Does Roman Know Who He Wants?

The daily rumours and reports around who’ll be the next Chelsea manager are not only becoming farcial now but they’re slowly beginning to grate the nerves. While Roman seems to want a big name manager, focussing on the out-of-reach, Kenyon’s preference seems to be for someone a little more down to earth. But recent events have seen them both lose out on their preferred choices, with Milan issuing a firm hands-off their man and Hughes taking over at City amid rumours of both his impatience and Roman’s distain at ultimatums – depending which paper you read.

And the speculation will just continue at this ridiculous pace until Chelsea finally unveil their new man. But have they even identified who that is likely to be yet? So far, if you believe everything you read, Ancelotti, Hiddink and Klinsmann have all ruled themselves out, whilst Rijkaard and Mancini have both been on-and-off favourites at various times since Grant’s departure. And then there’s the odd name thrown in by the press here and there, presumably to fill column inches and keep us on our toes. Ultimately though, none of us really have a clue.

With Ten Cate’s sacking it had us all thinking an announcement was imminent and yet we’re all still as much in the dark as ever. One opinion is that the delay could run and run, dependent on what happens in Euro 2008. Although hanging around for Scolari who wouldn’t necessarily take the job anyway, could leave us facing even more nervous uncertainty than we are now.

I mean, we know we can definitely rule out Mourinho, with him now firmly in place at Inter and likewise Hughes at City, who’s now out of the running as well. Lippi and Eriksson, who always seemed unlikely candidates anyway, are looking increasingly unlikely to be in the frame and we’ve been warned off Ancelotti, so that’s him out as well. Of those left over, Laudrup’s rumoured to have met Roman in Moscow recently, Deschamps and Mancini allegedly quite fancy the job, although Mancini has remained fairly tight-lipped alongside Rijkaard. Not sure about Spalletti, although it’s a fair bet he didn’t even know he was being considered until Sky Sports announced it yesterday.

Rumour has it there was a meeting planned at Stamford Bridge yesterday to have a chat about how the search is progressing, although the club is also reported to have clearly stated just days ago that they are “extremely happy” with whatever it is they’ve done so far to replace Grant. The trouble is, none of us have any idea exactly what it is they have done and we’re nowhere near as happy as they are. Presumably, since some of us would still like to think that it’ll be the new manager who decides who’s bought and sold this summer, we want him in the job sooner rather than later so he can get on with it.

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Mourinho Not Getting It All His Own Way

They seem to be pretty dark days at Chelsea right now, with no manager and no players coming in until that little issue is sorted.  Now Mourinho, firmly installed at Inter, has chosen this precise rocky moment to issue the list of Chelsea names on his most-wanted list. But whilst most of us could live without Drogba – whichever side of Milan he chooses – when names like Essien and Cole come into the frame, that’s a totally different ball game.

The trouble with Cole is we all know we can’t trust him as far as we could throw him, but then we’ll never know who he’s going out to dinner with anyway.

But fear not, because it looks as if Mourinho’s just going to have to keep on wanting as far as Essien is concerned, with Essien’s agent insisting yesterday that our 25-year-old Ghanaian is going nowhere. Essien, under contract to Chelsea until 2012 was one of Mourinho’s surprisingly good buys and as such, has become a vital part of our midfield. So it comes as a huge relief to hear his agent inform us “Michael is very happy at Chelsea and that is where he will be playing next season.”

Michael Ballack has also chosen these seemingly troubled times to pledge his commitment to Chelsea, confirming his desire to end his playing days at Stamford Bridge.  Following heavy criticism during his first season, the German international who came to us on a free in 2006, has finally shown us what he can do for our midfield and he’s more than welcome to stay if that continues. With his contract set to run out in 2009, Ballack suggests he’d be more than happy to sit down and have a chat about it after the Euro’s.

If only it was that easy with Lampard eh?