Chelsea FC: 10 Managers Who Could Take Over If Carlo Ancelotti Loses His Job
Despite his double-winning success last season, Carlo Ancelotti has been a man under pressure after an abysmal run of form over the winter period which saw Chelsea drop out of the Champions League spots.
This coupled with a disappointing defeat to Manchester United in Europe's premier club competition has led Ancelotti to question his own future at Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea beat Manchester United at Old Trafford later today then they will be in with a very good chance of retaining the league title in one of the most awe-inspiring comebacks of all time.
But if the Blues come up short, then it is very unlikely that Roman Abramovich will be content with a trophy-less season.
There have been rumors and whispers about a possible Ancelotti replacement for some time now.
Here are 10 men who could be sitting in the Chelsea hot seat come August 2011.
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The Dutchman has a close personal relationship with Abramovich due to his successful spell as manager of Russia.
Hiddink was asked to step in as caretaker after Luiz Scolari had failed to make any lasting impression at the club.
Hiddink won the respect and support of the players in his short time at Stamford Bridge with the likes of Frank Lampard and John Terry clamoring for him to become the permanent solution to the club's managerial problems.
Unfortunately, Hiddink had to return to the Russia job, but he was remembered by Chelsea fans as the man who only lost one game and led the team to FA Cup glory.
Hiddink's duties with the Turkish national side are coming to an end, and he is a possible favorite to succeed Ancelotti.
It seems obvious to pick a man who would need no adjustment period and who has a history of getting the best out of his players.
Hiddink's motivation and renowned man-management could be exactly what Fernando Torres needs to finally find his feet in West London.
Marco Van Basten
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There has been talk of a possible combination at Chelsea with his fellow Dutchman, Hiddink, but this appears less likely now that Van Basten has signed a deal with Bruno de Carvalho that will see him take over at Sporting Lisbon if the latter wins the club elections in the summer.
Van Basten did not enjoy success in his last managerial role as Ajax manager but he was able to build a free-flowing Holland team that lit up the early stages of Euro 2008 with their "Total Football" style.
The likes of Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart and Robin van Persie set the tournament on fire under Van Basten's influence and the tactics that he utilized were a far cry from Van Marwijk's physical side that disgraced themselves in the World Cup Final.
If Van Basten were to sign for Chelsea, it would increase the chances of Sneijder becoming the latest Abramovich signing.
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A man who would have the instant respect of everyone involved at the club would be Gianfranco Zola, who was voted the greatest player in Chelsea history.
Unfairly treated in his first managerial position at West Ham, Zola would be the ideal long-term investment for the club. He has shown that he is a capable manager and, given Abramovich's millions, anything would be possible.
Another man whose footballing expertise may help to get the best out of El Niño, Zola's only drawback is that he lacks experience and has never taken charge of a club with Chelsea's caliber.
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Benitez's decision to continue to live in England even after he lost his job at Liverpool has attracted many rumors that he is looking for a Premier League job.
Rafa has already declared his interest in the position and his record speaks for itself. Roman Abramovich is getting impatient with the club's failure to win the Champions League and Benitez led a struggling Liverpool side to two Finals including their epic victory over AC Milan.
He has a close working relationship with Torres, and there are few men who know more about getting the best out of the Premier League's most expensive players.
Benitez would have the tactical know-how to utilize Torres' strengths and has vital Premier League experience.
However, Rafa's footballing philosophy is opposed to the football played by previous Chelsea managers, and he may not be a popular choice with fans who remember Luis Garcia's "goal that never was."
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Chelsea have added a Brazilian flavor to their team of late with the signings of David Luiz, Ramires, Piazon and the potential arrivals of Neymar and Kaka which makes it plausible that Abramovich would opt for a Brazilian manager as well.
Another man whose philosophy is to play "attractive, attacking football," Leonardo is a former Brazilian World Cup winner who has managed both Inter and AC Milan.
Given the difficult task of following in the footsteps of Mourinho and Benitez at Internazionale, Leonardo was unsuccessful in his attempt to defend the Champions League title.
The manner of their exit to Schalke and the fact that Leonardo had a long career as a player and a manager with their bitter rivals means that he is not the most popular figure at the club.
Despite the fact that he only joined in December, Leonardo could be lured away with the attraction of Abramovich's millions and the prospect of linking up with some of his countrymen.
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Poyet is unlikely to be given such a high pressure job due to his lack of experience in the dugout.
However Poyet holds the same attractions as Zola in that he is a Chelsea legend who has already shown potential as a bright young manager at Brighton.
He has led the Seagulls to the League 1 title in his first full season, and he is very much in demand from clubs of varying status.
Poyet may want to gain more experience and enjoy the fruit of his labors in the Coca Cola Championship with Brighton next season, but if he continues to develop then it would not be surprising if the Uruguayan eventually made a return to Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo
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Another former Chelsea player, Di Matteo enjoyed success in his first managerial position in charge of West Bromwich Albion earning the Baggies promotion to the Premier League.
However, Di Matteo's style of all-out attack and gung ho football meant that his side struggled, and he was eventually replaced by Roy Hodgson.
His attacking style would be better suited to a club where there are players capable of scoring week in week out such as Chelsea.
Chelsea have one of the best defenses in the world which would give the attackers freedom to play in Di Matteo's formation which will always bring entertainment and goals.
However, his lack of experience could be a reason to avoid taking the gamble.
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Another possible Dutch candidate, Rijkaard has kept a relatively low profile since leaving Barcelona in 2008 where he won the Champions League.
He learnt management at the knee of Holland's greats such as Johan Cruyff and Rinus Michels and believes in the dual goal of winning matches and putting on a spectacle for the fans.
He did a lot of the groundwork that has made Barcelona into the world's best club today including his transformation of youngsters such as Xavi and Iniesta into first team regulars, and he also groomed Pep Guardiola as his replacement.
He has one year left on his contract with Galatasaray, but it could be time for the fiery Dutchman to once again take charge of one of Europe's premier clubs.
Andre Villas Boas
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Dubbed the new Mourinho, Villas Boas has made a name for himself as the youngest manager in the Portuguese league at 33 with the highest profile club in Porto.
This would be an audacious move as he was able to achieve his position at Porto without any top-level footballing experience in much the same way as "The Special One."
Villas Boas was nurtured first by the late great Sir Bobby Robson and then by Mourinho himself and he even enjoyed a stint on the Chelsea coaching staff as one of Mourinho's assistants.
Villas Boas enjoyed his first managerial success at Academica where he implemented an attractive new style of football which saved them from relegation.
This made him the most wanted man in Portugal, and he was given the Porto job in June 2010.
Villas Boas has already broken records at the Estadio do Dragao with the longest unbeaten run, the most points in a season, the highest number of consecutive wins and the most wins in Europe by a Portuguese side in one season.
The most promising manager in Europe, it is only a matter of time before he is snapped up by a big club.
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Jose Mourinho has dropped many hints during his first season at Real Madrid that he wants a job in the Premier League next season calling England his "natural home."
He has been linked with the Tottenham and Manchester City jobs, but if the Chelsea position became available, then there is a possibility that Mourinho and Abramovich might put their differences behind them and start to rebuild the dynasty.
With a possible player mutiny at Madrid, it is becoming more and more likely that Jose will leave the Bernabeu, and Chelsea would welcome back their most successful manager with open arms.