It’s obvious what the pundits at Sky have been discussing in the canteen. Both Ray Wilkins and Gary Neville have came out in the past seven days to discuss Roman Abramovich’s reign at Chelsea and how the Russian is running out of options when it comes to filling the managerial hot-seat.
Now all the talk came about after former Barca boss Pep Guardiola announced that he was ending his self imposed sabbatical in the summer and that he would join German giants Bayern Munich.
Pep seemed to be the number one choice at Stamford Bridge to fill the permanent managers vacancy for ‘the Blues’. He was the hottest property available and his CV speaks for itself.
But no matter how much Russian Roubles that Roman offered the Spaniard, Pep never seemed interested in the Chelsea post.
You can see why the 42 year old would prefer the Allianz Arena at this stage rather than have a crack at the English Premier League. Bayern are one of Europe’s top teams, the Bundesliga is a superb league in all aspects and the club, like Barca, like to play football and promote within.
Now there is no doubt that Pep will have also looked at Roman’s record of sacking managers but I believe its more to do with the Bayern positives than the Chelsea negatives that sees Josep opt for Munich. He likes the prospect of having a nice spell in the Bundesliga and protect his CV.
So yes the number one target is now off the menu but the list for new gaffers is still strong as long as Chelsea look beyond the obvious.
Managers always like a challenge. The best coaches have supreme belief in their own abilities and will believe that they are right for Chelsea and will be able to change Abramovich. Nothing points to Roman changing but hey it might happen.
You also can’t forget that at Stamford Bridge you get a decent squad, a strong budget and a very good wage.
Yes other possible targets such as Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte and Frank de Boer may prefer to stay at their current sides but even with that we can still see a high number of possible candidates.
Former Blues hero Gianfranco Zola has been tipped to one day manage Chelsea and has had a good start managing Watford in the Championship.
Is he ready? I am not sure.
Should Roman want to go down the former Chelsea player route then maybe he could have a look at West Brom’s Steve Clarke. He was also a former number two at Stamford Bridge, so knows the club well. Finally a number one, he has West Brom sitting in eighth spot.
Now Roman isn’t influenced by sentiment just ask former Chelsea men Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Vilas Boas.
Could we see the return of the ‘Special One’?
Jose Mourinho is probably only a Champions League exit away from the sack at Real Madrid.
Out of the nine managers who have bossed Chelsea in the Roman years no one has won more or lasted longer than Jose. Maybe now he has matured and wants to return to England (his footballing home). Maybe Mr Abramovich has learned that the grass isn’t always greener and he can’t get better than Mourinho. Still two big egos, maybe the Bridge isn’t big enough for the two of them.
In the EPL there are a few possible names that might get a chance.
David Moyes has done a terrific job at Everton. He keeps getting the best out of a squad that cost a fraction of that spent by other top four challengers.
After over ten years at Goodison maybe Moyes is ready for a move and to see if he can really challenge for league titles. His teams are set out to play balanced football that can also be very attractive on the eye. If things were to turn sour at Chelsea for Moyes he knows he could easily get another Premiership job and probably even a return to Everton if that job were available again.
At Swansea City, footballing legend Michael Laudrup has been impressing with his side playing the kind of attacking, attractive football that Roman has been seeking at Stamford Bridge since he bought Chelsea, back in 2003. Swansea are on the verge of reaching the League Cup Final after beating the Blues at the Bridge in their first leg.
Maybe Abramovich will look to his homeland for a new boss.
At Zenit, Luciano Spalletti has plenty of experience at winning, spending and playing in European competitions. The Italian has been in St Petersburg for three years now and might fancy having a crack at another league.
Frank Rijkaard has won some of the best prizes in the game as both a player and a manager. He helped start the Barca revolution and is available. Yes he hasn’t had a great time of it since leaving the Nou Camp in 2008. He has made peculiar choices in managing Galatasaray and Saudi Arabia but he has proven that he can do well at a big club.
In Europe we have talented young coaches such as Vincenzo Montella and Diego Simeone both doing well and their teams are certainly catching the eye. Then at Malaga CF, wily coach Manuel Pellegrini is still showing he can do a lot with the tools afforded to him.
Plus Chelsea still have interim coach Rafa Benitez, who has so far blown hot and cold so far. Should he be able to get the squad consistently playing well and get them winning more often than not, then who is to say that he can’t do it on a full time basis?
Yes some managers may well think twice about a managerial stint at Chelsea. Pep decided it wasn’t for him but that option is no longer available to anyone, not just Chelsea.
I am more than sure when Roman picks up the phone and makes that call, he will always get more yeses, than managers turning him down.
Posted on January 21st, 2013 by scott
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