Ancelotti given more time as Hiddink says 'no chance' of rescue act
Wednesday 29 December 2010
Guus Hiddink, the experienced Dutch manager who led Chelsea for three months in 2009, has ruled out any possibility of parachuting into the club for a second time should Carlo Ancelotti be sacked as manager.
Hiddink is a close friend of the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, who has so far shown patience with the popular Ancelotti, even though the champions' slump shows no sign of ending following the 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Monday.
In 2009 Hiddink came in as a short-term measure following the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and juggled his job as coach of Russia with taking charge of Chelsea on a temporary basis. During his brief reign, Chelsea finished third in the Premier League and won the FA Cup.
Hiddink, 64, is currently six months into a four-year contract with the Turkish national side. His agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen told The Independent yesterday that there was "no chance, no chance" that Hiddink, a former manager of Russia, the Netherlands, South Korea and Real Madrid, would be back at Stamford Bridge in the foreseeable future.
Van Nieuwenhuizen said: "I consider that as impossible. It was much easier before [in 2009] for us to come to an agreement with the Russian Federation, as his job there was partly paid for by Abramovich. We were able to look at it in a different way.
"Now it is quite a challenge for Turkey to achieve qualification to Euro 2012. I think the Turkish Federation would never allow him to do a double job. And Guus would never consider walking out on the Turkish Federation to come to London. He enjoyed very much his time at Chelsea. But there is no chance, no chance, of him going back."
Chelsea, who are now fifth after Tottenham's win over Newcastle, refuse to give any credence to reports that Ancelotti could be sacked if his side do not win today's home game against Bolton Wanderers.
Ancelotti's Chelsea have not won in their last six league games, their worst run for a decade, yet club sources were saying that Abramovich will give the Italian more time, for a variety of reasons. Ancelotti's appointment in June 2009 was very much Abramovich's decision, after the Russian oligarch had tried to poach him from Milan a year earlier. Ancelotti has also earned the right to more time by his success last season in leading Chelsea to the domestic Double. The cost of sacking him is also a mitigating factor, as Ancelotti has a year and a half still to run on his £6m-a-year contract.
However, counting against Ancelotti is his apparent impotence in the face of Chelsea's continued run of failure. Four defeats in the last eight Premier League games is relegation form, and Abramovich will not be patient for ever.
Ancelotti said he will not be making many changes for tonight's game with Bolton, who potentially could leapfrog Chelsea with a victory. "We don't have an opportunity to change a lot of players," he said.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech admitted Chelsea's problems are everywhere. He said: "We are making the wrong choices all over the pitch, defensive-wise and attacking-wise, we have stopped doing the things we were doing at the start of the season when we didn't concede goals and we were scoring a lot.
"At the moment, we can't find the same rhythm and we are making wrong choices. Every time we attack, we are offside and we are making mistakes, too, in the defensive third. This is the reason why we are not winning.
"We are not used to seeing Chelsea play the way we are playing at the moment. This is the reality: we are not doing the right things on the pitch, we are making mistakes and we've got punished for the mistakes. We just need to have one game where you get a bit of luck to win a game and suddenly everything changes."
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