Chelsea FC are in somewhat of a crisis at this time. They look on the up but should they suffer defeat and go out of the Champions League to PSG within the next week and a half, the idea of playing in the 2016-17 competition will look all but over.
The club, and especially owner Roman Abramovich, have a deep love affair with the Champions League after flirting with it for so long, and then finally achieving the ultimate glory in 2012. It was not easy though as many managers have been through the Chelsea manager revolving door.
The door has seen managers such as Jose Mourinho (twice), Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink, and others who have enjoyed some success in SW6 but never enough for the owner to be content with. So now, Abramovich finds himself back at square one, who should he hire and is he searching for long-term or short-term success?
Chelsea FC claimed to have narrowed their next manager to 4 potential potential candidates. The list includes current Juventus manager, Massimiliano Allegri; Italy national team manager, Antonio Conte; ex-Chile manager, Jorge Sampaoli; and current Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone. But there is also a looming possibility of current interim manager, Guus Hiddink, staying on past this season, and recently the Dutch man has left the possibility open himself.
Below you will find a percentage of likelihood of each manager joining, as well as a few words on what each manager could bring to the club.
First, the ideal Mourinho replacement is the man who is widely thought of to have similar tactics and style as him, Diego Simeone. The manager would bring a gritty, hard-nosed style to West London. Much like in Jose Mourinho’s first stint, the manager would bring a defense-first approach. Some say this is the Chelsea way and while many jokes have been made about the ‘Park the bus’ style of play, it has brought more silverware to the club than ever previously seen. It is said that though this has brought success to Chelsea, Roman Abramovich has reservations towards this option as he prefers a more enjoyable to watch style of play.
Simeone may also be able to bring players like Diego Godin, Koke, or Antoine Griezmann with him as well. Chelsea have been rumoured with these players over a long span of time and the manager’s arrival could be the push the club desires to bring one or two of these names in. Simeone is regarded as one of the top managers in the world after bringing home several trophies to the ‘other’ side of Madrid. Another accomplishment for the manager was becoming the first manager in around a decade to break up the duopoly that is Real Madrid and Barcelona, and clinching the La Liga trophy over the two sides at the Camp Nou.
Likelihood to happen? 6/10
The manager took over the Juventus job in the summer of 2014 and enjoyed a successful first season at the club. He unfortunately fell at the peak of the Champions League to Barcelona in last season’s final but otherwise enjoyed a successful league campaign. This season was not as smooth as the last. After falling deep in the league standings, he has completed a miraculous turnaround bringing the club back to the summit of the Serie A table. Allegri has Juventus playing beautiful football at the moment and a tie with Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola at the midweek. Roman seems to appreciate Allegri’s tactics and style more than Simeone and is a very attractive option to the Chelsea owner.
That said, Allegri has recently stated he has no interest in joining Chelsea at the moment as he is focusing on Juventus and winning trophies this year, a setback for Roman. The players at Juventus are playing well and should Allegri make the switch to England, he may look to bring Giorgio Chiellini or Paulo Dybala with him, as well as long-term Chelsea target, Paul Pogba. Chelsea have a long standing admiration of the French midfielder, but just not have had the push to get him. Hiring the Juventus boss, might just do the trick.
Likelihood to happen: 7/10
The national team manager may just be the most likely to join Chelsea as manager in the summer. The Italian man has, like Allegri, enjoyed success at Juventus. The team Allegri inherited from Conte, was special and Conte was the man who gave Pogba a chance after Manchester United didn’t allow it. The French midfielder has since become a star and Conte deserves much of the credit. Roman has invested millions into the youth at Chelsea and wants them to be more involved in first team roles at Chelsea. Many argue with the unsuccessful campaign so far this season at the club, players like Bertrand Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek deserve more chances to impress.
Rumours suggest that this was a large reason in why Jose Mourinho was sacked. In this aspect of bringing up youth, Conte will likely be the most appealing option for the owner. Not to mention, the relationship between Paul Pogba and Antonio Conte is fantastic and if there is anyone who can bring the star midfielder to Stamford Bridge, it is Antonio Conte. Also, the Italian manager has a style of play unfamiliar to much of England. The manager has experimented with many formations and does not seem afraid to try different styles. He has had teams play brilliant football over the years and as stated above, will be appealing to the Chelsea owner.
Likelihood to happen: 9/10
The ex-Chile manager has enjoyed recent success at the international level leading Chile to the ultimate prize at the 2015 Confederations Cup, beating Argentina in the final. It raised many eyebrows seeing as the Chile squad seemed largely inferior to that of Argentina and other competing nations. The manager seems very interested in the Chelsea job and quit the Chile job to make his availability open for the manager position in London. It is said he has even identified his main target if he becomes Chelsea boss and it would be controversial to say the least. The boss would like to bring Arsenal forward, Alexis Sanchez across the city to join him at Chelsea and it is a transfer that would spark fire across the city if it were to happen. This desire to coach Chelsea seems to be a bit one-sided though as Chelsea appear to have lost some interest in hiring the Chilean. That said, he does make the cut for the shortlist of potential managers.
Likelihood to happen: 5/10
The last option, to touch on briefly, is hiring Guus Hiddink permanently. He is currently managing the club as interim boss and it seems the only way he will stay on is if a 2012, Roberto Di Matteo situation transpires and Chelsea win this season’s Champions League. It seems an incredibly slim chance, but so was 2012. Hiddink has not lost in this interim role as of yet, enjoying a run of four premier league wins and six draws, while keeping the club’s FA Cup dreams alive. It is not very likely this happens, but there remains some hope for the Dutchman.
Likelihood to happen: 3/10
There were some names not listed, mainly Manuel Pellegrini, but it has been said that the club are not looking to hire the current Manchester City boss. These main four or five candidates seem to be the most likely at this point in time and really, should any make the move to Stamford Bridge, it will really make the English top flight even more entertaining in the 2016/17 campaign. Chelsea have a fantastic shortlist of potential managers and only time will tell who Chelsea Football Club’s next manager is.