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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guus Hiddink in Charge of Chelsea Football Club?

(This entry was originally posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009)

Reports available in the media suggest that Guus Hiddink could be the next manager of English club Chelsea. Even though he is currently in charge of Russian national football team, Russian Football Union has already allowed the Dutch football coach to take charge of Chelsea without terminating his contract. Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich is a close friend of Hiddink and it is expected that he will be appointed as Chelsea manager for a short time.

Chelsea recently sacked its Brazilian manager Luiz Felipe Scolari following a series of poor performance by the West London club. Chelsea has slipped to fourth place in the premier league and they are now struggling to keep their place in the top four.

Guus Hiddink is reputed coach in world football who guided South Korea to reach the semi final of 2002 world cup, and then successfully helped Australia to qualify for the 2006 football world cup. Under his guidance, Russia qualified for Euro 2008 tournament, and reached the semi final of the tournament. So, there is no question about the quality of Guus Hiddink as an excellent football coach.

Well, I think, it was a wrong decision to sack Scolari who started off well in the league. Chelsea should have given him at least a season to prove his worth as a world class coach. As a manager he guided Brazil to win the 2002 world cup and helped Portugal to reach the semi final of 2006 world cup. So, you must admit that he has something in him to offer. Chelsea’s problem is that they can not identify the main problem. They always set a radar on the coach as Real Madrid do. Chelsea sacked Avram Grant, whom Scolari succeeded, even though Grant took Chelsea to the final of Champions League.

If you closely look at the strength and depth of the current Chelsea squad then you cannot claim that Scolari’s overall performance was not bad at all since he took over Chelsea job last Summer. Since he took charge of Chelsea, the club sold some key players like Wayne Bridge, Shaun Wright-Phillips over the last 6-8 months, while key striker Didier Drogba never looked settled since the departure of former coach Mourinho. Earlier in the season, Chelsea was missing almost half the regular members through injury, but still, Chelsea kept winning matches under Scolari’s guidance. So, overall I think, Scolari has had a descent record with Chelsea.

I think, Chelsea should take lesson from Arsenal who have shown intense faith on their long-term manager Arsene Wenger, even though the club has not won any silverware in the last three seasons. Arsenal has had a very good young strategy and has a number of talent players in its youth side who would be the future star for the Gunners. In contrast, Chelsea failed to deliver a quality player from its youth system for a number of years now. So, Chelsea should focus on these internal things first before coming down hard on the coaches.

Now, let us see if Guus Hiddink can keep his good relationship with Abramovich in the years to come.

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