A famous allegation against Chelsea has been that in the Abramovich era, they have changed managers like pairs of socks. To a large extent, however, the allegation is true. The revolving door, starting from Ranieri to Jose, now coming a full circle back to Jose, doesn’t really reflect the will for stability at the club. However, what it does reflect is the club’s ambition and intent. Where you might say the manager wasn’t given enough time to rework things his own way and stamp his foot, there always is the argument that a great manager brings success with him straightaway. From being a club “that was there, but just not there” to being genuine title challengers to being Champions Of Europ(e/a) to being a few country miles behind the Mancunians in the League table, all the credit and the blame has to be dissipated amongst the ten Chelsea managers who have been at the helm.
Instead of just providing an individual account of each manager’s time, effort has also been made to compare their eras with each other. While common sense dictates that the direct comparison will yield a platform to gauge them better, it also has to be kept in mind that the seasons weren’t always the same. Years earlier Man City and Tottenham weren’t factors in the title and Top 4 race respectively. Despite the best efforts that have been done to provide a fair platform to judge the managers’ performances, inadequacies might prevail.
Here, win, loss and draw percentages are compared. I know what you are wondering. Who’s that Ray Wilkins guy with a 100% win record? MY WORD ! If you don’t know Wilko, MY WORD, then you are yet to be introduced to proper Chelsea history, as Wilko has, MY WORD, been an ex-Chelsea player, assistant manager and caretaker manager for one game, more on him later. MY WORD. An insightful look might show that two of the most chastised Chelsea managers have the lowest win %. No points for guessing who. Mr.World Cupper Luiz Felipe Scolari and Chicken-Club savior Andre Villas-Boas. Both took bold moves of dropping the old guard without having adequate replacements, and consequently saw a low win %, leading to a sack. What would Wilkins have to say about this? MY WORD !
Now it’s time to discuss and dissect each manager’s individual performance. Moving in chronological order, here comes…
CLAUDIO RANIERI :
He was at the club before Chelsea became Chelski to the third person. While not being an exceptional manager, he proved himself to be fairly serviceable during his time at Chelsea. He took control of the team in 199 games, winning 107 and losing and drawing 46 each. Not a staggering record by any means, however he did the job given to him in the pre-Roman revolution era. What the 61-year-old is famously known for, is spending £120 million on players in the summer of 2003 alone, a massive splurge and the first of the Roman-era. Key members of today’s team Lampard and Cech were brought in during his period and he gave Terry his first big shot. He also brought in fan favourites Joe Cole and Damien Duff, apart from handshake hero Wayne Bridge and Kop first-teamer Glen Johnson.
Do you love pies? You do? You’re in for a treat tonight, then, my friend.
The biggest reason why Ranieri was fired in the Roman-era was probably that he had never won anything in London. And in Roman’s playground, this is a fair enough complaint against him.
JOSE MOURINHO :
He built such a relationship with all his players that some like Essien and Drogba still call him daddy. He transformed Chelsea into a rock. In fact, he was the rock Chelsea built itself on. Silverware in his first season, the League title that Chelsea had craved for the last 50 years had catapulted him to legendary status. His Chelsea team also broke a few records in English football, including the most points achieved in the Premier League (95) and the fewest goals conceded (15), although the one thing that eluded him at Chelsea was the Champions League trophy. Chelsea are undefeated at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho in League games. He brought in the Portuguese contingent of Riccy Carvalho, Tiago, Paulo Ferreira alongwith King Drogba and Daddy’s boy Essien. His outstanding record remains at 123 games won, 41 drawn and and 21 lost in his 185 games in charge. Having departed under mutual consent, he’s now back at the club where he says his heart belongs.
Wow now that’s some blue pie !
AVRAM GRANT :
I am deliberately not posting any photograph of Mr.Grant as it’d send you into instant depression. Now known to be the go-to man for clubs willing to be relegated, he was once Roman’s trusted aide at Chelsea and after Mourinho’s departure he was subsequently elevated from the position of the Director Of Football to that of a caretaker manager. It is widely believed that during his era, senior players like Drogba, Terry and Lampard run the team and Grant simply gave them the go ahead. He was just a patch of artificial grass and a coat of paint away from being a Champions League winning manager. Out of his 54 games in charge, he went back looking slightly less sad in 36 games, even lesser in 13 and suicidal in 5. The most notable happening in his tenure however was to bring in Ser-Bear Branislav Ivanovic and French mercenary Nicolas Anelka. Also, this gif.
The Sad One’s pie chart looks somewhat like this.
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