Chelsea are in the middle of the table and have recently suffered a defeat against bottom of the Premier League, Southampton FC. Normally, such a scenario would have almost certainly meant a sacking of the Stamford Bridge manager – at least that’s how it was once common practice under Roman Abramovich. But Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali seem to be doing things differently.
Despite a miserable performance against the Saints, which highlighted the Blues’ poor form with just two wins in their last 14 games, the club’s co-owners have reiterated that manager Graham Potter will be given time to turn things around.
But even at Chelsea you will know how fast-moving the football business is, a failure at BVB in the Champions League could mean the final end for the ex-Brighton coach. So how could the Blues re-occupy the coaching chair?
SPOX look at the options…
He was inevitably one of the first names to be associated with the Chelsea coaching job once the pressure mounted on Graham Potter – as was the case with Thomas Tuchel’s sacking last year.
Pochettino has been without a club since his Paris Saint-Germain stint ended and Chelsea would no doubt consider him for the job should Potter be relieved of his duties.
However, the rather disappointing time in the French capital will also be viewed critically. What’s more, the Argentine could become a serious contender at Tottenham should Antonio Conte leave city rivals at the end of the season.
Since the end of his second spell at Real Madrid in 2021, Zidane has also been on the market.
PSG, France and the USA have all appeared to be courting the three-time Champions League winner, but the Frenchman has yet to find the right offer.
Zidane has little in common with Potter, so his involvement would mark a dramatic change in direction for the Blues. However, the results Zizou has achieved in his coaching career to date are undeniable and he is used to dealing with big egos – of which there are many at Stamford Bridge.
After stepping down as Spain coach, it won’t be long before Luis Enrique returns to coaching.
As a committed football idealist, he should be able, at least on paper, to steer Chelsea in the right direction over the next few years – which is easier said than done given the dramatic upheaval of recent times.
The 52-year-old has never coached a team in the Premier League and has been out of club football for some time – two things that could work against him in potential talks.
However, Boehly and Co. want to see attractive football – and that’s exactly what the Spaniard could offer.
A world without Simeone on the sidelines of Atlético Madrid is hard to imagine. But this season, El Cholo’s future seems uncertain.
His contract expires in the summer and his relationship with those in charge at the Wanda Metropolitano appear to have deteriorated, while performances on the pitch are not entirely convincing either – the Rojiblancos are 18 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.
Despite these recent difficulties, Simeone’s record in the Spanish capital is excellent. While he doesn’t fit into the “attractive football” category, Boehly could still count on him for near-term success.
Considering João Felix, who is said to be flirting with Chelsea, that decision could be a nightmare for the Portuguese…
As Potter left Brighton for Stamford Bridge, many predicted the sinking of the Seagulls.
However, De Zerbi has proved those doubters wrong and led Brighton to even greater success since taking office in September.
The Italian slightly changed Brighton’s style, turning the team into a pressing machine. This changeover has already led to success in numerous games – including the FA Cup triumph over Liverpool FC.
According to media reports, his release clause is 13 million euros. While that’s a lot of money, it wouldn’t stop Todd Boehly from signing De Zerbi.
Could Chelsea really knock on his ex’s door again after just a few months? Certainly stranger things have happened in football.
His comments shortly after his departure suggest that Tuchel still has strong ties with the Blues, while José Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge shows that there are old successes to be built on.