shot for the vacant position. Impressing well at Swindon Town with a first-season championship, the Italian has gone on to put the Robins in fine shape for back-to-back promotions. His year at the County Ground has created some fantastic occasions, most notably the cup giantkillings of Stoke and Wigan. But with so little experience, it's unlikely that the former Lazio and Milan star will get his chance now.
Jurgen KloppKlopp has attracted an impressive congregation of admirers after guiding Borussia Dortmund to consecutive league titles in the Bundesliga. His side are currently sitting pretty at the top of Manchester City’s European ‘group of death’, playing an attacking brand of football that is both disciplined and deadly. Klopp recently declared that his dream of managing in England is a forgotten memory, but having seemingly conquered Germany, he may just be tempted by this new challenge.
Vitor PereiraPerhaps it will be a case of third time lucky for Roman Abramovich should he once again decide relieve Porto of their manager. The assistant to Andre Villas-Boas during their remarkable quadruple-winning season two years ago, Pereira was immediately promoted to the top job when Chelsea poached Villas-Boas. Pereira continued the Portuguese giants' fine domestic form by guiding the Dragons to the Liga title in his first season, and has already claimed the illustrious scalp of Paris Saint-Germain during this year’s Champions League.
Harry RedknappNot for the first time this week, Redknapp finds himself linked with a West London club. The 65-year-old was perhaps harshly dismissed after guiding Tottenham to fourth spot last season and has publicly stated he would only return to management for a ‘top job’. Redknapp is renowned for his ability to inject confidence into a struggling squad of players – perhaps the only remedy this Chelsea side requires
John TerryCould Chelsea’s talisman be the perfect short-term fix for Roman Abramovich while he seduces the regenerating Pep Guardiola? Terry would certainly command the respect of a mischievous dressing room and was often seen standing in Di Matteo’s shadow, bellowing out instructions, when confined to the touchline. A total lack of managerial experience is just one of many obstacles, but he could find himself in contention should the club seek a cheap and swift appointment.
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