The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

James Lancaster Headshot

Where Does Chelsea Go Next? The Big Contenders and Never Rule Out Interim Superstar, Avram Grant

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Chelsea's decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo is callous but their decision to appoint him was rash. Since the start of this season his position has been fragile, he always looked like an interim manager and it never felt conclusive that he'd taken the role on a full-time basis.

Where does Chelsea go next?

Pep Guardiola

The idea of Pep coming to manage in the UK has everyone feeling a little bit giddy; Guardiola has a faultless career so far managing to win thirteen trophies during his tenure as Barcelona manager.

Pep's philosophy is in alignment with Roman's ideal for Chelsea FC, he is a candidate who is admired across the globed and redefined Spanish football. His slight disadvantage is that he has only managed one team; this does offer a risk but a risk that Roman would certainly be willing to take were he successful in his pursuit. It is inconceivable to believe that he won't be contacted for the job. However, is he enjoying New York? Or is he waiting for big Alex to retire? Few people would contest his appointment and it is a rare moment in history for the most employable manager on the globe to be without a job.

David Moyes

Moyes is held in high regard across the UK and has worked miracles at a financially prudent Everton. He is linked with every big job that goes but seems content to continue working his magic at Everton. It will be interesting to see whether Moyes is prepared to step up and take his break.

The likelihood isn't easy to assess as he has not managed at the top level and has rarely shown a desire to take a big job. However, were Pep Gaurdiola to take this job it could open the door for him to replace the emperor of Manchester, Sir Alex Ferguson? I am not sure whether Roman would be willing to take this risk, but at some point in his career somebody will come knocking at David Moyes's door and he will say yes.

Jose Mourinho

Would Mourinho want to see Pep take over his deserted ship? Mourinho's rhetoric is spontaneous but his work ethic is structured and would be unlikely to depart Real Madrid without a Champions League medal or the conclusion of the Spanish league. Easy to assess as a fantastic candidate and every single Chelsea fan remembers the wonderful times.

Rafa Benitez or Harry Redknapp?

Either of these chaps could only be employed on an interim basis, Harry because of his age and Rafa because... well he's Rafa. Either of these is probable were Guardiola to respond negatively to a voicemail from Roman. It'd be a shame to see Chelsea with yet another interim manager. Finally, never rule out Avram Grant as he has a tendency to turn up at Stamford Bridge when the shit hits the proverbial fan. I imagine that Rafa might be leading the pack on this one and as an unemployed Spaniard any job offer would be a blessing.

The rest

Guus Hiddink, Steve Clarke, Johan Cruyff and Jurgen Klinsman lead the rear, but who knows. It is likely that Chelsea will make an interim appointment. Hiddink is unable to ever commit. Clarke would be naive to turn his back on a full-time post at West Brom and take an interim role at his old club - it would be a perversely similar situation to the one that Di Matteo faced.

The odds? I suppose we are all just waiting for Pep to return Roman's voicemail and, dependent on the response, the other candidates can all form an orderly queue. However, don't be surprised if Avram Grant or Rafa Benitez hop the queue and warm the seat for Guardiola until the summertime.