“The club can judge the job I’ve done,” he said. “If they decide at the end of the season that it was not good enough, they have to change. Without problem. I always respect the decision of the club. I have a contract and everyone knows this but, at the end of the season, the club can decide if I am to continue here or if they want to change. For me, this is not a problem.”
Fighting talk from the Chelsea boss. Frankly the idea that he’s earned the bullet mystifies me. He’s inherited an aging squad and suffered from the prolonged absence of one of his key players, a midfielder who routinely generated 20+ goals a season.
And we have this incredible situation where he has a £50million pound player foisted on him, only that player is a striker who’s form has been on the slide for some time and his new team mates are clearly less than impressed with his arrival.
The clandestine sacking of Wilkins wasn’t a wise move. Wilkins has his faults; he’s old scholl and speaks English like it’s a second language to him at times but his heart and more over his head is in the right place. He shouldn’t have gone.
So Ancelotti is supposedly on a knife edge then. He doesn’t sound it. But then he’s been around the block a good few times more than many in the top flight of European football. He knows who he is. He knows his own worth.
If Roman Abramovich is serious about the investment he supposedly fell in love with; then he needs to take stock of what he has and make calculated changes that won’t come back to bite him in the bottom. It’s difficult enough to see the logic in loaning Sturridge out and buying Torres in, let alone that this was orchestrated by the owner, not the manager of the team.
And so the Daily Star have drawn up a shortlist. In no particular order they are..
Benitez: Difficult to see him working in the Premiership again. A manager who needed to be compared to Roy Hodgson before he was truly missed. His next employers will undoubtedly focus as much on the cost of his severance compensation as anything else before putting pen to paper.
Deschamp: I’m struggling to see Didier being the right man for the job. He fell out with the President at Monaco and clashed with the management at Juventus – you might recall his bizarre resignation that was ‘leaked’, denied then eventually acknowledged. Consequently I cannot see him digging the Abramovich scene.
Spalletti: A possible runner. Two Copa Italias, one Supercoppa Italiana, one Russian Cup & Premier League double as well as a Russian Supercup to his name he fits the profile more than the last two.
Frank Rijkaard: This would be what you might call the ‘House Wife’s Choice’ option of the four. Aside from that one time he had a spitting competition with Rudi Voller his CV is comparatively immaculate. A list of achievements as a player and as manager that put many to shame.
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