Chelsea FC: Whose taking over the reigns?

Last Sunday saw the end of the Premier League season and ultimately the last day for Carlo Ancelotti in charge of Chelsea. After a disappointing 1-0 loss away to 10-man Everton, Ancelotti was sacked by the board a few hours after the final whistle. Having won the first ever double for Chelsea in 2010 – his first season in charge – there was no doubt the 51-year-old was primarily signed for his Champions League winning expertise. But after a trophy-less season this year and Chelsea finishing second in the league, the sacking was inevitable. So who will be in charge next?

Sky Sports’ favourite to take over from Carlo Ancelotti is Guus Hiddink. Currently the manager of Turkey’s national team, Hiddink took temporary charge of the Blues from February 2009 to June 2009, proving successful in that year’s FA Cup. The Dutchman was an instant hit with both the players and fans, but he turned down a chance to be the permanent manager of Chelsea in order to return to his coaching role with Russia’s national team.

Another Dutchman in frame for the job is Marco Van Basten. The former Netherlands national team and AFC Ajax manager was made famous in his coaching career for disabling the older generation of players for new, younger talents. Although a hugely successful footballer, Van Basten is yet to win any trophy as a manager, nor coach in the Champions League.

FC Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas has also been mentioned as a potential contender. After only being in charge of the Portuguese giants for one season, he has already won the treble (Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal – equivalent to the English FA Cup, and the Europa League) and was an assistant under former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. With his possible signature can come possible transfers too, with midfielder Joao Moutinho and strikers Falcao and Hulk being realistic signings.

According to Sky Sports, odds of 20/1 are on offer for a shock return of Jose Mourinho. The 48-year-old has arguably been Chelsea’s most successful manager, winning two Premier League titles, two Carling Cups and an FA Cup in his 3¼ year spell at the Bridge. He is certainly a brilliant manager with every potential of winning the Champions League, but his relationship with owner Roman Abramovich drove him away and is looking unlikely for him to return whilst the Russian still has control.

Other sports personalities that are in line are Chelsea legend and former West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola, as well as Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp; who has recently denied any contact with the Blues.

In conclusion, the decision is simple. If Chelsea want to win the Champions League and be successful in the Premier League again, they’ll pick Mourinho. Hiddink will also be a good decision having already proven his worth, however, Van Basten and Villas-Boas may be a little inexperienced for the role, but will be great second coaches due to their age.

We all look forward to seeing who will become the seventh Chelsea manager since 2003, and if I was a betting man (which I am not), Van Basten looks the most interested in the prospect.

Aaron Aquilina
Prem-de-la-Prem (www.premdelaprem.wordpress.com)

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