How have Chelsea fared after previous mid-season sackings?
Lee Gormley | December 17, 2015
Another mid-season sacking at Chelsea
Yet again, the Premier League season has brought with it a familiar managerial casualty in Jose Mourinho, as ‘the Special One’ saw his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge come to an abrupt end once again, having recently been dismissed by the club.
Seeing coaches come and go is a regular occurrence in west London, with plenty of high-profile names having faced the axe by demanding owner Roman Abramovich since his taking over of the club back in 2003. But how have the Blues fared in recent seasons, once a manager is sent packing? Read on to find out..
The struggling capital club have dropped dangerously close to the relegation zone this current campaign and are 9/4 with Coral to miraculously seal a top six finish despite their immense troubles. Although, after Mourinho was dismissed the first time back in September 2007, it was Israeli coach Grant that took charge and almost did the unthinkable.
Grant’s appointment until the end of the season was met by much concern by the Blues faithful, being deemed seemingly unfit to guide such a big club towards glory, but he in fact managed to lead Chelsea agonisingly close to huge silverware success.
After taking over from Mourinho, Grant oversaw the Blues battle to a Champions League and League Cup final, where they were narrowly overcome by Manchester United and Tottenham respectively, while also keeping up a Premier League title charge right up to the final day of the campaign.
The man who dubbed himself ‘the Normal One’ was extremely unlucky not to have clinched at least one trophy, but proved that high standards can still be maintained after a mid-season sacking.
The former Netherlands boss, who recently endured an underwhelming second stint in charge of his national side, took over at Chelsea in February 2009, in a bid to clean up the mess that had been left behind by lacklustre Brazilian boss Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Hiddink was instantly a hit with the Blues squad, immediately bonding with the players and his impressive temporary tenure resulted in an FA Cup triumph that year, as they toppled Everton in the final at Wembley.
Roberto Di Matteo
Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas arrived in England with a huge reputation, similar to that of his former mentor Mourinho, after guiding his nation’s top-flight giants Porto to European success, but his time at Chelsea was to be short and not so sweet.
Former Blues player Roberto Di Matteo eventually took over for the young boss, after a stumbling start to his Stamford Bridge reign, and the Italian unexpectedly delivered what fans and club owner Abramovich had been craving, a Champions League victory. He also capped off his short managerial stint with an FA Cup coup, crowning the club double champions.
Di Matteo was sacked the following term in November 2012 and former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez succeeded him as interim coach, with the Spaniard also guiding the club to silverware success after his arrival.
Despite his appointment being met by much discontent among fans, Benitez struck through the abuse from the stands each week to help the club gain the 2012/13 Europa League.
The current Real Madrid coach became only the second manager in history to have lifted both Europa League and Champions League trophies after Giovanni Trapattoni, rounding off a successful temporary term in north London.
The next man chosen to succeed Mourinho at the Stamford Bridge helm will hope to emulate these previous coaches’ paths to glory after taking charge at the midway season point, with Chelsea 16/1 for another Champions League triumph.
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