The Unlucky 8: Chelsea managers under Roman Abramovich
A list of the eight coaches to have managed Chelsea during the tenure of Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, after Roberto Di Matteo was dismissed on Wednesday.
The incumbent coach when Abramovich bought the club in 2003, the Italian oversaw the development of future captain John Terry and also brought Chelsea stalwarts including Petr Cech and Frank Lampard to the club. Guided Chelsea to a second-place finish in the Premier League and to the semi-finals of the Champions League in his final season in charge, but was still sacked.
The man who defined the modern Chelsea, the outspoken Portuguese coach swept into Stamford Bridge after guiding Porto to success in the Champions League and won the Premier League title in his first two seasons in charge. Also won the FA Cup and two League Cups, but European success eluded him and he was shown the exit after falling out with Abramovich at the dawn of his fourth season.
The little-known Israeli initially joined Chelsea as a director of football but stepped into the managerial hot seat after Mourinho's departure. Confounding expectations, he guided Chelsea to the Champions League final in Moscow but saw them beaten on penalties by Manchester United and was promptly relieved of his duties.
A World Cup-winning coach with Brazil, 'Big Phil' Scolari made a fine start to his Stamford Bridge tenure but lasted just seven months in the job after a disappointing spell of results. Later claimed he had been undermined by senior figures in the changing room.
Installed on an interim basis, Hiddink was a resounding success despite having to combine the role with his full-time position as Russia coach. The Dutchman led Chelsea to victory over Everton in the FA Cup final and lost just one of his 22 games in charge but could not be persuaded to stay on.
The charismatic Italian, a two-time Champions League-winner with AC Milan, was an instant hit at Chelsea and took the club to a league and FA Cup double in his first season. However, Chelsea fell in the Champions League quarter-finals the following season and he was reportedly sacked in a stairwell at Goodison Park after a 1-0 loss at Everton.
Villas-Boas was Mourinho's protege at Porto and arrived with a burgeoning reputation after guiding the Portuguese club to glory in the Portuguese Liga, Portuguese Cup and Europa League. Just 33 when he took up the job, he pledged to revolutionise Chelsea's approach but paid the price after Chelsea lost 3-1 at Napoli in the Champions League and fell off the pace in the league.
Di Matteo took over on an interim basis but guided the club to victory in the FA Cup before a penalty shootout success over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Given the job full-time in June, his first full season began in fine style but the popular Italian was axed after a poor run of form left the champions on the brink of elimination in the Champions League.
Note: Ray Wilkins worked as caretaker coach for one game during the 2008-09 season
SOME OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CHELSEA UNDER ABRAMOVICH'S REIGN
Chelsea have spent approximately £86m since 2004 as compensation for managers – more than Everton’s entire net spend since the Premier League began.
Chelsea had eight managers in their first 70 years from 1905 to 1975, they are now going for a ninth in nine years.
Abramovich has now had as many managers in his nine-year reign as Manchester United have had since 1937.
Chelsea have sacked seven managers since 2005 and won seven trophies.
The average life span for a manager under Abramovich is eight months. Only Mourinho and Ancelotti lasted more than a year.
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