With a disjointed dressing room perhaps proving the biggest contributor to the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink must assert his authority on the squad or face a similar fate.
The Dutchman has collected a number of doubters upon returning to Stamford Bridge with many concerned the veteran has bitten off more than he can chew.
The magnitude of the debacle at Chelsea cannot be underestimated and there’s no quick fix. Whilst a manager swap is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it’s hard to tell how toxic the dressing room remains.
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Its been high publicised how alienated the Chelsea squad has become in recent months, with Mourinho’s word becoming more and more devalued by the weeks.
Hiddink’s priority should be to exercise his power and demonstrate to the players just who is in charge.
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If the Dutchman allows the Blues to descend into anarchic chaos once again, then the losses will continue to chafe away at Roman Abramovich’s patience.
At the moment, Chelsea’s squad is a bog of conflicting egos and unless someone whips them back up into a team, the turmoil will persist. Hiddink must rekindle the form of 2014/15 by bringing the players together to work as one.
Dropping a number of Chelsea’s key stars may prove the answer as to how Hiddink can stamp down his iron rod.
If stars such as Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa aren’t pulling their weight, Hiddink should not succumb to their reputation and should prioritise form. This is where Mourinho suffered so spectacularly.
Hiddink should inject youth and only play Chelsea’s big-money stars when they truly warrant a place.
In dropping players such as Eden Hazard, the 69-year-old will be showing that he is in charge and that the club’s stars are no longer guaranteed a spot in the squad.
As long as Hiddink executes this in an intelligent manner, Fabregas and co. will raise their game in order to force their place back onto the team sheet.
Comparatively, under Mourinho, Chelsea’s stars knew they were guaranteed game time because the Portuguese was so tactically stubborn. Hiddink cannot allow this slacking to typify his reign also.
Hiddink undoubtedly has a difficult tenure ahead of him and the Dutchman may never truly comprehend the turmoil Chelsea find themselves in.
However, above all else, the Dutchman’s priority must lie with making sure the players know who's boss at Stamford Bridge.
The 69-year-old needs to grab the bull by the horns and ensure he doesn’t succumb to the powerful egos that swamp the dressing room. It must be demonstrated that nobody is guaranteed a place in the side; the competitivity must return to the club.
With so many vocal characters in the squad it will be a difficult task for Hiddink but if he wields his respect intelligently, he will bring Chelsea back to winning ways.
On the other hand, if the players continue to hold the power at Chelsea, then the Dutchman will prove just another manager in the employment merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge.
It's dog-eat-dog at Chelsea and Hiddink must resurrect a squad in tatters; he has to gain the respect of the players or the big names will be swift to plunge him into a whirlpool of negative press.
Can Hiddink succeed at Chelsea? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below
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