Paddy Power

UPDATED! Odds on the next Chelsea manager: Rafa Benitez is favourite to replace Di Matteo

by Aidan Elder | November 21, 2012

I NEED A HAIR-O: Despite suspect decisions with facial hair, Benitez has emerged as the early favourite

By Josh Powell and Aidan Elder

Roberto Di Matteo was sacked early on Wednesday as Chelsea manager. Here, the Paddy Power Blog runs the rule over the likely lads…

Rafa Benitez – 4/6 1/6

Why he’d be good
There are many reasons why Chelsea and Rafa are a match made in heaven. Benitez is renowned as one of the best tacticians in the business and, similarly to Chelsea last year, he managed to win the Champions League with a squad that had far too many Sunday League players knocking about in it. Rafa has plenty of Premier League experience, taking Liverpool within touching distance of a league title and somehow making Dirk Kuyt look like a world-beater. The Spaniard can reignite his relationship with Fernando Torres who blossomed at Anfield.

Why he’d be a risk
Rafa Benitez hasn’t endeared himself to Chelsea. He had a number of touchline hissy fits when Jose Mourinho was in charge and accused Roman Abramovich of buying success. In hindsight, probably not the best idea to insult a potential future employer. Chelsea fans will be wary of Rafa’s tendency to start cracking up and reel off ‘Rafa Facts’. His habit of growing a terrible goatee would easily put off any right-minded board.

Chelsea Next Manager Betting November 21 2012

Harry Redknapp – 15/8 10/1

Why he’d be good
Harry has been in management for almost three decades and since leaving Tottenham has been tipped for every management job going spare. He’s been tipped to manage Ukraine but with his well publicised problems spelling, Chelsea looks a far better option.

Why he’d be a risk
Redknapp’s CV is flimsier than David Luiz’s hair, sporting an FA Cup with Portsmouth as his biggest managerial success. Considering the wheeler-dealer gets his dog to look after his finances and is no stranger to a visit from the tax man, it’s hard to see Roman being happy handing him a bucket-load of money in the transfer market. The former Spurs man might not get the greatest reception from the Chelsea faithful but at least Frank Lampard might get a bit more match time under Uncle Harry.

Pep Guardiola – 4/1 7/1

Why he’d be good
Three La Ligas, two Champions Leagues, and a trophy cabinet fit to burst with a whole host of other accolades. Pep Guardiola’s CV is arguably one of the most impressive in the game and his style of football at Barcelona had fans and pundits alike drooling. His tika-taka style of football is more attractive than a half-naked Mila Kunis and his touchline attire is streets ahead of anyone else going for the Chelsea job. Whether it’s GQ awards or winners medals that attracts Abramovich, Chelsea couldn’t do much better than Barcelona’s most successful ever coach.

Why he’d be a risk
The chances of Pep going anywhere right now seem more unlikely than Rylan Clark winning the X Factor. Guardiola is on a year out of the game stating tiredness when leaving Barca. Clearly nothing is more exhausting than consistently winning and watching Lionel Messi run rings around the opposition. Considered more than a hero in Barcelona, would Pep really fancy taking the reins at Stamford Bridge?

Jose Mourinho – 20/1 25/1

Why he’d be good
His methods might be as dubious as an allegation from Newsnight, but you can’t deny that the Special One produces some special results. He ruffles feathers wherever he goes, but as long as the trophies keep rolling in, the top brass ultimately seem happy enough to say ‘ruffle away, Jose’. He would make the Blues more robust defensively and combined with their considerable attacking ability, that would make them a formidable opponent. He will stand up to the owner’s more questionable decision and that’s a probably a quality Abramovich secretly admires. Right up to the moment he orders the manager’s P45.

Why he’d be a risk
‘You should never go back’ is the cliché and it’s a cliché for a reason. Whether it’s a job, an ex-girlfriend or the branch of KFC where you decided to show off your chicken Zinger in public, returning stirs up difficult emotions. Nostalgic comparisons will always be made with the successful first era he enjoyed with the club and that could undermine his work. Plus if you thought he was up himself when he was winning leagues first time around, imagine how bad he’ll be after winning a European Cup with Internazionale and unceremoniously shoving Barcelona off their La Liga perch.

David Moyes – 20/1 25/1

Why he’d be good
People who haven’t known life without a Facebook page may not remember this, but there was a time when Everton were permanently a relegation waiting to happen. The fact that they are now regulars in the hunt for European places and no-one bats an eyelid about it is testament to the transformation Moyes has engineered over the course of 10 years at Goodison. Considering the meagre resources available, the Scot has to be mentioned in the debate about the greatest managers of the Premier League era and taking on Chelsea would be a great chance for him to add some silverware to a CV that shines, but doesn’t yet sparkle.

Why he’d be a risk
The environment at Chelsea will be drastically different to that at Everton. Whilst Bill Kenwright was too busy worrying about the chorus line in Jesus Christ Superstar to get hugely involved in transfers, Roman Abramovich will doubtless have an influence. If he got the job, he’d have money to spend and although Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini are examples of his successes, he has a few Andy van der Meydes and Jermaine Beckfords to blot his copybook. At the upper end of the transfer market, he’d be dealing with high stakes and his experience handling egotistical superstars is limited.

Fabio Capello – 25/1 33/1

Why he’d be good
Sure Capello doesn’t talking the good English like we are, but so what? He’s at Chelsea and no-one does, least of all the English players. He has been operating at the elite level of management for over 20 years and has dealt with top quality talent and egos everywhere. He has also managed some degree of success in most of his jobs. His track record suggests that making Chelsea successful is a task well within his compass, but making them entertaining is another story entirely.

Why he’d be a risk
After boring a nation to the point where even a goal that wasn’t a goal against Germany was largely treated with an indifferent shrug, his time as England manager has eroded the supply of goodwill most Chelsea fans will feel towards him. If Roman Abramovich views a Barcelona-style tiki-taka as the Shangri-La of his footballing aspirations, Capello wouldn’t be most people’s first port of call. The pesky ‘principles’ we saw from him in the aftermath of how the FA handled the John Terry captaincy row might make him to volatile to trust in charge of the Chelsea dressing room.

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  1. GIF: The exact moment Roberto Di Matteo got the sack | Paddy Power Betting Blog said on November 21, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    [...] Rafa Benitez favourite to replace Di Matteo [...]

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