Let me start by saying that my first and top priority for some one to replace Rafael Benitez at the Stamford bridge hot seat is Jose Mourinho. Jose is any Chelsea’s fans favorite to take over at Chelsea once Benitez’s interim stint ends in June. And I am a big fan of Jose Mourinho, the way he works, motivates, gives interview, his tactics…everything. Really, what can you hate of a Genius manager like Mourinho? We call him the ‘Special One’ for a reason. He has won 6 major trophies in 3 years in West London with the blues. There are some fans who were calling for Pep Guardiola to take over at Chelsea this summer instead of Mourinho. Those fans think Mourinho’s weakness is giving chance & developing young players. But, truth be told, I can’t see any main weakness in Mourinho as a manager. He has increased the number of home-grown players at Santiago Bernabeu and have given chance to youngsters like John Obi Mikel and Scott Sinclair when he was at Stamford Bridge.
Now, the only three top candidates to take over the managerial helm at Stamford bridge are Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes. Gardiola had opted for Bayern Munich earlier in January because of the stability and structure of the Bavarian club being similar to the one he was used to at Camp Nou, Barcelona. This should serve as a good example to Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich that hiring and firing managers quickly will hurt the stability and the image of the club. There were many rumors that Pep was looking to become a Chelsea manager because he appreciated the attacking style the team was playing this season. He was thought to be a big fan of Juan Mata and really liked the trio behind the striker in midfield-MaZaCar as we call it( Oscar, Hazard & Mata). But, after all the deal couldn’t happen after he saw Roberto DiMatteo sacked just six months after winning the Champions League Trophy.
Now, there is a big chance of Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge this summer as even this week, reports said that Mourinho’s son coach had been told by the Portuguese that he will not remain in the capital of Spain the season after. And we all now the speculations that linked Mourinho with the exit door at the Bernabue as he had fall out with many top players like Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas. So, the candidates of where Mourinho will be coaching next season are Chelsea, PSG & Manchester City according to many rumors, and of course Chelsea being the favorites for his signature.
But if this deal won’t happen or if Mourinho opts to remain at Real for another season, Malaga Manager Manuel Pelligrini will be a decent fall back option out of the list of managers to take Over at Chelsea. The Chilean Manager has had an incredible season at Andalusia by leading the club to the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League. They were even 2 minutes away from guaranteeing their semi-final spot if it weren’t from a miraculous effort from BVB that saw the Germans score two goals to advance to the semis of the tournament. And the tactic he uses at Malaga is similar to our 4-2-3-1 with the much sought after Isco deploying in the no. 10 position that Juan Mata occupies here at Chelsea.
The way Malaga had been playing all season have been fantastic whether it’s in UCL or La Liga. Pellegrini used his limited squad that sold top talents like Cazorla and Monreal to Arsenal and made them one of the top underdogs in Europe this season. They play in a very fluid and attacking style concentrated on holding position. It’s the type of stye that can bring the best out of our current starting eleven with Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Ramires playing a key role in the system.
When we talk about Pellegrini’s past accolades, it’s a respected and great work that he has done even though he has not won a major trophy at any club he worked for. That seems to be an issue as we need a manager with many cups to their names like former recruit, two-time UCL winner, Carlo Ancelloti.
But, Pellegrini’s style is very organized and desciplined as he demands hard work and a 100% display from his players. He is confident of his skills and that’s why he took over the Santiago Bernabue hot seat in Summer of 2009. That summer Real went for their part 2 ‘Galacticos’ by singing players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Benzema, Albiol, and Xabi Alonso for a combined fee of over €200 million. When asked by the press about this, Pellegrini said “It’s no good having an orchestra with the 10 best guitarists if I don’t have a pianist.” This quote much explains his attitude towards a club’s transfer policy.
And his work at Villarreal reflects the opinion I mentioned above. He signed decent players with little reputation in Europe and made them the dark horses of the tournament in the 2005/6 Champions league campaign. That season, Villarreal wear a penalty away from booking a final against Barcelona before they were denied by an incredible Jehns Lehmann penalty save and were knocked out of the competition by Arsenal. He had players like Juan Roman Riquelme performing at their top level that campaign. Many of the players he had in that Villarreal side had not been at their best before they arrived but, Pellegrini turned them in to an unstoppable machine and against all odds, they got to the semis of the grand competition in Europe(even Real Madrid were earlier knocked out by Arsenal).
Then he arrived at Santiago Bernabeu in June 2009 with an excellent reputation despite lacking a major trophy like I mentioned earlier. He was and still is one of the respected managers in all of European football. Actually, the one season he had at real Madrid kind of ruined his reputation a little bit as he was unable to bring the squad together and handle the big egos in the locker room. And for that he isn’t the one to blame but, the club’s policy at the time. Remember the quote I mention earlier, it states that he was not an influential voice in bringing many of the players that were signed that summer when he arrived. Much like Andre Villas-Boas was not to blame for all his failures at Chelsea. That’s another topic to discuss in a whole new article but, AVB was a victim of too much player power given to the old guards(particularly Ashley Cole and Lampard, as they were the two to have been unhappy with the squad rotation & reported it to the board, according to multiple reports at the time).
That was just an example & Back to our topic, Then Pellegrini went on to Malaga. Since then, he has transformed the team from just an ordinary la liga club into an exciting team with much depth of young talents. Instead of using the Arab club owners’ money to sign top, high wage players, he signed players like Isco as 18 years old from Valencia and also brought over Santi Cazorla from his former club Villarreal. We all know how the two players changed after coming to Malaga. The Spanish press nick-named him ‘The Engineer’ for his amazing tactical nous and structural knowledge. Their is also the mouth watering prospect of signing Isco if Pellegrini becomes our manager. Because it’s clear to see what type of players he will prefer to sign for Chelsea if he becomes a manager for the blues. And adding to the young talents and developing squad we have here at the club, the future looks bright for Chelsea, but Abramovic needs to be patient and at least give him a season or two to make impacts by winning trophies. And other issues like dealing with player power and those sort of stuff wouldn’t be an issue as he is an experienced trainer and will easily command respect in the dressing room at this moment. But, as I said before, Mourinho should be the top priority always to take over as the two managers don’t come close if we compare their works in the last decade. But, Pellegrini is clearly a great fall-back option just in case if Mourinho opted to stay at Madrid or goes to PSG or Man City (I’m just saying this since it was speculated in the media, but I repeat, its very unlikely that he would take over at one of the two clubs).
What do you think of Pellegrini becoming our manager if Mourinho’s deal doesn’t go through? Please comment your opinions below! KTBFFH