Word out of London is that The Special One has quit Chelsea.
Say it ain’t so!
(apologies to LOLJocks for the rip-off/homage… um, of a homage/rip-off)
Yes, Jose Mourinho has quit as manager of the Blues. The BBC broke the story and it was eventually confirmed by the club.
Chelsea Football Club and José Mourinho have agreed to part company today (Thursday) by mutual consent.
(yeah, that was the whole thing)
While he’s an insufferable cock, I’ll miss Mourinho because he’s such a talented manager and a worthy foe. And, I hate to see the Premier League lose such an entertaining figure. As infuriating as half the crap that comes out of his piehole is, I’ve enjoyed having a high-profile character to rally against.
Maybe he was special after all.
YOU ARE GREAT!
For those of us who hate Chelsea, the timing for this major distraction could not be more perfect. Chelsea are ridded with injuries, they drew with Norweigan side Rosenborg in their opening CL game and face Man United this weekend. I’d only assume that Assistant Manager Steve Clarke will take the helm until Roman and Peter Kenyon either install a caretaker (most likely Clarke) or directly hire a replacement.
With the season having just begun and the siren’s song of silverware still a reality, I can’t imagine the Russian billionaire will appoint a caretaker for the season, but will instead instruct his lapdog to move with speed to install another high-profile manager.
This is a crucial time for Chelsea. The money alone (which will never be quite as free-flowing as it was when the club was Roman’s shiny new toy) certainly doesn’t guarantee wins and an inferior manager could easily return Chelsea to the Ranieri Days of ‘good, but not great’. Winning with talent, after all, is no easy task.
So, in no particular order, I offer up these possibilities…
Juande Ramos — The current Sevilla manager has won the UEFA Cup the past two seasons. At 52, he’s young-ish and has already had his name bandied about recently for the Tottenham job. That said, he got a rude introduction to the Champions League this week with a 3-nil drubbing by Arsenal. It’s only one game, but I’m just saying…
Fabio Capello — The combative 61-year old has won domestic titles with Real Madrid, Juventus, Roma and Milan. He also won the Champions League with Milan. His coaching pedigree can’t be questioned, but his people skills most certainly can. This is a manager who is not afraid to feud with anybody, from player to journalist to fan. If Abromavich is looking for somebody who won’t give him lip, Capello is not the right choice.
Guus Hiddink — The Larry Brown of soccer. He’s rarely stays in one job for too long, but his teams improve dramatically under his guidance. South Korea and Australia on the international level and PSV at the club level are good examples. He also won a mess of Eredivisie titles and the Champions League (during his first spell) at PSV. Plus, he’s currently coaching Russia and already has a pre-existing relationship with a certain billionaire owner.
Vicente del Bosque — The 57-year old was at the helm for some of the most successful seasons at Real Madrid in recent history with two La Liga titles and two Champions League gongs. As a bonus, he’s well equipped to dealing with multiple big name players and is even available immediately, as he’s currently unemployed (by choice).
Louis van Gaal — Managed Ajax to two Champions League finals, winning one, won La Liga managing Barca. But, Mourinho was one of his assistants at Barca, so that association could rule him out. Currently managing AZ in the Dutch Eredivisie, which probably couldn’t afford to turn down a hefty compensation offer.
‘Big Phil’ Scolari — The current Portugese national team manager has won the World Cup with Brazil but has never managed at the European club level. An unlikely candidate, but his credentials merit a mention.
Johan Cruyff — Though he’s retired from management, maybe (*wink wink*) Roman’s riches can lure him back to the grind. A Barcelona legend, he certainly knows (or at least, knew) how to produce the style and results that the Russian is rumored to desire.
Paco Ayesteran — Can you even imagine? Hiring Liverpool’s former (?) Number Two, would be an incredibly diabolical move. But with his lack of experience as a Number One, it’s a non-starter. But, if I were an evil Russian, I’d certainly give it some thought.
Gerard Houllier — *laugh* I don’t think he’s signed on as the French techinical director yet. Pretty please? With sugar on top? He’ll probably sign you the next Zidane!
Here’s hoping Roman and Peter blow it and Chelsea return to their rightful place, struggling for Champions League qualification.
EDIT: It is confirmed that Steve Clarke and Director of Football Arvam Grant will take control of the first team for the forseeable future. They ran Chelsea’s Thursday morning training session…