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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Chelsea: Mourinho, Moyes, Klopp or Low - Who will be the next Chelsea boss?

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Roman Abramovich finds himself in a sticky predicament. The Russian billionaire was prepared to pay whatever it took to bring former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola to Stamford Bridge. His bottomless pit of money is usually enough to tempt anyone to get in the hot seat in west London, but Guardiola is not a man who is led by his wallet.

Abramovich pursued Guardiola relentlessly. Mesmerised by his brand of football and haul of trophies, Abramovich was determined to do everything in his power to secure the Spaniard's services. Unfortunately Guardiola was not ready to work under an owner who will dismiss his manager at the drop of the hat and choose the challenge at Bayern Munich instead.

Now, Abramovich faces a huge decision . . . just who will take over Chelsea in the summer?

Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez was brought in as an interim coach and his appointment has gone down like an over-weight, over-the-hill prostitute . . . terribly. The Spaniard had high hopes of convincing Abramovich that he was the right man for the job permanently, but the reaction from the Chelsea fans and recent results means he has no chance.

As you would expect for such a high-profile position, there are a number of potential suitors ready to take on the challenge - and the multi-million pound pay-off if it all goes tits up - but who is the right man for the job?

Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho (6/4 Coral)

The Chelsea legend is in real trouble at Real Madrid and some fear that he may be axed before the end of the season. Although they won La Liga last year they are light years behind Barca with huge problems surfacing between him and the players. England is said to be his next desired location but could Abramovich swallow his pride and reinstate his former boss? Mourinho brought the glory days to Chelsea only to be sacked following a poor start to the season in 2007. Manchester City and United are thought to be monitoring his situation at the Bernabeu, but could Abramovich bring him back home?

Jurgen Klopp (6/1 Coral)

The Borrusia Dortmund boss is making a real name for himself with his attacking exploits at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund have won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and look absolutely devastating in the Champions League. Chelsea look dangerous with the likes of Mata, Oscar, Hazard and Ramires under the defensive-minded Rafa. Imagine what they would do under Klopp's all-action style of management? The 45-year-old is an amazing talent but he has never played or managed in this country. He would need time to adapt, but Abramovich is not known for his patience.

Gianfranco Zola (16/1 Stan James)

The Chelsea legend is rebuilding his managerial career following some rough treatment at West Ham United and the little Italian is definitely working his magic at Watford. The Hornets are right in the mix for a play-off place and playing some great football. They have scored three or more five times in their past 10 games. That sort of entertainment would be music to the ears of Abramovich. However, Zola, like his former team-mate Roberto Di Matteo, is still relatively young in management terms and it may prove to be the right club at the wrong time. However, after scoring a massive own goal by hiring Rafa, appointing Zola would definitely get the fans back on side.

Michael Laudrup (16/1Coral)

The Swansea coach has had an amazing first season in the Premier League and guided the Welsh outfit to Wembley with victory over Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. Swansea play some amazing football and Laudrup has made some astute signings with his network of contacts in Spain. The Great Dane was an awesome player and played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. He is mild mannered, well respected and comes across as a thoroughly nice guy. Would he be tempted to swap Swansea for the chance to manage in the Champions League? Of course he would, but would he turn his back on the Swans after just one season? I'm not so sure.

Low joachimJoachim Low (22/1 Sky Bet)

The German national boss has taken his homeland to the final of Euro 2008 and the semi finals in both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 and is one of the most sought after managers in the game. Hailed for putting his faith in the youngsters, Low has transformed Germany from a powerful defence unit to one that expresses themselves on the pitch. He may not have delivered a trophy but he has inspired the country. With the World Cup in Brazil just around the corner, I'd be amazed if he turned down that chance to manage Chelsea.

David Moyes (33/1 Stan James)

There must be one British coach capable of managing Chelsea and that man is Everton's David Moyes. The Scot has worked miracles at Goodison Park on a shoestring budget. Imagine would he could do if money was not an object? He has persuaded the likes of Leighton Baines, Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar to join him at Everton and punched way above their weight. He knows the Premier League inside out and demands 100 per cent from his players. Would Abramovich be willing to give Moyes the chance to get Chelsea back on track?

Fortunately for Chelsea fans there is one man who doesn't register in the bookies' betting and that man is Rafa Benitez.

Other names in the frame include Didier Deschamps, Fabio Capello, Diego Simone, Jurgen Klinsmann and Gus Poyet, but who would you like to see in the dugout at Stamford Bridge?

Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.


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Colin Illingworth



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