Many believe that it will be AC Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti that will take over from Hiddink at the end of the season but don’t be surprised if another Dutchman in Frank Rijkaard turns up to take the hot-seat. Ancelotti may be favourite but after witnessing miracles being worked by Guus Hiddink currently at Chelsea, Rijkaard, a good friend of Hiddink may bully Ancelotti out and steal the job from under the Italian’s nose. Roman Abramovich has been taking advice from Hiddink about who to buy to strengthen the teams depleted and aging squad, which Hiddink has, to his credit, revitalised. It is believed Hiddink has recommended Frank Rijkaard to Chelsea’s billionaire owner and Roman could be about to make a dramatic U turn and turn the other cheek to Ancelotti and call on Rijkaard. Both Rijkaard and Ancelotti have impressive CV’s but Rijkaard’s ability to speak perfect English could be a deciding factor. As well publicised, Luiz Felipe Scolari fell victim to Roman’s axe and his inability to speak fluent English was a major flaw in his 8 month tenure, and Chelsea don’t need a carbon copy in Carlo Ancelotti. Make no mistake, Rijkaard has very similar managerial traits compared to Guus Hiddink including, the traditional 4-3-3 Dutch system that suits Chelsea so well, and the quality and intensity in training that is vitally important to have at any club playing in the Premier League, which John Terry and Frank Lampard have in the past made crystal clear.
Frank Rijkaard has won La Liga and the Champions League with Barcelona, as well as bringing through young talents with the prowess of Lionel Messi and the clinical finishing of 18 year old Bojan, there is no doubting the Dutchman’s man management skills, despite a disappointing end to his Barcelona reign. Frank Rijkaard’s agent has indicated that he would be ready to sign a deal with the West London club but on a longer term contract than previous manager Luiz Felipe Scolari’s two years. Rijkaard wants stability and continuity, something everyone would like to see at Chelsea. Should this bombshell be dropped on the Premier League Abramovich will have to back this manager both financially and on a personal level for Chelsea to become the team they were under Mourinho, and to some extend they are under Hiddink. Yuri Zhirkov, Ashley Young, David Villa and Stephane Sessegnon have been strongly linked to the blues and with the arrival of Rijkaard these signings could become a reality. However the likes of Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka, Jon Obi Mikel and Florent Malouda are all set to be shown the door with Didier Drogba, Joe Cole and Ashley Cole being rewarded with new contracts.
Its no secret Chelsea are in for a busy summer, no matter what manager they chose to employ this time, however they will want to avoid this farcical situation in the future by employing someone who Chelsea believe in and who the players can maintain confidence in during all points of the season, otherwise Chelsea will just be known as the club with a graveyard of managing careers. Despite Hiddink’s denial of remaining at Chelsea next season, he could be teamed up with Rijkaard and tempted into a Director of Football role, something the Dutch marvel has refused to rule out. However this will not be a possibility before the World Cup as Guus is 100% concentrated on Russia’s qualification once he has finished, what could be a very successful season with Chelsea.
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