Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hughes in City firing-line while Chelsea are in complete turmoil...

So then, United legend Mark Hughes has accepted the poisoned chalice that is the Manchester City manager's job. Stability is not a word often used at Eastlands where the manager's position is concerned and while Thaksin Shinawatra has only been at the club for a relatively short period of time, he has carried on the Blues long-standing tradition of hiring and firing when getting rid of Sven-Goran Eriksson post-haste.

You do wonder how long it will be before Hughes is shown the seemingly ever revolving manager's door. For the record, the Welshman becomes the 16th manager to take charge since Fergie has been at Old Trafford. Ironically, of the Manchester clubs it could well be United who are next looking to appoint a new manager following confirmation that Fergie is likely to only be around for another two years - but Hughes could go before then, that is for certain based on Dr (arf) Shinawatra's treatment of Eriksson.

While the City job will be a difficult one, it's beginning to look like Chelsea's search to replace Avram Grant is nearing farcical proportions. Chelsea have been given the knock-back by Carlo Ancelotti, the Milan coach. Hughes was thought to be in the frame, but Chelsea blinked and City got their man. You have to laugh, especially at Peter Kenyon who is often cited as being the single biggest problem at Stamford Bridge by their own supporters.

Frank Rikjaard could be a candidate, but that is by no means certain given he's just left Barcelona under something of a cloud and there's been rumours suggesting all is not well where off the field matters are concerned.

Then there's "big Phil" Scolari, but you do wonder if the Brazilian could be a too much like Henk Ten Cate who wasn't shy of dishing out the odd backhander when players' got out of turn. Would the former Brazilian national team manager put up with interference from upstairs? Answers on a postcard. Chelsea might justifiably be a bit nervous about appointing Scolari - and let's be honest, the West London club cannot afford to screw-up this next appointment - especially given that Mourinho is now back managing and in the limelight again.

However, Chelsea claim that they are perfectly happy with progress on the search for a new manager. This at a time when Mourinho is looking to snap up Drogba and Essien - Chelsea's public show of confidence is of course a load of old blarney it's about as convincing as someone losing a winning lottery jackpot ticket and then saying that they aren't that bothered.

Roberto Mancini, the sacked Inter Manager must be in the frame, but wouldn't appointing him look bad if Mourinho does well? It could be a PR disaster for Chelsea and for this reason alone I suspect Mancini is an unlikely candidate.

You do wonder if Chelsea might have to appoint Steve Clarke - but if they do, I boldly predict it will turn out to be a total disaster - I'd give him a season at best.

Chelsea to finish fourth next season anyone?


  1. "Chelsea to fall apart after Mourinho exit" was what you said on Tuesday, September 25, 2007. And now you say "Chelsea are in complete turmoil". Your readers will be happy, and that's what matters, right?

  2. Aravind, dead right, they cannot fall far enough for me.

  3. Hahaha.

    Chelsea are in something of a mess, but not in complete turmoil.

    Mourinho would do well to take away Drogba, Essien and Lampard away from the premier league, however I doubt that the three transfers, any one of them would occur. Inter already have a world class side, and already have an Essien-esque player in Cambiasso.

    Drogba would be a tremendous asset to any team, but then again, Mourinho already has Ibrahimovic to work with as a world-class player. Also, Chelsea would be reluctant to lose their players to their ex-manager as that would most certainly be a PR disaster.

    If the players are to leave, they might have to wait out their contracts, or move to another club temporarily before finally joining Mourinho.

    I say all this is speculative, because Moratti, Chairman of Inter, has not specified whether he will give a bag of gold to Mourinho to forge a new team of steely mercenaries, for Inter have won three Serie A in a row (regardless of Italian turmoil for their competitors).

    Regardless, it wasn't exactly a masterstroke to fire Grant, who was getting the job done as a manager.

    Now that they are 'struggling' to find a manager, will they look to him again?

    I would say that is unlikely, Rijkaard looks a firm prospect at this point of time, he left Barcelona because the club stopped progressing, more than personal reasons.

    If enough money is on the table, Scolari is a possibility as well. I'm sure he cares more for his career than for pure pride alone, and maybe, just maybe, Abrahomovich has learned his lesson in not interfering to much into football affairs.

    Let's see, for there is something of a mess down at Stamford Bridge, I'm certain it will be sorted out sooner or later, and Chelsea will be back to contending for the Premiership and Champions League, after all, they did survive the loss of Mourinho spectacularly, they can easily survive the (bemusing) loss of Grant.

  4. @ James and Uday:

    Agreed Chelsea are in complete mess. Because when other teams are looking for transfer targets and using their transfer window to patch up their squads, the only activity at the Bridge 'seems' to be finding a new manager. Any further delay in naming a manager will only seriously damage the summer transfer plans. Or maybe Roman is waiting for Euro to get over.


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