Chelsea: What About Steve Clarke?

According to the press, an announcement on the new Chelsea manager could happen Monday although Chelsea themselves remain tight-lipped. But with both Grant and Ten Cate already dispensed with, Steve Clarke once again seems to be the last man standing. Previously Jose’s right hand man and kept on as Grant’s number 2 following TSO’s departure to aid the transition and no doubt appease supporters, this time Clarke might find he hasn’t got a job to go to when he comes back from his holidays after the weekend. Or will he?

The main rumours seem to be around Roman feeling confident enough to finally push Clarke through the Stamford Bridge exit in the hope that supporters are so relieved to see Grant gone that they simply won’t notice. Either that or the disillusioned Clarke clearing his desk through choice and either heading to Goodison as Moyes’ number 2 or becoming a number 1 himself at Championship level. Unlike the hotseat Jose vacated last summer though, Grant’s empty seat isn’t rumoured to have Clarke’s name on it, with only the bigger names in Europe seemingly linked to the post.

Is Roman maybe missing a trick here though? I mean, Clarkey’s a hero at Chelsea. A loyal servant for the best part of the last 20 years be it as a player, coach or assistant manager, he’s been there and done it with us. He’s got the respect of the senior players and supporters – in fact, everyone right down to the cleaners inside Stamford Bridge probably love him. Our former right-back has stayed with us from the days of ‘also-rans’ status, through title wins and back again, to an empty-handed season.

In fact, there’s little doubting the reliance TSO had on Clarke as his right-hand man, so shouldn’t he be given recognition for the part he played in those particular successes? He certainly can’t be short on tactical nous. And what of the assistance during Grant’s brief, but at times, rocky spell in charge? It certainly wasn’t Grant rumoured to air his lungs during the break at Craven Cottage last season, asking the questions and giving his own answers, complete with tea set, for the lack of conviction in a dire first half. So that’s his ability to handle players sorted as well. Is there really any reason Roman – or any of us for that matter – shouldn’t consider him a candidate?

Well, Roman obviously saw his worth last year, enough so to give him a substantial pay rise in the wake of Mourinho’s departure. But although £900,000 a year was enough to keep him temporarily, sadly for Roman, Clarkey’s an honest enough man not to be ruled by money. In fact, the ambitious Scot is prepared to take a substantial pay cut elsewhere if that’s what it takes to pursue his own managerial career – and his particular departure from Chelsea could be a huge wrench.

So is Roman really ready to see him go and more to the point, are we?

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Chelsea Manager: It Won’t Be Ancelotti

The media circus continues as the question of the next Chelsea manager continues to hang heavy over Stamford Bridge and following both Hiddink and Scolari reported to have ruled themselves out of the running recently, the latest candidate knocked off our hit-list appears to be Carlo Ancelotti. Vice-president, Adriano Galliani is said to have confirmed Chelsea have indeed requested permission to have a chat with the Milan manager – and have been given a firm ‘non avere possibilita’.

Of all the names touted in the press since Grant was given the push, Ancelotti’s the first to be officially approached and it’s no big surprise that Chelsea chanced their arm on him given his record. One of the most rated European managers, Ancelotti has won not only two Serie A titles but also two Champions League trophies with AC Milan since his arrival in 2001 and the Rossoneri are keen to hang on to him despite this season’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Galliani smugly suggested that Ancelotti’s name topped our two-man Italian hit-list (so let’s hope Roman has another attack of muteness before they consider the second name) and went on to inform us “Milan don’t sell their players, let alone the coach.”

Shevchenko ring any bells mate?