In Focus: How has Chelsea linked Andriy Shevchenko fared in management so far?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 20 January 2021, 13:38

With Frank Lampard feeling the heat at Chelsea, it’s one of his former Blues teammates who has surprisingly been linked with a return to Stamford Bridge as manager.

That man is Andriy Shevchenko, currently a 10/3 shot in the next Chelsea manager market.

It’s important to note that Lampard remains at the helm, but should he depart then Shevchenko is rumoured to be one of the names in contention for the post.

The current Shevchenko speculation presents an ideal opportunity to take a look into his managerial record to date, as it may come as a surprise to many that the former sharp-shooter is fast approaching five years at the helm of the Ukrainian national team.

Life at Chelsea

In 2006 Chelsea spent a then club-record £30m to lure over Shevchenko, a former Champions League victor and European Footballer of the Year, who had elevated into the top bracket of elite strikers after a hugely successful period at AC Milan.

The Blues’ capture of a megastar like Shevchenko was big news, and they were widely expected to go on and dominate both domestically and in Europe.

It swiftly became evident that Jose Mourinho wasn’t a fan, with the move instead instigated by Roman Abramovich. What followed was a hugely disappointing two years, which were plagued by injuries, indifferent form and a struggle to nail down a starting place.

In total he scored 30 goals in 83 games, and only added the League Cup to his CV - he was an unused substitute in the Champions League Final defeat to Man Utd.

Life after Chelsea

Shevchenko returned to AC Milan on loan, where he netted just two goals in 26 appearances, before sealing a permanent move back to where it all began: Dynamo Kyiv.

He spent three more seasons at the club, then retired in 2012 in order to pursue a career in politics. 

He joined Ukraine – Forward!, a political party which then took second place on the party list for the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. However, they won only 1.58% of the national votes, didn’t get any constituencies, and therefore did not gain any parliamentary representation.

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Shevchenko has been in charge of Ukraine since 2016

Move into Management

In 2016 he spent six months as the assistant manager to Mykhaylo Fomenko at the Ukraine national team. "After almost four years on vacation, I am coming back to big football, as a coach. I worked with great coaches like Valery Lobanovskyi, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and got a huge experience,” he said at the time.

"Coaching courses helped me to shape up my ideas and determine my own vision of football. Hopefully this will help me in the future."

Ukraine flopped at Euro 2016, losing all three of their group games to Germany, Poland and Northern Ireland, which brought an end to Fomenko’s four-year tenure. Fomenko’s departure meant that an opportunity opened up for Shevshenko who, despite having no managerial experience, then stepped into the dugout as a manager for the first time, signing a two-year contract with the possibility of another two-years.

Shevchenko’s task was to lead Ukraine through qualification to the 2018 World Cup, but he came under-fire after he missed out, finishing third behind Iceland and Croatia.

He kept hold of his job, and between 2017 and 2020 enjoyed a superb run of form, losing only once in 22 games as he propelled Ukraine to qualification to Euro 2020; a campaign in which they went unbeaten and finished top of their group ahead of defending champions Portugal.

However, he’s since lost six of his last seven games at the helm, with Ukraine finishing bottom of UEFA Nations League Group A4 behind Spain, Germany and Switzerland. Although he did conjure up an impressive 1-0 win against Spain, which meant he became the first manager to beat them in nearly two years.

He’ll now have his sights on becoming the first Ukraine manager to lead the county out of the European Championship group stages: Netherlands, Austria and North Macedonia await in Group C.

At the time of writing he has overseen 41 matches, which include 21 wins, nine draws and 11 defeats meaning his Win Rate currently stands at 48.78%.

How likely is a return to Chelsea?

While there remain doubts as to whether Euro 2020 will take place this summer, at the moment the tournament is on.

Providing it goes ahead, it seems pretty unlikely that Shevchenko would vacate his post beforehand, even if Chelsea came in for his services.

In the aftermath of Chelsea’s defeat to Leicester, Frank Lampard was installed as the favourite for the sack, while Shevchenko emerged as the frontrunner to replace him - he’s since drifted a touch to 3/1, with Thomas Tuchel leading the way.

Shevchenko may have been in the managerial arena since 2016, but the fact he’s never managed at club level could well count against him, especially in a high-profile and chaotic environment such as Chelsea.

Although, if he still has close ties with Abramovich, you simply can never say never.

Last year Andrea Maldera, a video match analyst for Shevchenko, told Tuttosport:

“After the experience as a national team coach, his objective will be coaching a club.

“Whether it's in Serie A or the Premier League, it doesn't make a difference to him. He's a hard worker and impressed me from the start.”

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