Yiannis Bouranis writes about Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Roman Abramovich’s big targets, namely Diego Simeone and Pep Guardiola.
Finally, Jose Mourinho’s second spell as Chelsea’s manager came to an end, a development which can be considered reasonable and expected, with the Portuguese manager having lost complete control of the situation.
Just six months after winning the Premier League, things have turned upside down in the team. The squad has made the worst start to a season in the last 20 years or so, with Mourinho blaming everybody (the players, medical staff, referees, FA) for how things had turned out and also most players being out of form and unwilling to fight for the victory in every game.
Consequently, the side is currently 15th on the table, having earned only 18 points after 17 games. Moreover, Chelsea has lost nine times this season and (has) conceded 27 goals, numbers that prove that the club was (and still is) in a very deep crisis.
Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, was unwilling to fire Mourinho, but was left with no other option as the team is still very close to the relegation zone.
In addition, the serious incident with the team’s doctor, Eva Carneiro, at the beginning of the season along with the side’s mediocre performances and bad results in the league led to Mourinho being fired, after two and half years as the club’s coach, during which he won one championship and one League Cup.
So, now, what is next for both the club and the Portuguese coach? The administration reached an agreement with Guus Hiddink until the end of the season, with the Dutch coach taking over the club for the second time after the 2008-09 season, however there is still the possibility he will stay longer than the summer of 2016.
The main reason is that it will be very difficult for the Russian to convince either Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone to become Chelsea’s manager.
Regarding Simeone, the Argentinian has been impressive since he took over Atletico Madrid in 2011, winning the championship in 2014 and coming a few seconds away from claiming the UEFA Champions League a few days later.
Chelsea’s owner believes the 45-year-old manager is the perfect choice for the squad’s bench, however the Argentinian is under contract with the Spanish club until 2020 and is not so willing to leave the team, given that he is the absolute leader and the administration, players and fans are very satisfied with his training methods, tactics and, certainly, results.
On the other hand, Abramovich’s big target is Pep Guardiola. The Catalan coach has revolutionised the way football is played at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but is not certain he will coach a team in 2016.
Given that he will leave the Bavarians at the end of the current season (with Carlo Ancelotti having already been named as his replacement), he would be available to sign with Chelsea, however there are three obstacles that have to be overcome:
First of all, as we said, it’s possible the 44-year-old coach will not take over any team in 2016, spending a year off, as he did before signing with Bayern Munich. Secondly, with Chelsea probably out of Europe next season, it’s likely he will not be in favour of moving to the English club, although it will be a big challenge for him to bring the side back to the top.
Most importantly, though, there have already been rumours and reports, given the great relationship between Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, that Guardiola will be Manchester City’s new manager, however there is nothing official yet.
All in all, we have to wait for quite some time (a few months, probably), to find out how things will turn out regarding Chelsea’s new manager and who will be chosen to take over the team.
In the meantime, in the club’s first game after the end of “the Mourinho era”, Chelsea stood tall and beat Sunderland 3-1 at home, in a match where the fans expressed their support for the Portuguese coach, while booed most of the players.
Regarding the Portuguese himself, there are already reports that he has signed a five-year contract with Manchester United and what remains to be seen is whether this is true or not, as there is nothing official yet.