Time waits for no man in football, and it’s no different through the managers’ doors at Chelsea. Especially when your boss, eh, sorry, interim boss derides your fans for not backing him, and then criticises the board for brandishing him with the title mentioned above (a Rose by any other name, Rafa.)
Yes, it’s that time again, it’s a day ending in Y and thus another manager has been linked with ending Benitez’s controversial stint with the Blues. The candidate this time? Former England manager and part time John Terry super fan Fabio Capello, according to Teamtalk.
You’ll probably remember him from his acrimonious departure from the Three Lions, reacting badly to the FA’s decision to strip Terry of the England captaincy over ‘that’ court case- before putting the nail in the proverbial coffin by publicly criticising his employers on Italian television. But it may have escaped many people’s attentions that the fiery Italian is now in charge of the Russian National team, and he’s faring pretty well. 4 games, and 4 wins into their 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign, Capello sees his team sitting pretty atop a group that also contains Portugal and Israel (they shut out Cristiano Ronaldo and co. in a 1-0 win in October.) In an interesting twist, Guus Hiddink actually proved very popular during his Stamford Bridge tenure in the spring of 2009, losing just once in a 22 game spell that saw him win the FA Cup and be within a minute of earning a place in the Champions League Final. The coincidence? He was also managing Russia at the time.
But Capello has strenuously denied the rumours above, stating;
“”I am only thinking about reaching the World Cup with Russia….at the moment, I am not thinking about anything else”, going onto add that he had received “no offer”.
But surely you would expect him to say that? It’s widely believed (but not necessarily true) that Roman Abramovich was holding out for Pep Guardiola to take the reins at Stamford Bridge come the end of the season, but with the Spaniard’s agreement to join Bayern Munich in the summer, you have to ask yourself, who are the worthy alternatives in Abramovich’s mind? Names of manager’s with Capello’s pedigree are always going to be bandied around the journalistic circuit, but would any of them actually want the job? If ever there was a real life reflection of the term ‘poisoned chalice’ it is surely the managers position at Chelsea at present. Case in point, Roberto Di Matteo presided over the club’s first Champions League trophy in its history in May, as well as winning the FA Cup and by November he’d been given his P45. I’m aware that the circumstances weren’t as black and white as that, but it adds a little context when you appreciate that he’d been given a two year deal just a month after winning the Champions League. If you’re going to put your faith in a manager you have to back them to the hilt. The problem with having revolving doors in the managers’ office is that this breeds a culture of short term-ism within a club, what’s the point in the players bonding with a new manager if they’re under the impression he or she will be given their marching orders in six months anyway? Too much of football is steeped in instantaneous success, and Roman Abramovich is one of the main culprits of this- longevity works, it’s been proven by Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s been proven by David Moyes and it’s been proven by Roberto Martinez.
So Fabio Capello removes his name from the ever-growing shortlist of potential heirs to the Benitez throne, but as for Chelsea- the hunt continues.
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This article was first posted on March 4, 2013