The news of Jose Mourinho’s departure from Chelsea is no longer a novelty. The Blues played their first game without the Portuguese manager and comfortably won 3-1 over Sunderland. While the win brings the good spirit back to Stamford Bridge there is plenty to be done for the Blues to get their season back on track.
Guus Hiddink, tasked with bringing stability back to the Bridge, has been signed as an interim coach for the upcoming six months. The team at hand has numerous problems: The players’ confidence has been hit hard following a shambolic start to the season that left them just three points above the relegation zone. Even though most of the players are new, Hiddink knows his way around the Chelsea dressing room; after all, this is his second spell at the club. Back in 2009, he led Chelsea to the Champions League semi-finals and won the FA Cup. Considering the squad he had, this is no achievement at all but he did clean up after Luiz Felipe Scolari.
He’s an experienced manager who already knows the club, the management and the mentality. He’s fully aware that he was not Chelsea’s first choice but rather a safe one so he shouldn’t feel any pressure especially since Chelsea fans are no longer aiming to win the league but rather finish in the top ten. All is not lost yet, in fact, Chelsea are still in the Champions League but they’ve found themselves a tough opponent in Paris Saint-Germain.
Chelsea need to focus on the positives of their last performance against Sunderland. The players showed us that the squad is united and now under a new leader they can find consistency in their results. They are only 11 points off the top four with 21 matches still to be played. The gap could be narrowed in the upcoming two months, particularly this packed week. Moreover, the FA Cup is still up for grabs and Chelsea have an easy first tie against Scunthorpe.
With three competitions to fight for, Hiddink is also expected to give young players a bit of first-team action, something Mourinho refused to do in his second spell at the club. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of those youngsters who will set to feature in the upcoming few games as Hiddink has been instructed by his board. Chelsea have previously let young talents go for cheap, only for the players to go on and fulfill their potential with rivals clubs. The likes of Daniel Sturridge, Kevin De Brunye and Romelu Lukaku are just a few names of those who could have been part of Chelsea’s squad.
The January transfer window will open in a week from now. Chelsea should not take any risks and sign a big name since the club will have a new manager by next summer. In case Hiddink needs a signing or two, the players need to fit in with Chelsea’s long term vision. There is no doubt that the arrival of the Dutch manager will improve the situation at Stamford Bridge but can he win any silverware?