Friday, 18 December 2015

The king is dead. Long live, well, who?
Chelsea's fans sang Jose Mourinho's name until the
end, but ultimately their loyalty and a Premier League
triumph seven months ago were no protection from
owner Roman Abramovich's ruthless streak.
Now their attention turns to the next man to ride the
club's managerial bucking bronco. But who are the
potential contenders?
Pep Guardiola
The pedigree name in the field, but Chelsea will have
to battle their way to the front of a long queue of
serious suitors.
After winning titles by the cabinet load at Barcelona,
the 44-year-old has kept a dressing room of big egos
pulling in the right direction at Bayern Munich, taking
the Germans to the Champions League last four in
both his full seasons in charge.
Record at Bayern Munich
Games Wins Defeats Goals
scored Win
84 68 8 219 81%
Chelsea would represent a different challenge as he
was handed an excellent legacy to build on at both
the Nou Camp and Allianz Arena. But few would back
against him repeating his success.
The good news for Chelsea fans is German
newspaper Bild reported on Thursday that
Guardiola will leave the Bavarian club at the end of
this season.
The bad news is he seems more likely to be heading
to the north west than SW6, with Manchester United's
long-standing interest and Manchester City's Catalan
connection in the boardroom apparently more
attractive than succeeding his great La Liga rival.
Diego Simeone
The 45-year-old prowls the Vicente Calderon
touchline in the style he used to run the Argentina
midfield - a mix of passion, aggression and
streetwise cunning.
Barcelona and Real Madrid had won the previous
nine Spanish titles heading into the 2013-14 season,
but Simeone and his Atletico Madrid team broke
their well-funded duopoly to lift the trophy for the
first time in 18 years.
Record at Atletico Madrid
Games Wins Defeats Goals
scored Win
151 95 25 261 63%
They came within less than three minutes of an
extraordinary double in that campaign - Real
Madrid's 4-1 extra-time triumph in the Champions
League final down, in no small part, to Sergio
Ramos' dramatic leveller in the 93rd minute.
Atletico are behind Barcelona at the top of the
Spanish table on only goal difference, but Simeone
may feel he has nothing left to prove and the time is
right for a move.
However, if he is unavailable until next summer,
Chelsea face a dilemma as to whether to back an
interim manager with funds and chase a Champions
League place or risk writing off a top-four finish for
the season.
Carlo Ancelotti
The only manager other than Mourinho to win the
Premier League with Chelsea.
The 56-year-old Italian led the Blues to the Double in
his first season in charge, after being brought to
Stamford Bridge for the start of the 2009-10 season.
When he was sacked at the end of the following
campaign, the Blues had finished second, nine points
behind champions Manchester United, and made the
last eight of the Champions League.
Record at Real Madrid (left May 2015)
Games Wins Defeats Goals
scored Win
76 57 11 222 75%
If he salvages the same from this campaign, he
would expect a healthy bonus rather than his P45.
Abramovich might also be tempted by Ancelotti's
enduring popularity in the dressing rooms he has
worked in.
He is still well liked at Real Madrid after clinching the
club's landmark 10th European Cup in 2014 and
would be a contrastingly calming influence after the
turbulence of Mourinho's second spell.
Guus Hiddink
The abiding image of Hiddink's brief spell in charge
of Chelsea is of the Dutchman with one hand on the
shoulder of a beaming Abramovich, a cigar in the
other, and the team's FA Cup celebrations as a
It was the end of a short, but sweet, three-month
stint as he rejuvenated a club that had looked lost
under Luiz Felipe Scolari, securing a Champions
League place and beating Everton 2-1 at Wembley in
his final game in charge.
After getting the flak and sack for the Netherlands'
dismal Euro 2016 qualification campaign, he may
decide that, at 69, he can do without the pressures of
another high-profile full-time role.
But if offered another caretaker role, he would be a
good candidate to keep the Stamford Bridge seat
Juande Ramos
As successor Harry Redknapp regularly reminded
Tottenham fans, Spurs were four points adrift at the
bottom of the Premier League when they dispensed
with Ramos in October 2008.
After such an undistinguished spell in charge of one
of their great rivals, the Spaniard would be as
unpopular an appointment among Chelsea fans as
compatriot Rafael Benitez was in 2012.
However, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy may believe
that, like Benitez, he can be a steadying hand on the
Record at Dnipro (left May 2014)
Games Wins Defeats Goals
scored Win
106 59 20 191 56%
Ramos led Real Madrid back into the 2008-09 Spanish
title race with a run of 16 wins and one draw in 17
matches after taking over midway through the
The 61-year-old's combination of dressing-room
discipline and attacking tactics was also successful at
Sevilla and, out of work after leaving Ukrainian side
Dnipro, there would be no compensation to pay
another club.
Brendan Rodgers
The reaction of Chelsea fans should Juande Ramos
be appointed is easy to predict. What they would
make of Brendan Rodgers taking over is less clear.
The 42-year-old worked as a youth and reserve-team
coach at Stamford Bridge for four years before
leaving for Watford in 2008.
Record at Liverpool (left October 2015)
Games Wins Defeats Goals
scored Win
122 63 29 232 52%
His three years at Liverpool - a spell that only came to
an end in October - make him irreparably damaged
goods in the eyes of some of the Stamford Bridge
faithful, but his stylish feel-good football and
knowledge of the club and its rivals are definite plus
A newspaper report on Tuesday claimed Rodgers
was stalling on other offers in the hope the Chelsea
job became available.
John Terry
Captain, Leader, Legend.
Could it be time to lengthen the banner that adorns
one end of Stamford Bridge?
The 35-year-old defender is reaching the end of his
playing days and, despite his lack of managerial
experience, his deeds on the pitch would command
instant respect in the dressing room.
He passes intelligent and eloquent comment on the
game in both news conferences and television
studios - recently putting up a staunch defence of
Mourinho before his exit from the club.
He has spent holidays on board Abramovich's yacht
in the past but, despite their good relations, it would
be an huge gamble for the Russian billionaire to trust
a rookie with guiding his club to calmer waters. Source: BBC


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