Roman Abramovich stayed through to form and sacked Andres Villas Boas (AVB) after just nine months in charge of Chelsea F.C. It is just another part of the managerial soap opera that Mr. Abramovich has presided over at the club.
AVB was the eight manager in nine years at Chelsea which has been described as embarrassing by the League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan. It seems that even achieving success at Chelsea will not save you from Abramovich’s dreaded axe. AVB’s predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, was sacked after finishing second in the EPL and one year after leading Chelsea to a league and cup double.
With an owner not hesitant to let his sickle fly and a previous manager saying that hell awaits the new man, the question must be who will want to work for this trigger happy owner? We’ll take a look at some of the main contenders:
The most successful Chelsea manager under Abramovich, the special one’s shadow still looms large over Stamford Bridge after winning many titles with the west London club. Since leaving he has won Seria A titles and a Champions League with Inter Milan. His Real Madrid team are currently 10 points clear of Barcelona in La Liga and he is still on course to try and become the first manager in history to win the Champions League with three different clubs. Questions remain if he has repaired his relationship with Abramovich after he was left in 2007. He would also look for total control over footballing matters at the club which Abramovich is unlikely to allow.
Guardiola’s name has been mentioned as his contract with Barcelona is up at the end of the season. This is nothing new as he operates on a one year rolling contract. Guardiola has undoubtedly been the most successful coach in Europe over the past couple of seasons, winning three straight La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues in three years. Abramovich is a big fan of Guardiola and his style of play. However, why would Guardiola leave possibly the best club team ever assembled to take up the reins of an ageing Chelsea team with an owner not willing to give a manager time?
The only manager that Abramovich has not sacked. He took over when Scolari was sacked and did well with the club, winning an FA Cup and guiding them to a Champions League spot in the league. He is held in high regard at the club by Abramovich and the players. He left Chelsea to return to his duties with Russian national team. He would probably be the perfect fit for the position, however, he has recently taken the job at big spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala and is not likely to leave so soon.
Fabio Capello has an immaculate record at club level, winning numerous trophies in Seria A and La Liga. He also knows many of the Chelsea players after managing them at international level. However, he is not very popular in England at the moment after reigning over a failed world cup campaign and recently after quitting the national team leaving them in the lurch just before the European Championship.
Benitez has been unemployed since leaving Inter Milan. The main issue at that time was the lack of investment from the board. That should not be a problem at big spending Chelsea. Benitez has a great European record which is something Abramovich will look closely at since the Champions League is Abramovich’s holy grail. Benitez also got the best out of Fernando Torres during his time at Liverpool and has built up a reputation as a technical genius. All in all he might be the best fit for Chelsea at the moment.