Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in west London. The club plays in the Premier League, the top division of English football.
Chelsea are among England’s most successful clubs, having won over thirty competitive honors, including six league titles and eight European trophies. Their home ground is Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea was founded in 1905 by Gus Mears, an English businessman who had earlier bought the Stamford Bridge athletics stadium with the plan of transforming it into a football ground. His original idea was to rent it to an existing club, but after a deal with Fulham FC was halted; he got the idea to start a new club.
The ’80s was a turbulent period for Chelsea. An ambitious redevelopment of Stamford Bridge threatened the financial stability of the club, star players were sold and the team were relegated. Further problems were caused by a notorious hooligan element among the support, which was to plague the club throughout the decade.
The ownership of the Mears family was interrupted when the club was sold for the emblematic amount of £1 to the new owner Ken Bates in 1982.
The appointment of Ruud Gullit as player-manager in 1996 began an upturn in the team’s fortunes. He added several top international players to the side and led the club to their first major honour since 1971, the FA Cup. Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, whose reign saw Chelsea win the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 1998, and the FA Cup in 2000.
Chelsea also mounted a strong title challenge in 1998–99, finishing four points behind champions Manchester United, and made their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League. Vialli was sacked in favour of Claudio Ranieri, who guided Chelsea to the 2002 FA Cup Final and Champions League qualification in 2002–03.
Roman Abrahamovich Era
In July 2003, Bates sold Chelsea to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich for £140 million.
The new owner immediately led Chelsea to an era of financial stability, paying off the majority of the club’s debts and spending a then-unprecedented amount of money on star signings. Over £100 million was spent on new players, but Ranieri was unable to deliver any trophies.
Managers play an important role in football. The manager is basically the lead trainer, who attempts to inject his methods of reasoning inside the players and shows them his method of playing. The Manager is entrusted with working on his players alongside building a strategy to overcome the rival.
We have seen some world class managers at the club in the last decade, some of them have won some important trophies for the club during their time at the club, while some of them have failed to win anything for the blues.
Below is the full list of the Chelsea managers and how they performed under the Russian Billionaire.
Claudio Ranieri (2000 – 2004)
Win Ratio: 54%
The first manager under Roman Abramovich, Claudio Ranieri had just one season at the club in the new ownership.
Ranieri had done well with Chelsea in the years leading up to the club’s sale, leading them to the 2002 FA Cup final and slowly moving them up the league as well as seeing the breakthrough of John Terry and purchase of Frank Lampard.
Under Abramovich, Ranieri’s Chelsea finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal’s Invincibles – a noble feat given how the Gunners pushed for their title.
Ranieri also led Chelsea to the Champions League semi-finals, beating Arsenal in the quarter-finals, but it was his decision making against Monaco which would ultimately end his time at the club.
With Chelsea drawing 1-1 in the first leg and with a man advantage, Ranieri would make negative substitutions allowing Monaco into the game to score two more before the match was up.
In the second leg, a 2-0 lead which would have seen Chelsea reach the final was ultimately surrendered and saw Ranieri sacked.
Jose Mourinho (First Spell 2004 to 2007)
Win ratio : 67%
Trophies: Premier league 2005 and 2006, FA Cup 2007, League Cup 2005 and 2007
Jose Mourinho remains the most successful Chelsea manager in the club’s history. After winning the Champions League with Porto, Mourinho was a man in demand. He moved to West London with a couple of his players, and established a dynasty. He won back to back league titles, the first of which came after 50 years. He also won the League Cup where he beat Liverpool 3-2 after extra-time. He won the Premier League again in the next season.
In his third season, he won the League Cup and the FA Cup but failed to deliver a third successive league title, after Manchester United’s resurgence with Cristiano Ronaldo. He was sacked after tensions between Abramovich and Mourinho were increasing by the day.
Avram Grant (2007 to 2008)
Win ratio : 67%
Avram Grant was brought in by Chelsea after Jose Mourinho was given the sack six games into the new season. Grant who had no prior experience in the European game, received a lot of hate from the media and the Chelsea fans.
Grant, however, was impeccably close to a treble but ultimately ended up trophyless. He lost to Manchester United on penalties in the 2008 Champions League final after which he was given the sack. He had a brilliant season at the club, via his performances, but the impatient board at Chelsea wanted trophies which the Israeli was unable to present.
Luiz Filipe Scolari (2008 to 2009)
Win ratio: 56%
Chelsea fans were excited in the summer of 2008 when former Brazil and Portugal boss Felipe Scolari was announced as the club’s next manager.
But that excitement was short-lived as the Blues looked uninspired and the first rumours of player power at the club broke through.
Despite being third in the league at the time of Scolari’s departure, Chelsea looked like they were going nowhere under the Brazilian, who later claimed he was sacked for “communication issues” – not being fluent in English.
Guus Hiddink (First Spell 2009)
Win ratio : 73%
Trophies : FA Cup 2009
The first Chelsea interim manager under Roman Abramovich, Hiddink did inherit a team with the foundations of success with Scolari.
Losing just one game from 22 under Hiddink (a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham) the Blues pushed hard for another Premier League title but was ultimately too far off the pace when the Dutchman arrived.
But they did find glory in the FA Cup, beating Everton 2-1 at Wembley, and were close to reaching a second-consecutive Champions League final but for a 1-1 draw with Barcelona littered with controversy.
Hiddink’s spell at the club led fans to hope and chant for his permanent stay but the manager left at the end of the season to continue his role as manager of the Russian national team which included a run to the semi-finals of Euro 2008.
Carlo Anceloti (2009 to 2011)
Win ratio : 61%
Trophies : premier league 2009-10, FA Cup 2010
Champions League winning manager, Carlo Ancelloti was brought in by Roman Abramovich to capitalize on Chelsea’s golden generation of players and finally win the Champions League. Key players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba were all in their prime and it seemed the best moment for Chelsea to go to the next step.
Ancelloti took the Premier League by storm as Chelsea romped to the title after 3 years. His Chelsea side scored a Premier League record of 103 goals. He also won the FA Cup in his first season, leading the club to its very first traditional League and Cup double. He, however, couldn’t replicate the results in the Champions League.
In the next season, Manchester United took back the title from the Blues as Chelsea and Ancelloti closely missed out on back to back titles. A trophyless second season saw Ancelloti sacked by the board, leaving the fans in anger.
André Villas-Boas (2011-2012)
Win Ratio: 48%
When Andre Villas-Boas was named the next Chelsea manager following Carlo Ancelotti’s departure, the buzz was high around the man dubbed the next Mourinho.
Villas-Boas was fresh off the back of glory with Porto and had productive ideas about how the club should play and introducing younger players.
But the Portuguese manager was ultimately too fast in trying to phase out Chelsea’s older guard as performances suffered and another trophyless season looked to be looming.
Even more unfortunately for Villas-Boas, the former manager had to watch on as his players went on to win the FA Cup and Champions League just two months after his sacking.
Roberto Di Matteo (2012-2012)
Win Ratio: 57%
Trophies: 2012 Champions League, 2012 FA Cup
A man originally brought in just to see out the season following Villas-Boas departure, former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (who was assistant under Villas-Boas) would go on to lead the club to a first ever Champions League trophy.
After Andres Villas Boas was dismissed in March, assistant manager Roberto Di Matteo was given the mantle until the end of the season. Chelsea were on the brink of being eliminated from the Champions League after losing to Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of the Round of 16. He beat them 4-1 at Stamford Bridge, a result which infused new life at the club as anything seemed possible now.
He put all his eggs in the Champions League basket, as one win after another saw them win the prestigious title after all. He also beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final by 2 goals to 1.
Rafa Benitez (2012-2013)
Win Ratio: 58%
Trophies: 2013 Europa League
Much to the hatred of Chelsea fans, Benitez was appointed following Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal months after winning the Champions League. Benitez’s previous stint in England was with Liverpool where he won the 2005 Champions League, defeating Chelsea in the semi-finals (via. Luis Garcia’s ghost goal).
Benitez took charge after Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League group stage. He took the club to a Europa League title and a third-place finish in the League.
Jose Mourinho (Second Spell 2013-2015)
Win Ratio: 59%
Trophies: 2014-15 Premier League, 2015 League Cup
Mourinho returned Chelsea after his relations with the Real Madrid board were worsening. Mourinho called himself “The Special One” and had a special connection at Chelsea following his ultra-successful first stint. Mourinho had the same charisma and often engaged in mind games with opposition managers. Mourinho had a defence-first approach to his game, and he had the right players to implement his philosophy.
He nearly missed out on the Premier League in the 13-14 season but he more than made up for it, winning the League and Cup double the next season. The 2015-16 season saw his infamous third-season syndrome come into effect, as he just didn’t seem himself anymore. Chelsea were hanging just above the relegation zone on Christmas when he was sacked.
Guus Hiddink (Second Spell 2015-2016)
Win Ratio: 37%
The 2015/16 season was one to forget for Chelsea as Guus Hiddink was required for a second time to turn tides at the club with Mourinho sacked and the Blues 16th.
With Chelsea already out of the League Cup, Hiddink saw his side fall out of the Champions League to Paris Saint-Germain for the second consecutive season and a quarter-final defeat to Everton in the FA Cup.
A 10th-place finish was achieved in the Premier League but Hiddink’s second reign was nowhere near as successful as his first, winning just 10 of his 27 games.
Antonio Conte (2016-2018)
Win Ratio: 65%
Trophies: 2016-17 Premier League, 2018 FA Cup
Conte took over at Chelsea following his spell as Italy manager and extraordinarily won the title in his first season in charge, setting what was then the record for most wins recorded in a single Premier League season (30).
The Italian tactician started off his tenure badly, with a draw to Swansea and consecutive losses to Liverpool and Arsenal in his first six games.
But his managerial quality shone through when he switched to a 3-4-3 formation and the Blues then went onto win a club record 13 consecutive matches to send them on their way to the title.
Maurizio Sarri (2018-2019)
Win Ratio: 62%
Trophies: 2019 Europa League
Maurizio Sarri was brought in by the Chelsea board in an attempt to make the Chelsea style of play more attractive to watch. The Chelsea faithful perhaps, weren’t quite ready for it as Sarri’s style was found monotonous and boring at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri still managed to have a successful season at the club where he won the Europa League beating London rivals Arsenal 4-1 in the final. He also took Chelsea to the League Cup final where they lost to Manchester City on penalties.
Frank Lampard (2019-2021)
Win Ratio: 52%
Frank Lampard’s performances in his first season as Chelsea manager were always going to be assessed sympathetically, given the various obstacles he had to face including being unable to make any signings to replace Eden Hazard. But the club legend didn’t do too bad of a job. He secured Champions League football for 2020/21 playing with a fairly youthful team, and reached the FA Cup final.
However, the Blues were ultimately beaten in that final by Arsenal and pulled apart by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16. As a result he spent a king’s ransom over the summer and attempted to transform Chelsea into genuine title contenders this season, but things didn’t quite work out that way.
Big signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz struggled immeasurably to adapt to Lampard’s system, and it cost the Chelsea legend his job.
At the time of his departure, Chelsea were ninth in the Premier League (11 points off top) and Lampard left with the lowest points per game ratio of any Chelsea manager in the Abramovich era. His struggles were also made worse by what followed.
Thomas Tuchel (2021 till date)
Win Ratio: 62%
Trophies: Champions League 2021, Uefa Super Cup 2021
On 26 January 2021, Tuchel signed an 18-month contract (with the option for an extra year) with English Premier League side Chelsea, replacing Frank Lampard. He is the first German to be appointed as head coach of the club.
Thomas Tuchel won Chelsea 2nd Uefa champions league for Chelsea with a 1-0 win against Manchester City.
12th of August 2021, Tuchel side were crowned the 2021 UEFA Super Cup champions, beating Villarreal 6-5 on penalties.