As title defences go, Chelsea’s of 2014-15 will go down as one of the worst in football history.
The manager was sacked in December. A Champions League berth is seemingly out of reach. The team doctor is taking the club to court for constructive dismissal.
Chelsea need a saviour and there’s one man in the football universe who can return the Blues to the heights not just of last season, but of 2012, when the club lifted the Champions League trophy.
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That man is Pep Guardiola.
Last month the Bayern Munich announced his intentions to leave the German club at the end of the season and a move to the Premier League appears imminent.
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Manchester City are the favourites to appoint the former Barcelona manager but if Chelsea are to bounce back next year, Roman Abramovich cannot allow this to happen. If City appoint Guardiola, the Chelsea owner can wave goodbye to any dreams of seeing his side lift the Premier League title during Guardiola’s reign.
City have the resources and they’re a manager of Guardiola’s quality away from building a dynasty.
Chelsea were 16th in the league when the decision to sack Jose Mourinho was made, but it wasn’t just performance issues that saw the Portuguese fired.
Mourinho had created a bad aura around the club that was swiftly expanding - the touchline bust-up with Eva Carneiro in August, the constant bemoaning of officials.
Mourinho was making Chelsea unlikeable but with Guardiola at the helm, they can get back to being the best at playing football.
City may be the more attractive proposition from a financial standpoint but Chelsea have their appeals.
The Blues have an incredibly talented youth system - they have appeared in the final of the FA Youth Cup six out of the last eight years, winning four times. It may not be La Masia but where young talent is concerned, Chelsea are stacked.
Chelsea’s window of being a Premier League contender is closing. Arsenal are genuine title contenders now and Manchester United will continue to attract world-class managers - it’s only a matter of time before they find one.
Then there’s the threat posed by Leicester City, Liverpool, West Ham and Stoke City, all of whom have beaten Chelsea this season.
Chelsea stand the best possible chance of winning these contests with Guardiola as manager.
The next best option for the Blues is Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone. Madrid have won a La Liga title, Copa del Rey trophy and the Europa League under Simeone, and came within seconds of winning the Champions League.
Simeone will give Chelsea a fighting chance but he’s not proven to the extent of Pep and it’s still unclear if he even wants to leave Madrid.
If Chelsea allow City to appoint Guardiola they could be set for years of watching Sergio Aguero and co. lift the Premier League title. For that reason, they should do everything they can to grab him.