In a matter of 11 weeks, your interim manager wins you the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. He not only wins the trophies but also brings back the famous spirit and determination that your team is known for. He also brings back the harmony, camaraderie and teamwork in the team that was fractured and bruised few months back. He’s written himself in the history books of Chelsea FC with the little opportunity he was provided. What would you do?
Every man and his dog thinks appointing RDM as the permanent manager is a no-brainer. He’s won you two trophies in 3 months. He’s won the most-coveted, most-sought after champions league. Most people don’t understand why there should be any delay. There were people who have been saying that he should be given the job – after the first leg against Barca, after the Camp Nou game, after the FA Cup win and the champions league win has won everybody over.
There’s a small minority that’s not so gung-ho about appointing RDM. This minority doesn’t undermine his achievements but has its doubts on whether RDM would do justice to a full time manager role which means a wide range of expectations than just the focus on winning things by any means. Like we say in football, you can only beat who’s in front of you. He was given a short term role as the interim manager and he couldn’t have done better than that. In fact, even if Chelsea had appointed any other established manager in March, they’d fared poorer in comparison with RDM. And if they’d done a great job, they’d still only have matched what RDM achieved. But the minority is still murmuring. I’m part of that minority.
And, it’s interesting to note that almost all in that minority are Chelsea fans. 100% of the non-Chelsea fans think that RDM should be appointed as Chelsea manager. The only doubters are coming from the Chelsea camp. Where’s this doubt coming from? And why are these doubts arising despite this amazing finish to the season?
What do we expect from the Chelsea manager? This is an article I wrote here in the BlueChampions Blog exactly 4 years back. It’s still relevant. In addition to what’s mentioned there in that article, we now have some new expectations I think.
Rebuild the entire squad: The golden generation of Chelsea is coming to a close. If not now, surely within a year’s time, most of the players that were bought in the Jose Mourinho era would be gone. A complete refresh of the squad needs to happen.
Build a new legacy: Now we belong in the elite league of European champions. This comes with certain expectations. We have won every major thing that there is to be won. While the desire for success would continue to be there, I’d imagine there will be also be a desire to enter into new phase in Chelsea’s history.
Establish a certain brand: While the above is more about the conduct of the club, this one’s more about the conduct of the team. How do we want to play going forward? What would be our ideology and philosophy? What should we be known for? What’s our identity?
I think anyone who becomes a manager of Chelsea FC now will not only be measured on successes and trophies but also on the above parameters too. Will Roberto di Matteo be able to deliver the above? Can he work with a different set of players and still be successful? Is he our man for the future? Will RDM take us to the next level in the next 3-4 years?
Go on. Cast your vote!