The list of managers that have served at Chelsea under the Russian billionaire is a mixture of some of the great names of the sport and interim bosses (sorry Rafa). How have they done since leaving, and which would Chelsea fans take back right now?
Time for a bit of retrospection...
Claudio Ranieri: Remember when everyone like Chelsea's manager? Ranieri seemed to be a nice guy in an impossible situation, and was duly jettisoned when the chance to sign Jose Mourinho arose. His subsequent record at a slew of European club has not been stellar, and Chelsea fans would probably agree with most that he wasn't up to the job at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho: In a heartbeat, the only question is whether Mourinho is making doe-eyes at another oil-rich club in Paris…
Avram Grant: Chelsea fans bemoaning Rafa Benitez might still have this at the back of their minds: there will be very few options if Roman Abramovich does sack the Spaniard, perhaps the clearest of those options is Avram Grant.
Luiz Felipe Scolari: Now back in charge of Brazil, Scolari seems better suited to international management, and his spell at Chelsea was mostly unsuccessful, although was perhaps not as disastrous as to earn his dismissal. Chelsea fans will be happy enough to see him in Brazil rather than at Stamford Bridge.
Ray Wilkins: One game, one win - sign him up.
Guus Hiddink: The most successful of the interim managers, Chelsea fans would have hoped HIddink might have stuck around after winning the FA Cup in his short spell in charge. Currently at Anzhi, Chelsea fans might see him at Chelsea this year, but only in the Europa League.
Carlo Ancelotti: Amongst the harsher of Abramovich's dismissals, Ancelotti enjoyed two fairly successful seasons at the club, and also even managed to be popular amongst the players and the fans. Since his departure, there has been nothing close to stability at the club, and Chelsea fans would surely be far happier to see him at the helm than Benitez.
Andre Villas-Boas: Rebuilding his reputation at Tottenham Hotspur after a fiery and short spell in charge of Chelsea was never going to be easy, but so far the Portuguese manager is doing a fine job. He wasn't right fit with Chelsea's squad at the time, but the subsequent actions of both the club and the manager suggest that wasn't entirely his fault.
Roberto Di Matteo: Never fancied by Roman Abramovich, Di Matteo was rightly lauded by the fans as an ex-player who brought them the FA Cup and the Champions League. Di Matteo shouldn’t have been fired, and no matter how much they would like to see it, Chelsea fans probably accept that he is unlikely to return.
So which of the above would you rather have in charge at Stamford Bridge? All of them? None of them? Mourinho?
image: © apasciuto