Fernandinho recently called for English clubs and their fans to get behind Manchester City’s Champions League campaign and vowed his side wanted to go all the way for Pellegrini, who couldn’t wish for a better send off if they’re successful. The Chillean manager will be leaving the Blues at the end of the season as Manchester City welcome ex-Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola to the helm for the start of the 2016-17 Premier League campaign. As it stands, Pellegrini could still end his final season with the club with Champions League glory as Manchester City have a semi-final clash against Real Madrid lined up. With the Capital One Cup already secured, City’s Premier League title chase has come to an end but there’s still chance to add more silverware. Pellegrini would certainly leave on a high if his side are able to achieve the feat but he wouldn’t be the first manager to leave the Premier League in similar circumstances. Here’s a few of the most recent success-departure stories…
Roberto Di Matteo
As far as successful stints go, there aren’t many that can beat Di Matteo’s when he took over as Chelsea interim manager in March 2012 after Andre Villas Boas was given the sack. The boss was in charge for just three months when he led Chelsea to Champions League glory, nine years after owner Roman Abramovitch came to Stamford Bridge. The Russian had watched painfully as he spent billions on the club and saw his managers fail to deliver the prized European trophy but when Di Matteo delivered the goods in 2012, it was Chelsea’s greatest achievement for over 100 years.
Not only did Di Matteo gain Champions League glory, he also delivered the FA Cup trophy to enhance his position as Chelsea manager and was offered a two-year contract as the permanent boss on 13th June. Not only did he deliver the silverware, his record of games in charge was impressive. In all competitions, Di Matteo took charge of 42 games and won over half of them (24,) drew on nine occasions and lost on nine occasions too. In the 23 Premier League games he was in charge for, his side lost on just five occasions so when he was sacked in November 2012, it was unexpected.
At the time of his departure, Chelsea were struggling for form, winning just two of their last eight games and were on the brink of Champions League exit despite a strong start to the Premier League season. However, they sat in third place in the league, just four points off leaders Manchester City. For an eight month spell, two trophies weren’t bad going and Di Matteo could’ve doubled the silverware with victory in the Charity Shield and the Super Cup on the back of Chelsea’s European and FA Cup glory.
Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United’s most prestigious manager and the Premier League’s greatest, Sir Alex Ferguson, left Manchester United at the end of the 2012-13 season. After 21 seasons in charge at the club and over 25 years of service, the former Manchester United manager stepped down after celebrating his 13th and final Premier League title. His send-off was even sweeter after United beat local rivals, Manchester City to the title after the Blues stole it away from them in the dying minutes of the 2011-12 season.
He ended the campaign as the Premier League’s manager of the year for the 11th time as well as lifting the title. To add to his 13 Premier League trophies, Sir Alex Ferguson also guided Manchester United to 5 FA Cups, 2 Champions League, 4 league cups, 9 Community Shields, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. In total, the Scot picked up over 30 trophies in a career which lasted for over a quarter of a century. His record will stand for years and may never be broken.
The Argentine is currently one of the most exciting young managers in the Premier League and it’s clear to see why with his managerial record. The former international defender first started coaching in 2009 when he took charge of Espanyol, the club he spent the majority of his playing days with. After turning the Spanish side from a relegation-fighting club to a consistent mid-table team in three seasons, he moved to Southampton where he began his first job in the Premier League.
In a 15-month stint at the South Coast club, he guided Southampton up the table towards their highest ever finish after a season which saw the club play some of the most attractive football in the league. He notched up a nomination for Manager of the Year, a sign of the success he’d achieved at the Saints. During the 2013-14 season, a number of Southampton players were called up to international duty to make their debuts, including captain Adam Lallana, youngster Luke Shaw and top goal-scorer Rickie Lambert who were all chosen in Roy Hodgson’s 2014 England World Cup squad.
Pochettino then took over as Tottenham manager ahead of the 2014-15 Premier League season and guided his team to a fifth place finish in the league. This season, they’re currently in second place, still in with a slim chance of lifting the title.
The current Leicester City manager is writing his own success story with the Blues and could finish the season as part of one of the greatest Premier League victories of all time but 12 years ago, the Italian was fighting against the odds at Chelsea under Roman Abramovich. The Russian owner’s helm at Stamford Bridge was just beginning and Ranieri, who spent four years at the club, wasn’t the arrogant, cheeky and controversial manager the owner wanted at the club.
Ranieri, who was taunted by the media; fans and the club’s owner as someone who’s inconsistent team selections made him out to be a bit of a joke. The manager, who was often referred to as the ‘Tinkerman,’ managed to guide an over-achieving Chelsea side to the Champions League semi-final and took the club to their highest ever league position in 49 years when they finished second in the Premier League. The Italian boss had showed progress during his tenure, as his side finished 6th in the league during his first two seasons, and made it to the FA Cup final in 2002 before a 4th placed finish and a final 2nd place saw his record at Chelsea show progress.
Despite keeping the fans on-board, it was clear from the start of Abramovich’s ownership that Jose Mourinho had been lined up for the job and Ranieri’s Champions League preparation was over-shadowed with speculation of his departure. Now, twelve years on, Ranieri has the chance to end the season at Stamford Bridge, where his Leicester City side look to be crowned champions. The ‘Tinkerman’ could be back at Chelsea to get his revenge on Abramovich, who always doubted the Italian’s quirky tactics. However, after this season’s success with Leicester City, there can be no doubting of the manager’s ability and he’ll be happy to showcase that at Stamford Bridge with Jamie Vardy and co.