Roman Abramovich does things his way. And his way includes a managerial merry-go-round unlike any other in the Premier League. It spins fast, and it tosses off the biggest names in the business. Mourinho, Scolari, Ancelotti—they are just three of the 10 men to manage the Blues since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
But it’s an approach that has delivered a period of success unparalleled in Chelsea’s history.
Abramovich is the boss, and as his inner circle is responsible for player transactions, it falls to the manager to simply coach. And if the results don’t follow, the coach is replaced and Abramovich tries a different coach. About every other manager he appoints takes home at least one major honour.
“We do it our way; the other clubs do it their way. And it seems to work so far, so long may it continue,” goalkeeper Petr Cech told the Daily Mail when asked about the ever-present uncertainty regarding the Chelsea manager, whomever he may be. “You can argue with a lot of things, but in the same period of time we have won more or less the same number of trophies as Manchester United.”
Actually, Chelsea have won one more piece of silverware than the Red Devils during the Abramovich era, so don’t expect the manager who replaces Rafael Benitez in the summer to stay on any longer than his predecessors. It’s not the Abramovich way.
Still, he has to appoint someone, and whomever that manager ends up being he’ll be tasked with guiding an incredibly talented but mostly inexperienced group of players to maturity.
The new, young core of David Luiz, Ramires, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku could do with some stability as they come of age together at Stamford Bridge, but don’t count on it happening. There are too many tantalizing managerial options out there, and over time Abramovich will be tempted by almost every one of them.
Following are the managers—each currently employed elsewhere—that could well be approached by the Russian over the summer. It’s an interview list in ascending order, from the least likely to the most. And not to give anything away, but a familiar face awaits at the end.