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A farcical search

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Counting Bruno Saltor’s one game in charge (not a win, to nobody’s surprise who has watched Chelsea this season), the club has had four managers this season. Furthermore, if Frank Lampard’s skid keeps going on, they might even make history by sacking the interim manager, taking the total up to five.

While this could have been believable under the stewardship of Roman Abramovic, the first thing that Todd Boehly preached when he gained ownership is that things will be done differently.

Those have turned out to be famous last words. Even in the helter-skelter hiring and firing culture under Abramovich, there was never a scenario when the club had four coaches in a single season.

Now, as Lampard’s Chelsea sleepwalks to the finish line of this miserable season, Chelsea’s next head coach search has come to the foreground. To nobody’s surprise, that search has gone as well as the sackings have gone.

Is Chelsea’s next head coach search turning into a circus?

Todd Boehly and Chelsea have lurched from one target to another, even facing the ignominy recently of Julian Nagelsmann publicly distancing himself away from the job. Nagelsmann was supposedly the first choice of Chelsea when he was let go by Bayern Munich.

There were even suggestions that Chelsea acted quickly and parted ways with Graham Potter to steal a march on their rivals in the Nagelsmann sweepstakes.

However, since that first reported interest, Chelsea remarkably brought back Frank Lampard as an interim coach. While a long-term appointment could have gotten a headstart for next season by working with players currently and assessing them, they are now stuck in a holding pattern.

Manchester United faced this last year with Ralf Rangnick. Players have a hard time motivating themselves for a manager they know won’t be here in 4 months’ time. Despite being a fan-favourite, and expected to freshen up the vibes of the place, Lampard’s honeymoon period has been non-existent. Calamitous performances have given way to embarrassing losses.

This brings the search to its next stage. The list of candidates Chelsea won’t consider has so far been longer than the shortlist they are considering. Ruben Amorim of Sporting was quickly ruled out. However, Vincent Kompany, who has an experience of a single season, albeit a successful one, in English football, suddenly made the final shortlist.

Mauricio Pochettino the new favourite

That wasn’t the end of it. Mauricio Pochettino is now the favourite to become Chelsea’s next head coach. Although Pochettino’s managerial ability is not in question, his past affiliations are.

Pochettino manned the dugout of the Spurs team that quickly became a fierce rival of Chelsea. “The Battle of Stamford Bridge” is etched in the annals of the Premier League, where Pochettino’s Spurs lost their heads in the title race against Leicester City and seemed intent on harming Chelsea’s players instead of winning the game at hand.

The two clubs in London have an increasingly intense rivalry these days. All this points to Todd Boehly either not knowing enough about the history of the club he owns, or worse yet, not caring.

Furthermore, going from Nagelsmann to Lampard to Kompany to Pochettino reeks of a lack of sporting vision. All these managers have different styles of play and different preferences for players.

Any manager who now walks into the Chelsea dressing room will have to contend with a bloated senior squad, with players bound to long-term contracts who the new manager may or may not prefer.

Furthermore, Pochettino has been questioned at PSG for his management of egos and playing personnel. In that sense, handing him the keys to this dressing room where there will be unhappy players on every matchday due to lack of opportunities seems like a recipe for disaster.

Then again, it would fit the theme of Todd Boehly’s tenure as Chelsea’s owner so far. Trying hard with the heart at the right place, but going about it all wrong with a serious lack of planning and structure.

Vatsal Gupta
A die-hard Red Devil, who has straight up not had a good time since 2012. Lives on Korean dramas and books and can often be heard talking about armchair psychological stuff.

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