≡ Menu

If AVB goes, who comes?

Andre Villas Boas is struggling at Chelsea. The players are rebelling against his authority, at least some of them are, whilst results too are not happening according to his designs and wishes. Even the fans have started to turn against him, in the last match the Stamford Bridge support even called for his head and yearned aloud for a Jose Mourinho return. The only relevant support Andre Villas Boas has, besides himself, seems to be from Roman Abramovich, the most important man of them all at Chelsea. So long as Andre Villas Boas maintains the support of his employer then what everybody else thinks is of little importance. But, as we all know, football club chairman can change their mind without a moments notice and so long as results continue to not arrive as expected then Andre Villas Boas is always on the precipice. So, the question is, if Andre Villas Boas goes, who comes?

Carlo Ancelotti, one high profile manager currently unemployed, is an option but he was, after all, sacked from Stamford Bridge just a season ago. Roman Abramovich, the Russian tycoon, is unlikely to return to this road previously travelled. Guus Hiddink, another former Chelsea manager, has recently taken a post in Russia, and a well remunerated one at that. The Dutchman might have been an option but now, with huge amounts of compensation likely to be involved, he is an unlikely candidate. There is Rafael Benitez, a UEFA European Champions League winner with Liverpool. He was a nemesis for Chelsea during his time at Anfield and has a decent track record, from his time at Valencia and Liverpool, although the CV was somewhat soured by a bad experience at Internazionale Milan. What’s more, the type of football Rafael Benitez plays is probably not the type of football that Roman Abramovich is believed to want to see at Stamford Bridge. Arsene Wenger, a surprise suggestion, might well be on his way out of Arsenal, considering the pressure he is under and his continued inability to turn results around, but his method of management, slow development and minimal investment, is not quite in keeping with Roman Abramovich’s legacy at Chelsea so far, although the Russian owner might appreciate a change of style.

Other options, like Brendan Rodgers or Paul Lambert, doing stellar work at Swansea City and Norwich City, respectively, are unlikely just because they lack the experience of older managers in much the same way that the current incumbent, Andre Villas Boas, does. It would be a case of replacing one promising novice with another. And so,all in all, it appears that there are not too many obvious managerial candidates if Andre Villas Boas is removed or leaves his Chelsea post. Fabio Capello, now no longer with England, is one option. How Roman Abramovich will feel about the elderly Italian, nobody knows. Thus, we conclude, that Chelsea are likely to stick with the Portuguese tactician currently in charge for a quite a while yet. Not because of his performance, which has been relatively poor, but because of his potential and the reality that there is a genuine dearth of obvious replacements available.