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Wednesday 22 August 2018

Desperate times at Blues call for a desperate boss

REST in peace Andre Villas-Boas. Or, as those of us ITK like to say, RIP AVB. It was nice to know you while it lasted ... for eight long months. Now off you go into lavishly compensated retirement, at the grand old age of 34. We have other more important matters to consider -- such as who will be foolish enough to sup from Roman Abramovich's cyanide-laced chalice.

Curve Ball is always fascinated by the contrasting reactions of 'potential' successors in these high-profile managerial merry-go-rounds. You have the highly rated supremos in gainful employment who appreciate that life is short ... but not so short that they would consider career suicide by heading up the managerial cul-de-sac that is the Chelsea King's Road.

Then you have the desperate -- aka the out-of-work bosses who, once upon a distant time, were on every club chairman's wish-list. Do they want to be next manager of Chelsea -- or even England, soccer's second most lethal hotseat? Eh, what do you think. To confirm our theory, consider the following...

RAFA BENITEZ

"A manager that wants to wins trophies has to keep an eye on the top sides. Chelsea are a top side ... I can understand that Chelsea fans want Mourinho but I have been very successful."

STATUS: Out of work.

REPUTATION: Once sky-high but on the slide, following the slippery end to his Anfield reign and that shortlived spell with Inter.

DESPERATION STAKES: Already batting eyelids at Roman.

PROSPECTS: Chelsea fans jeered his name with venom at Birmingham on Tuesday night. One hopes the Roosky wasn't listening.

HARRY REDKNAPP

"I wouldn't be able to come back to north London! So no, I will pass on that one."

STATUS: Tottenham boss but otherwise a free man, despite the Crown Prosecution's best attempts.

REPUTATION: Destined for canonisation (until the last fortnight).

DESPERATION STAKES: England awaits, so Chelski can wait.

PROSPECTS: Will never happen unless or until Harry learns to sign on the dotted line.

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON

"I would take it, of course."

STATUS: Out of work.

REPUTATION: Since managing England, his career has meandered from Manchester City to Mexico to Notts County to Ivory Coast and onto Leicester City.

DESPERATION STAKES: Had no problem playing offside with Ulrika, so he'd gladly play footsy with Roman if it meant a return to top-tier management.

PROSPECTS: Destined for a spectacular second coming in the League of Ireland.

BRENDAN RODGERS

"I am trying to build my career and not destroy it."

STATUS: Swansea manager, having once filled a coaching role at Chelsea.

REPUTATION: Buoyant.

DESPERATION STAKES: Read the above.

PROSPECTS: Going nowhere against his will.

GLENN HODDLE

"There are not many people who have experience of taking a team to a tournament. It would be nice, it would be lovely to do that again, it really would ... My win percentages for England are there, you can't take those away ... If they (Chelsea) were prepared to look for an English manager, I would love to go back there."

STATUS: Part-time Sky pundit and full-time preacher.

REPUTATION: Went down the swanny with Eileen Drewery.

DESPERATION STAKES: So desperate that he's touting for two old jobs in the same breath.

PROSPECTS: Having checked with the karma police, we reckon there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of Glenn coming back in this life -- or the next -- as a prodigal Chelsea boss.

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