Picking the Top 10 Managers in Chelsea FC History

Rachel Bascom@@Rachel_BascomContributor IIIJanuary 24, 2013

Picking the Top 10 Managers in Chelsea FC History

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    Chelsea are a club with a rich history and some great successes, both domestically and abroad.

    In recent years, much of that success has been down to Roman Abramovich's millions, but it could not have been done without the talented managers who have led the team to glory.

    Stamford Bridge has been home to some of the greatest managers in the world. So you can imagine how difficult it was to pick just 10 for this list.

    For this reason, a certain methodology was used in these rankings.

    Only the managers' time at Chelsea was considered. This means that someone like Luiz Filipe Scolari, who has a glittering resume that includes a World Cup from his time with Brazil, does not feature on this list. There are also no interim managers, so some Chelsea fans will be disappointed that Rafael Benitez is missing from the top 10.

    Where two managers were close, preference was given to those with more trophies, but available resources were also considered, as well as the long-term impact that they had on the club. Trophies are also ranked according to importance. So a Premier League/First Division title holds more weight than the FA Cup, for example. 

    So without further ado, here are the top 10 Chelsea managers of all time.

Honorable Mention: Guus Hiddink

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    Although no interim managers are on this list, Guus Hiddink deserves a special mention.

    The Dutchman came to Chelsea in February of the 2008/09 Premier League season to take over from the disappointing Scolari.

    Hiddink managed to resurrect a poor season, losing only once, and guided Chelsea to the 2009 FA Cup final, which they won 2-1 against Everton at Wembley.

    Hiddink was so popular for those few months, many wanted him to stay. However, he could not be persuaded to leave his job as head coach of the Russian national team.

10. John Robertson/William Lewis

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    John Robertson and William Lewis share the 10th spot, simply because of the importance that they both had for the existence of Chelsea Football Club.

    The Blues' first and second managers, the pair led Chelsea to third place in the old Second Division, earning them a spot in the top flight just a year after the club was founded.

9. Claudio Ranieri

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    Although Claudio Ranieri didn't win any trophies with Chelsea, he deserves some credit for his four years at the club.

    For the three years prior to Roman Abramovich's takeover, Ranieri helped to complete Chelsea's steady climb towards the top four of the Premier League table.

    His fourth-placed finish in 2003, when the club were on the verge of financial collapse, was perhaps his greatest achievement as Chelsea manager.

    Perhaps unfairly only given one season to win the title with Abramovich's resources, although many were critical of his handling of the Champions League semifinal against Monaco that led to the Blues' elimination.

8. Ruud Gullit

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    Ruud Gullit helped Chelsea to win their first trophy in 26 years, the 1997 FA Cup, in his first season in charge. The Blues also finished sixth in the table that same season.

    The following season got off to a promising start, but Gullit was sacked before the end.

    It would be interesting to see what Ruud Gullit might have done with more time at Chelsea.

7. Glenn Hoddle

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    Like Ranieri, Glenn Hoddle never won a trophy with Chelsea. But Hoddle's place on this list is well-deserved.

    He was instrumental in bringing in some of the big international stars, starting with Gullit, that helped to turn Chelsea from a mid-table club, to a real force in the Premier League.

    Although his best finish with the Blues was 11th place, he laid a lot of the ground work for the bigger and better things that were to follow. He also led them to the FA Cup final in 1994.

6. Dave Sexton

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    The commemorative ceremonies that marked his recent death showed just how popular Dave Sexton was as Chelsea manager.

    Although he helped Chelsea win the FA Cup in 1970, this one trophy does not do justice to his talent as a manager.

    He managed the club through a period that is still celebrated even today in the terraces of Stamford Bridge, and oversaw the rise of many of the club's greatest legends—including himself.

5. Gianluca Vialli

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    If we go by silverware alone, Gianluca Vialli was by far Chelsea's most successful manager in the pre-Abramovich era.

    During his time at Chelsea, he won the League Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

    Despite all of this, his most memorable achievement in the eyes of many Chelsea fans was the 3-1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League of the 1999-2000 season.

4. Roberto Di Matteo

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    When you consider that Roberto Di Matteo led Chelsea to the first Champions League trophy in their 100-year history, it seems bizarre that he would be fired less than a year later.

    At least when he looks back at his short time at Stamford Bridge, he will be able to look at his FA Cup and Champions League medals, and rest happy in the knowledge that he accomplished something that no Chelsea manager had ever done before him, and has yet to do since.

3. Carlo Ancelotti

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    Carlo Ancelotti came into the club following the departure of Scolari (and interim manager Guus Hiddink), knowing that anything but a league title would be considered unsatisfactory by the Blues' Russian owner.

    It was a good thing, then, that he was able to deliver, not only the Premier League title, but the FA Cup, in what was to be Chelsea's first double-winning season.

2. Ted Drake

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    In charge of Chelsea for almost a decade, Ted Drake deserves the title of "legend" more than most.

    Drake was responsible for many of the changes that made Chelsea the club that they are today, including the introduction of the lion to Chelsea's crest.

    His best achievement, though, was guiding Chelsea to their first league title, and indeed their only league title of the 20th century.

1. Jose Mourinho

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    The most successful Chelsea manager to date, Jose Mourinho truly earned his billing as the "Special One."

    Mourinho won a total of five trophies with the Blues, including two Premier League titles. He was the first manager to turn Abramovich's millions into a cohesive and successful team.

    He made such a lasting impression, that many are still hoping for his reappointment at the end of this season.

    So there it is. The top 10 managers in Chelsea Football Club's history. Everyone has a different top 10, so no doubt many of you will disagree. Leave yours in the comments below.

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