Chelsea Football Club have today confirmed the appointment of the former Netherlands manager Guus Hiddink as their replacement for Jose Mourinho who was sacked on Thursday.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ was sacked just 7 months after winning the Premier League at Chelsea for the third time during his second spell at the club. He had overseen a terrible start to the Blues’ defence of their crown, however, with the defending Premier League champions losing 9 of their opening 16 games of the campaign and currently sitting just a point above the relegation zone.
69 year old Hiddink will come in as an interim manager for the Blues until the end of the season, much as he did in the 2008-2009 season when Chelsea sacked Luis Felipe Scolari.
The Dutchman will watch Chelsea’s game against Sunderland from the stands this weekend as coaches Steve Holland and Eddie Newton take charge of the team. Holland said of the decision to give Hiddink the job, “It’s a fantastic appointment. I’m very happy about it. This club needs an experienced manager at the helm and Guus Hiddink is clearly that”.
Hiddink guided PSV Eindhoven to six Dutch league titles and the European Cup during two spells at the club and he also won the FA Cup with Chelsea during his short spell at Stamford Bridge in 2009. A statement on Chelsea’s club website read, “The owner and the board welcome back a coach with a wealth of top-level experience and success, including his previous spell with the club in 2009 when we lifted the FA Cup. Mr Abramovich and the board believe that Guus has what it takes to get the best out of our talented squad”.
Hiddink himself said that he was delighted to return to West London and believed that he has what it takes to get the club firing on all cylinders once again. He said, “I am excited to return. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around”.
One thing that could be a cause for concern for Chelsea fans is the lack of success that Hiddink has endured since leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of his last interim spell as manager. He has since taken charge of Turkey, the Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala and his home nation of the Netherlands.
None of those campaigns were particularly brilliant for Hiddink, with his spell at Netherlands manager seeing him win just four of his ten matches as boss before being sacked in June 2015. Many involved in Dutch football felt that the 69 year old lacked enough of a connection with the modern game to be able to explain his theories to a new set of Dutch players. Whether he can communicate his ideas to the current Chelsea side remains to be seen.