Guus Hiddink may be unerring in his insistence that he will return to his job with the Russia national team in May, but the Dutchman's admission that he has been quickly won over by life in London will do nothing to dissuade Roman Abramovich from attempting to transform the manager's temporary stay at Chelsea into a permanent one.
So far Hiddink (below) has enjoyed a perfect start at Stamford Bridge with victories over Aston Villa and Juventus reviving the club's ambitions in both the Premier League and the Champions League whilst helping to quickly drawing a line under the troubled Luiz Felipe Scolari era. Continued success will inevitably harden the desire of Abramovich, the club owner, to retain Hiddink's services and the manager's obvious enthusiasm for working in England – an enthusiasm that was first sparked by playing alongside George Best for San Jose Eathquakes in the 1970s – will only strengthen that resolve.
"I love very much being in London," said Hiddink. "I have been here many, many times watching games before now. I love the self-irony you find in England. People here can look in the mirror and tell themselves how stupid they are. But on the other hand the approach to work is very serious and I love the English approach. I had the luck to play in the United States with George Best in the 1970s. You sense this typical approach towards the game. Laugh at yourself but also give 101 per cent then afterwards have a beer. George wasn't drinking at that time though!"
Abramovich's relationship with Hiddink facilitated the former South Korea and Australia coach's move to the Premier League in the first place.
Wigan will attempt to halt Hiddink's winning start at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, when Hiddink will again pair the rejuvenated Didier Drogba with Nicolas Anelka up front.Reuse content