AVB out, RDM in, Chelsea to hire a two-initialled manager in June
Is Spalletti the man to restore two-name normality at Chelsea?
Just hours passed between Chelsea firing up the Bunsen burner for the zany scientific experiment of putting cone distributor Roberto Di Matteo in charge until the summer and the previous promoters of such a strategy, Wolves, being thumped 5-0 round the corner.
Luckily for RDM, as he will surely be labelled within a week – assuming he lasts that long – Roman Abramovich’s itchy finger ointment guarantees 24-hour protection, so despite the ominous omen, he should at least be given a game’s grace before the countdown towards his dismissal begins.
That is unless he hands in a teamsheet minus Super Frank, King Ashley and the Drog-meister of course, as such a document is also accepted as a resignation letter at Stamford Bridge.
Either way, Di Matteo isn’t expected to still be sat in the dugout next season, instead more than likely being added to the lengthy list of paid-off former employees who will be used to justify the £144 million loss recorded in the results for the next financial year.
So who should they go for next? The clamour for Jose Mourinho is as loud as the raised voices at the daily Blues clear-the-air meeting, but if he and other ambitious candidate Pep Guardiola snub the chance to pocket eight figures for six months work, the list of alternatives isn’t quite so enticing.
Rafael Benitez and Fabio Capello are both mentioned and the latter in particular has the CV for the job, however they get subjected to so much ridicule in these parts that the press would be calling for Abramovich’s axe as early as the unveiling.
Of the outsiders in the betting, the eye-catching inclusion – currently only offered by Stan James – is Luciano Spalletti at 20/1. The Zenit St Petersburg boss has won a title, managed in the Champions League and done exceptionally well in the three jobs that he has held in the last decade.
Most importantly though, he signed a contract extension last month so will cost millions to recruit, allowing everyone to point and laugh at how much they have squandered when he gets sacked in November for only fielding Lampard for an average of 81 minutes per match.