Following the sacking of Andres Villas-Boas, managers of the calibre of Jose Mourinho, Luciano Spalletti and Guus Hiddink have been touted as the next Chelsea manager.
But, what Stamford Bridge needs is a real shake-up. Somebody to take the squad by the scruff of the throat and transform them from a team of spoilt, whining namby pambies into one of real men who are prepared to fight United, City and Spurs for the title.
What Stamford Bridge needs is… Mick McCarthy.
McCarthy, sacked by Wolves earlier this season is just the type of manager Chelsea need right now and he’s more qualified for the job than you may think.
Here’s five reasons why…
1. He’s English
Or Irish, depending on which way you want to look at it. McCarthy was born in Barnsley (that’s in Yorkshire, England) but made 57 appearances for the Republic of Ireland between 1984 and 1992.
Heck, he even managed them and took them to the 2002 World Cup Finals. Tell me, what international managerial experience does David Moyes (third favourite in the betting) have?
Ireland were eliminated in the second-round in a penalty shoot-out against Spain which made them the fifth-best European team in the competition.
If you still wouldn’t back McCarthy, not even with free bets and you still think a flamboyant foreign manager is the answer, let’s quickly remember the un-magnificent five sacked by owner Roman Abramovic since he came into power in 2003, plus two who left before they would / could be sacked:
Claudio Ranieri (Italian – SACKED!)
Jose Mourinho (Portuguese – Mutal Termination)
Avram Grant (Israeli – SACKED!)
Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazilian – SACKED!)
Guus Hiddink (Dutch – Left at the end of the season)
Carlo Ancelotti (Italian – SACKED!)
Andreas Villas-Boas (Portuguese – SACKED!)
Change is definitely needed and if the time isn’t right for an English-born Irishman to have a crack at management at Stamford Bridge, then I don’t know if it ever will be.
2. He Eats Prima Donas For Breakfast
One of the problems Villas-Boas had was he did not command respect from his players.
A young man with a fresh approach to management obviously didn’t go down well with the playing staff who smugly admitted “err… well, perhaps we didn’t try our best” after the Portuguese had been booted out of the front door.
You would get no such messing about with McCarthy in charge.
McCarthy was the man who stood up to star player and Irish darling Roy Keane and sent him home on the eve of the World Cup finals in 2002.
It may not have been a popular decision but as the manager, McCarthy made a tough decision and sent a message to the rest of his squad – no player was bigger than Ireland.
A similar tough stance is needed at Stamford Bridge to ship out the dead wood and build a united team for now and the future.
Villas-Boas could not achieve this despite costing tens of millions of pounds.
McCarthy, currently kicking his heels on the weekend, could.
3. He Is Financial Fair Play Regulations Friendly
Abramovich may want to wield the axe this summer and clear out a host of ageing, under performing players, but who will he bring in to replace them?
The likes of Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and even captain John Terry are not safe but all are on the wrong side of 30 and earning massive wages.
None of those players will bring in significant transfer funds and with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations coming into force next year, losses of just £37.5 million over a two-year period mean an expensive rebuilding job is unlikely.
Jose Mourinho reportedly wanted to be the world’s best salaried manager at £12 million per year and wanted an extra £100 million to bring Ronaldo with him from Real Madrid.
A few years ago perhaps but the new rules mean football is literally a different ball game.
Whoever comes in needs to make better use of the dismal youth academy at Chelsea and polish up a few rough diamonds to help win trophies and balance the books.
McCarthy unearthed the likes of Matthew Jarvis and Michael Kightly during his time at Wolves and also transformed Steven Fletcher from a non-goal scoring striker at Burnley to a prolific Premier League hitman for £47 million less than Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres.
4. He Overachieved At Wolves
You may not fancy McCarthy at Chelsea because he managed and was later sacked by Wolves.
But, what do you realistically expect a club of Wolves’ stature to achieve in the Premier League?
Finish fourth from bottom and avoid relegation?
McCarthy guided Wolves to 17th place last season following promotion from the Championship the season before, avoiding relegation at the expense of arguably bigger clubs in West Ham United and Birmingham City.
Unsurprisingly, Wolves are involved in the relegation mire again this season but who is to say McCarthy would not have survived the drop again? The last straw was a 5-1 home defeat against local rivals West Brom but McCarthy had also inspired Wolves to take points from Arsenal and Spurs away from home this season.
Current Wolves manager Terry Connor is not doing much better with what he has either, if last weekend’s 5-0 tanking at Fulham is anything to go by.
5. He’s Another Horse on the Managerial Merry Go Round
You know how this works…
A manager gets sacked from one club and joins another which has recently sacked their manager.
Simon Grayson did it recently – no sooner was he relieved from his position at Leeds he rocked up at Huddersfield Town before former boss Lee Clark’s coffee had gone cold.
This is what the merry go round is all about.
So, Harry Redknapp is likely to leave Spurs and take the England job while former England boss Fabio Capello has been tipped to take over at White Hart Lane.
Jose Mourinho may leave Real Madrid at the end of the season and with Villas-Boas available – he could be next in line at the Bernebeu.
If Mick McCarthy takes over at Chelsea that leaves Mourinho at… Molineux?
Look, I don’t make the rules…
Would you pick Mick McCarthy – or another English manager – for Chelsea?