For Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti in the hand is better than Pep Guardiola in the bush


Chelsea seems to be putting off their search for a permanent manager until the end of the season despite the availability of Carlo Ancelotti

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is playing a very dangerous game in his managerial search. He is poised to hire Guus Hiddink as his new manager, but only in a caretaker role. That will leave the permanent role open until after the completion of the season when presumably, Pep Guardiola and others will become truly available. Waiting for someone like Guardiola is a huge risk when a terrific manager like Carlo Ancelotti is available already.

The more I think about what Chelsea needs in their next manager the more I become convinced that Carlo Ancelotti would be a perfect fit. The number one thing the club needs at the moment is a manager who can unite the dressing room. That might be Ancelotti’s greatest skill. If he can get all of the egos in the Real Madrid dressing room to unite behind a common cause then surely he can manage the same at Chelsea.

The reason that ability is so important is because the current state of the Chelsea dressing room is complete disaster. The club admitted as much yesterday when they attributed Mourinho’s sacking to “palpable discord with the players.” It had become clear to all who watched Chelsea that Mourinho’s arrogant manner had begun to grate on many of the star players. Their effort level just wasn’t the same this season as it was during last year’s march to the Premier League title.

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Managerial hires are often, in large part, reactions to the previous manner. Ancelotti is, in many ways, the opposite of Mourinho. He is a player’s manager who allows expression whereas Mourinho operates more as a dictator. I’m not saying one managerial style is better than the other, but Mourinho’s style had clearly run its course at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti’s arrival would be a breath of fresh air for a dressing room that had been beaten down over the last several months.

Presumably, Chelsea is waiting to hire a permanent manager so it can fully gauge the interest of candidates like Guardiola who aren’t available at the current moment in time. While I’d fully support this philosophy in the event that an ideal candidate wasn’t available, that isn’t the case we have here. Abramovich and Chelsea are passing on a sure thing in Ancelotti in hopes of landing an even bigger fish in the summer.

The gamble might work out for Chelsea, but I don’t see the odds as being in their favor. Abramovich would be wise to scoop Ancelotti up before some other club beats him to the punch. If they wait until the summer and lose out on him, they may very well be forced to hire an inferior option if they miss out on Guardiola.