Roman Abramovich has a long track record when it comes to firing and hiring coaches, but a ruthless approach pays off
There are few owners in football who can be said to be more trigger-happy than Roman Abramovich, but none can argue that the Chelsea owner’s ruthless approach is delivering results – and trophies.
Thomas Tuchel is the billionaire’s 15th managerial change, amounting to over £110 in compensation payments to unwanted coaches.
Still, Saturday’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in the Champions League final was the 17th major trophy the Blues have won since taking over the club in 2003.
Roman Abramovich is a ruthless owner, but his Chelsea side continues to win trophies
Tuchel didn’t become Chelsea coach until January after Frank Lampard was the latest in a long line of managers to receive the Abramovich boot, but the German has also upheld a tradition of achieving instant success at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel became the third Chelsea manager in Abramovich’s reign to take home a major European trophy after taking charge midway through the season, following Roberto di Matteo in 2012 and Rafael Benitez in 2013. And let’s not forget Avram Grant was a John Terry slip that was the same in 2008.
Numerous other managers, such as Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Maurizio Sarri, have delivered silverware quickly, even if their successes didn’t help them stay on the job for long.
sports mail looks at the many times Abramovich has won trophies so soon after omitting a manager.
Abramovich, pictured with captain Cesar Azpilicueta, has won 17 major accolades with Chelsea
RANIERI OUT, MOURINHO IN
It may seem hard to believe, but Claudio Ranieri spent nearly four seasons at Stamford Bridge, the longest stint a coach has had with the club in the 21st century.
The Italian continued to work when Abramovich bought Chelsea and put on a pretty solid showing, finishing second in the Premier League as he reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Claudio Ranieri was the first manager to work under Abramovich – and the first to be fired
Jose Mourinho was the first Chelsea manager to win silverware for billionaire Abramovich
But Chelsea’s new owner hadn’t come to London to take second and fired Ranieri to bring in the next big star in the management scene, Jose Mourinho.
The self-proclaimed special delivered the first time he asked for it, winning Chelsea’s first league title in 50 years and winning the League Cup.
Chelsea retained the Premier League the following season and won the FA Cup in Mourinho’s third season, narrowly missing out on the league title, but was gone after a poor start to his fourth season.
VILLAS BOAS OUT, BY MATTEO IN
Abramovich looked to another handsome budding Portuguese coach in Andre Villas-Boas in 2011, paying Porto £13million to get his man.
But Villas-Boas’ attempt to turn an aging squad with locker room heavyweights like John Terry and Didier Drogba into an intense, strong unit didn’t go to plan and he was sacked in March, with the Blues finishing fifth in the table. ranking.
Chelsea paid over £13million to sign Andre Villas-Boas from Porto, but sacked him after eight months
Roberto di Matteo was an unlikely figure to deliver Chelsea’s first Champions League in 2012
Abramovich chose a much-loved former player to brighten the atmosphere at the club and Roberto di Matteo, who had been Villas-Boas’ assistant, proved a perfect fit.
Just over two months later, he’d led Chelsea to their first-ever Champions League gong after epic victories over Napoli and Barcelona plus a shootout win over Bayern Munich in the final at the Bavarian home stadium.
Di Matteo also won the FA Cup with Chelsea, with his side beating Liverpool at Wembley 15 years after winning the same trophy as a player, scoring a stunning goal in the final against Middlesbrough.
BY MATTEO OUT, BENITEZ IN
The former midfielder may have been the right man to detoxify Chelsea, but the limits of his coaching abilities became apparent as his side crashed out of the Champions League group stage and went down in the Premier League as well.
In November, Abramovich fired the man who had given him the Holy Grail just six months earlier and turned to a manager with an astonishing track record as a coach, but far less loved by the Stamford Bridge believers: Rafael Benitez.
Rafael Benitez was often booed by Chelsea supporters for his spell at Liverpool
But the Spaniard still managed to lead Chelsea to the Europa League in his only season
Benitez’s appointment was met with disbelief by Chelsea fans and certain players, such as Terry, did not go to the Spanish tactician either.
But even with the supporters and a few players against him, Benitez helped turn Chelsea’s season around and they ended a chaotic, tense campaign by hoisting the Europa League trophy and beating Benfica 2-1 in the final thanks to a last gasp. by Branislav Ivanovic.
MOURINHO OUT, CONTE IN (VIA HIDDINK)
Mourinho’s second coming with Chelsea followed a similar path to his first stint: a media frenzy, a Premier League win and then a bitter split.
Abramovich put off sacking the Portuguese for much longer than usual but was left with little choice when Chelsea were defeated by Leicester and dropped to 16th place in mid-December, hovering one point above the relegation zone.
Guus Hiddink was given a second chance to become Chelsea’s interim manager, following a stint in 2009 when he won the FA Cup after the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, while Abramovich sought a long-term successor and Antonio Conte was chosen.
Antonio Conte led a wave to the title after falling near the relegation zone the year before
Conte followed a similar path to Mourinho, leading Chelsea to a flying start, aided by an innovative 3-5-2 formation few thought could work in the Premier League.
Chelsea ran for the title with three games to go, and Conte became the latest manager in the Abramovich era to take Chelsea back from the floor to the top.
CONTE OUT, SARRI IN
Conte not only imitated Mourinho’s talent for winning league titles, he also repeated his habit of arguing with owners and players.
After two seasons, he was replaced by another Italian in Maurizio Sarri, who appealed to Abramovich’s burning desire to see Chelsea play free and win silverware.
Sarri-ball wasn’t exactly a hit at Stamford Bridge, however, where fans didn’t go to see the chain-smoking boss.
The Italian also appeared to have a problem forcing himself into the dressing room, which came to a head when Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted in the League Cup final.
But, like Benitez before him, Sarri left Chelsea with a job well done, securing a top four finish to bring the team back to the Champions League and then beating Arsenal 4-1 in the Europa League final.
Numerous other managers have remained in top positions than Sarri after worse seasons, but he and Chelsea both had had enough after one campaign and both sides agreed to end their deal.
Maurizio Sarri’s spell at Chelsea was sometimes poisonous, but he still won the Europa League
LAMPARD OUT, TUCHEL IN
Just as he had with Di Matteo, Abramovich wanted a club legend to reconnect with supporters and there was no one like Frank Lampard to make the club feel good.
Lampard did admirably in a difficult first season after Eden Hazard left and the club’s wings were clipped by a transfer ban, leaving them fourth and reaching the FA Cup final.
However, his inexperience began to work against him in his second season after Chelsea deposited the money last summer on Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, neither of whom he was able to bring out the best of himself.
Frank Lampard had a good first season but struggled to integrate the club’s new signings
Thomas Tuchel followed a tradition of Chelsea managers winning trophies in their first season
Abramovich risked the ire of fans when he fired Lampard, but four months later few could doubt the wisdom of Tuchel’s appointment.
Chelsea fans in Porto paid tribute to their former coach and all-time top goalscorer with a rendition of ‘Super Frankie Lampard’ after beating City and quickly followed it up by signing ‘There’s only one Thomas Tuchel’.
The serenade of coaches past and present showed that while Abramovic’s trigger-happy approach has been criticized by many in the game, Chelsea fans have become well accustomed to seeing new faces in their dugout.
And as long as their trophy cabinet continues to grow, their gratitude to their owner shows no signs of waning.