Carlo Ancelotti came to London and endeared himself to the fans instantly. Playing an attacking brand of football he delivered the double for the first time in Chelsea’s history. The free scoring team also broke records and racked up over 100 goals in the League alone. He managed to get the best of players like Malouda and Anelka and turned Chelsea into a team that people feared. However his fall from grace was equally swift.
Though the season started brightly, the decision to let go of a lot of players came back to haunt them. Deco, Ballack and Joe Cole were released and adequate replacements were not brought in. Facing an injury crisis, Chelsea’s season started to unravel quickly. He was sacked on the last day of the season after another defeat at Goodison Park.
A general consensus has been reached than Chelsea were wrong in sacking him. The timing could not have been worse with now Chelsea having to replace its manager, sporting director and Chief Scout.
However now that the deeds are done, the search for a new manager is afoot. Avram Grant is regarded as a sure shot for the post of the Sporting Director. After relegating 2 teams in 2 seasons and spending 67 weeks in the relegation zone, somehow the decision does not inspire confidence.
Amongst the contenders for the post of manager are some of the biggest coaches in club football. While it is obvious of the reason why some of them have been linked, others are just plain fantasy.
Guus Hiddink – looks to be the favourite for the post if he decides to leave the Turkish national team. He has confided that he is still involved in an advisory capacity with Chelsea even after leaving Chelsea. He would make a great coach to have with the team having reached a point where changes are needed and priorities need to be re-evaluated. He has already stated that he will have a discussion with Abramovich after the Euro qualifier on Friday. Chelsea fans will be praying that Hiddink decides to renew his relationship with the club.
Harry Redknapp – He left Portsmouth to join Tottenham in 2008 and said ‘When a big club comes calling, you don’t say no.’ People laughed and claimed that Portsmouth having reached the FA Cup Final the year before were bigger. He lead Tottenham to the Champions League without major resources and broke the strangle hold of the Big Four. Chelsea could do with such a man at the helm. His reputation of creating a good academy will stand Chelsea in good stead in the future.
Andres Villas Boas – The Portuguese seem to have a magic potion. First came along Mourinho who was only too happy to upset the apple-cart. Again comes a Porto manager who has been earmarked for greatness. A move to Chelsea would only serve to increase the comparisons with Senor Mourinho. However I feel that he will not move this season especially due to the clause in his contract which will mean that he shall have to pay Porto big bucks to break the contract.
Jose Mourinho – One for the fantasies people. Yes, he was certainly Chelsea’s most successful coach and no fan would want anything more than see the Special One again roaming the Chelsea technical area. He has been unsuccessful in displacing Barcelona in Spain and has always maintained that he wants to come back to England to manage a club. And as he always says, ‘Jose does not lose at the Bridge.’
So who will it be who will in charge come the start of next season? The jury is out on the candidates and there shall be severe examinations of the decision once it is declared. The fans will only hope that the manager is someone who can take the best out of the players and build a new team that shall be competitive for many years to come.