Chelsea Begin New Manager Searchby Jack Kitson / 05 March 2012, 10:20Tweet
Trigger-happy Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is searching for his eighth manager in just eight years after sacking Andre Villas-Boas on Sunday. The writing was on the wall for the Portuguese coach following a woeful run of three wins from his last 12 Premier League games in charge, with Saturday’s defeat to West Brom proving to be the final nail in the coffin. Attention will now turn to AVB’s successor at Stamford Bridge and the club certainly won’t be short of offers.
Since Abramovich took over Chelsea have established themselves as one of the top clubs in Europe. A number of high-calibre candidates have already been linked to the job with the former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho emerging as the narrow favourite in the Next Permanent Chelsea Manager betting market. Mourinho guidied Chelsea to two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup during his three years in West London and he is reportedly eager to return to England, with reports awash that he will leave Real Madrid in the summer. The main problem hindering his return is his complex relationship with Abramovich but he would without a doubt be the popular choice.
Rafa Benitez is also a key contender in the betting, with the former Liverpool manager currently out of work since being sacked by Inter Milan in 2010. Abramovich desperately craves success in Europe and Benitez has just that having won Liverpool the Champions League trophy in 2005. Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is attracting interest and with his contract coming to an end this summer he may be lured by a big money offer to manage in the Premier League. Other managers with an outside chance of landing the prized job include Fabio Capello, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers.
For the time being assistant first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo has been placed in charge on an interim basis until the end of the season. The Italian’s first task will be guiding Chelsea through to the last eight of the FA Cup, with the 2010 winners travelling to St Andrew’s to play Championship side Birmingham City on Tuesday. Chelsea will then host Stoke in the league before trying to reverse a 3-1 deficit against Napoli in the Champions League. If Di Matteo manages to impress then you never know he could become a serious candidate to land the job full-time.