Its hard to call the Chelsea managing position a career. The past 6 managers have notched up just 330 games together since Jose Mourinho left in 2007, a rate of just 51 games per boss.
With Rafa Benitez’s contract rumoured to be just until the seasons end, he will be lucky to rack up a half-century of games in charge, that’s if Roman hasn’t sent him his P45 before then. Comical chants, and the bedsheet brigade were out in force during his opening game, making it clear that he isn’t welcome at the Bridge.
So who is welcome is the question? Well, it seems many fans want to rekindle the romance of the Mourinho reign, as players and fans alike loved his style, and his achievements, as he brought back-to back Premier League trophies to Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea fans reveled in the new Russian era.
The other candidate is Pep Guardiola, who has held just a single managerial post, that of Barcelona, who he helped to two Champions League trophies, and watched Lionel Messi burst onto the world stage.
Pep is currently on a sabbatical, leaving Barcelona in the summer for a year out, and many believe our board tried to prize him here instead of Benitez, but it seems sure that the offer will come again around May or June time.
But would he want to take it?
Yes, mountains of money would be offered, but for the man who had it so good at Barcelona, would he want to risk placing his head under Roman’s guillotine, and not having time to build a team? Sure, a four-year contract may be dished out, but what does that mean, in a world where we have shipped out £37m in compensation to seven managers?
I personally think that Guardiola would take the Manchester City job first over ours. Roberto Mancini could well be on his way soon enough, especially if Guardiola showed interest. But what he was given was time. Taking over in 2009, it wasn’t until last season they scooped the Premier League title, proving they were right to persist, and look in a much better position that us to win it this year too.
After Jose Mourinho’s arrival in June 2004, Chelsea quickly found themselves with two league titles in two years, which may give some indication as to why Roman has been so trigger happy with his firing gun so far, as he surely believes that titles and records should come instantly.
Would Jose come back to the Bridge? Since winning the title with Porto, he has won the top division in England, Spain, and Italy, which fuels rumours he may well be looking to the likes of France, or Germany, for more personal achievements. Also, after falling out with Roman before, he may well be too big a ego to come back, but who could blame him, under the current regime.
Only time will tell whether Rafa Benitez will last until May, but in the mean time, lets hope Roman Abramovich is frantically working out the plan for manager number 11 of his reign, as his money may well not do the talking this time around.
Who do you want as our next manager when Benitez’s reign ends? Do you think Mourinho or Guardiola would take the job? Let us know.
By Brad Smith