Check out part one of the series here
As the rumours of Maurizio Sarri’s departure to Juventus develop by the day, now is the time for us to explore potential successors in a post-Sarriball era. We have seen the great and good of managerial talent since Roman’s takeover in 2003; but only once in that time has a manager survived three full terms.
In part two of this series, I will analyse the footballing style and potential of another two managers for Chelsea. Check out part one here, where I assess two managers with plenty of experience of the Premier League.
Today’s duo both come from historical elite clubs in Europe, and are domestic title holders. Both are similarly able to rebuild and refresh and aging squad, whilst retaining an exciting tactical identity.
1. Massimiliano Allegri
Easily the most distinguished of the candidates, Allegri would be coming to Chelsea off the back of five consecutive Serie A wins with Juventus. Since the announcement of his departure from Turin, talks of a managerial ‘swap’ between Chelsea and Juventus have been escalating.
Favoured Systems: 4-3-3, 3-4-1-2, 4-3-1-2
Honours: 6 x Serie A, 4 x Coppa Italia, 2 x Champions League Finalist
Allegri is one of the world-class managers in world football, and he has shown this at more than one club. After winning the Scudetto with AC Milan in 2011, he moved on to Juventus and won another five!
Succeeding Antonio Conte in Turin, Allegri has demonstrated the ability to evolve from the defensively-minded 3-5-2 to a bolder, aggressive 4-3-3 shape over several seasons. A pragmatic coach, he may be the ideal candidate to utilise technical players like our regista Jorginho in a familiar role rather than enforcing an immediate tactical overhaul.
Allegri has no experience of English football; something that may become pivotal given the increasing likelihood of Chelsea serving a transfer ban. Even top coaches need reinforcements to build a dynasty, and this would simply not be an option at Stamford Bridge. Furthermore, Allegri does not know the Chelsea youth academy as much as some of the other candidates – another difficulty in a ban scenario. These factors may make Allegri reluctant to undertake the job.
Juventus: W28 D6 L4, 1st Position, Scudetto Winners.
Champions League: Quarter Final (2-3 to Ajax)
Coppa Italia: QF
2. Erik Ten Hag
This is my wildcard choice, having built an exciting squad of young talent at Ajax that so nearly made the Champions League Final. With that squad likely to scatter to giants across Europe, ten Hag may be tempted take on a new challenge in the Premier League.
Favoured Systems: 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1
Honours: 1 x Eredivisie, 1 x KNVB Cup
Ten Hag would be an ideal successor to Maurizio Sarri, playing similar scintillating football. He has also worked with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
His management of the youth academy at Ajax has also been first-rate, bringing through talent like Donny van der Beek and Matthijs de Ligt. This skill would be very useful for Chelsea under a transfer ban.
This appointment would be a big risk, based off of one fantastic campaign. Erik Ten Hag was trophyless in his first two seasons, and his success required time and patience. This is a luxury he is unlikely to be afforded at Chelsea.
Ten Hag has also not managed outside of the Netherlands, and the task and expectations in West London would be considerably greater.
Ajax: W28 D2 L4, 1st Position, Eredivisie Champions
Champions League Semi-Finalists (3-3a vs Tottenham Hotspur)
KNVB Cup Winners
Managerial Reset Series
Managerial Reset: Part One (Frank Lampard and Nuno Espirito Santo) Managerial Reset: Part Two (Massimiliano Allegri and Erik Ten Hag)