Who Dares Play Russian Roulette?

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IMay 27, 2008

There was a sense of inevitability over Avram Grant's departure from Chelsea despite leading Chelsea to a hat trick of second places. The message is clear from billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, second place will not suffice.

Many fans will campaign Grant's cause that he deserved a season to shape Chelsea his way. But with Abramovich's wealth and riches, time is not of the essence.

Pressure comes with the riches.

He simply won't risk another year of failure because that defeat in Moscow will have shaken his nerves.

Watching the Russian during that epic shoot out, you felt he never contemplated defeat, but his side like Grant was on edge. Terry's slip was the postscript to Grant's job.

Another reason for Grant's departure was the constant 1-0 wins. Abramovich reportedly fell in love with the idea of football ownership while watching Man Utd 4-3 Real Madrid. 

The excitement didn't come this year, so who can deliver the thrill factor?

Abramovich's ambition is to secure Chelsea as one of the most famous clubs in world football. One of the requirements of this is a famous manager.

He had one in Mourinho and then a "Yes" man in Grant. Only difference was the "No" man secured two Premiership titles.

Those in the frame to replace Grant, all have impressive CV's as expected. Mancini, Deschamps, Hiddink, and Rijkaard are all front runners with Hughes and Sven Goran Errikson outsiders.

Only two of these are out of work and don't think Abramovich will be too willing to pay big compensation for Mancini or Hiddink.

However, ex-gaffer Mourinho could do his old boss a favor by putting Mancini out of work.

Expect Abramovich to plummet for the only manager on his list to secure his much coveted Champions League.

Frank Rijkaard could well be on his way to the Bridge and he could bring much desired European success to London.