Chelsea’s turbulent recent managerial history

Chelsea’s turbulent recent managerial history
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Chelsea have new ownership but the ruthless strategy employed by former owner Roman Abramovich when it comes to hiring and firing managers appears to have remained at Stamford Bridge.

Just over three months since a consortium headed by American Todd Boehly completed a 4.25 billion pounds ($4.86 billion) takeover of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been fired.

Like many of his predecessors, Tuchel delivered silverware into the Chelsea trophy cabinet, winning the Champions League just four months after taking over in 2021.

But just like them that proved no guarantee of lengthy employment at the west London club.

Here is a list of Chelsea’s last six permanent managers and the circumstances of their exits.

JOSE MOURINHO (June 2013-Dec 2015)

Mourinho delivered the Premier League title on his return to Stamford Bridge and the League Cup but things went sour quickly for the Portuguese the following season.

A run of nine defeats in 16 league games left Chelsea 16th in the standings, one point above the relegation places, and Mourinho appeared to have fallen out with top players such as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.

After a his last game, a defeat by Leicester City, he said his work had been “betrayed” by the players.

GUUS HIDDINK (Dec 2015-June 2016)

The popular Dutchman was installed as interim manager, having performed a similar role in 2009 in the wake of Luiz Felipe Scolari’s sacking.

He stabilised the club, going on a 12-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League although Chelsea could finish no higher than 10th. He left on good terms at the end of the season.

ANTONIO CONTE (July 2016-July 2018)

The Italian seemed like the perfect fit to revive Chelsea’s fortunes and did not disappoint.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup in his first season in charge but Chelsea were unable to maintain that level and the following campaign they finished fifth to miss out on qualification for the Champions League.

Conte had looked a disgruntled figure for much of the 2017-18 campaign, moaning about a lack of squad investment, and was sacked weeks before the start of the new season.

MAURIZIO SARRI (July 2018-June 2019)

Conte’s replacement enjoyed a record 12-match unbeaten start to the Premier League season to win over some of the sceptical fans but he was never popular with the Chelsea faithful.

His “Sarriball” tactics were often criticised as confusing for the players, yet Chelsea finished third and also beat Arsenal in the Europa League final.

Sarri’s exit was relatively harmonious as he took over at Juventus while Chelsea hired club great Frank Lampard.

FRANK LAMPARD (July 2019-Jan 2021)

The club’s record goalscorer was a popular choice as manager despite him having relatively little experience.

Lampard, restricted by the club’s transfer ban, offered opportunities to the club’s youngsters and managed to seal a top-four finish in the Premier League.

However, Chelsea appeared to be going backwards the following season despite some high-profile signings and was offered no special treatment as he was fired in January.

THOMAS TUCHEL (Jan 2021-Sept 2022)

While fans were shocked at Lampard’s departure, Abramovich acted quickly to hire the German who had taken Paris St Germain to the Champions League final before falling out with the club.

His impact was stunning as Chelsea reached the Champions League final four months later and beat Manchester City.

The following season he won the FIFA Club World Cup but could not challenge Manchester City and Liverpool domestically.

He looked aggravated during a patchy start to the new season despite huge squad investment, but his exit was a huge surprise.


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