In the following article, we will review Chelsea managers history, from Ted Drake to glorious days under Jose Mourinho.
Founded in 1905,Chelsea
is one of the greatest clubs in England and Europe history. The English club, based in London, has won over thirty competitive honors, including seven European trophies and six league titles. In the Roman Abramovich era, the Blues and managers have not exactly been a match made in heaven. During 18 years, the club has changed 17 managers, but the truth is Abramovich has brought glory to the club. The Russian billionaire changed Chelsea into one of the most successful football clubs in the world.
The English club's success has caused to attract the world’s great players, includingDidier Drogba
, Arjen Robben, Petr Cech, Michael Ballack, Ashley Cole, Juan Mata, Nicolas Anelka, John Obi Mikel, Claude Makelele, Diego Costa, and Eden Hazard. Over the years, besides world-class players, the England club has attracted the biggest names in management.
The Blues' first manager was Scottish John Tait Robertson, while they won a major trophy under Ted Drake. Chelsea's longest-serving manager, who holds the position from 1907–33, is David Calderhead, and Danny Blanchflower is the club's shortest reigning permanent manager with 33 games. Ancelotti helped Chelsea win their first league and FA Cup Double, while Mourinho led the Blues to most domestic titles. So which manager has had an influential role in the club's success? You are about to find out in the Sportmob's article on
Chelsea managers history
Let's take a look at the best and worst Chelsea's managers of all time.
In this part of our article, we will present a countdown to the
best Chelsea managers of all time
, including Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Mourinho.
Way before the Russian billionaire's time, Ted Drake was manager of Chelsea from 1952 to 1961. He is unknown among the Blues' fans, but his achievements make him a crucial part of the club’s history. In 1955, Drake led the club to double, becoming the only Chelsea boss to win the league in the 20th century. He also introduced a ball work-based training regime and scouting reports.
The English manager preferred new talents over big names and also brought players with potential from the lower leagues. Bobby Tambling, Peter Brabrook, and Jimmy Greaves, the highest ever scorer in the English top-flight, played for the first time under Ted Drake. His contribution to the Blues will be etched in the club’s history.
Gianluca Vialli, legendry Italian, was among few footballers who was successful as a player at one club, and surpassed those achievements at that very club as manager. The fascinating part is that he gained notable successes during his time as player-manager of the club. Vialli moved to Chelsea in 1996, and the following season he became Chelsea player-manager. Following the sacking of Ruud Gullit, the 33-year-old Vialli became the first Italian to manage in the Premier League.
In his debut season, the Blues won League Cup, European Cup Winners' Cup, becoming the youngest manager to ever win a UEFA competition. After thirteen years, Andre Villas-Boas, FC Porto's 33 years and 213-day manager, won the Europa League and broke Gianluca Vialli's record. By beating Real Madrid, Chelsea won the European Super Cup in the next season. The Blues finished third in the Premier League in that season, with four points behindManchester United
, champions, and it was the English club's highest league finish since 1970.
In Vialli's second season, the Blues made their debut in the UEFA Champions League, and Chelsea's fans will not forget the club's memorable match; they defeated Barcelona 3-1 in the first leg of the quarterfinals. Due to his achievements, he is one of the best managers in Chelsea managers history.
In the late 90s and early 00s, Roberto Di Matteo excelled with the Blues as a player, winning one League Cup, two FA Cup titles, one Charity Shield title, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and one UEFA Cup, in 2011 he returned to the Blues as Andre Villas-Boas’ assistant.
Eight months later, his boss was sacked, the Italian became a manager with the club’s Champions League hopes. "Although he (Di Matteo) has set the bar very high in the short time he has been in charge, we know that Roberto is the right man to lead Chelsea onto further success. We are already looking forward to the 2012–13 season, which kicks off when Roberto, his staff and players return for pre-season," said Ron Gourlay, Chief executive.
The Blues started the 2012–13 Premier League well under Di Matteo, winning over Wigan Athletic, Reading, andNewcastle United
They went on to win four successive Premier League wins against Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, and Norwich City. In UEFA Champions League thrash Napoli in the second leg, and went on to win Benfica andBarcelona
; faced Bayern Munich in the final, and before it, the Italian manager lifted his first trophy in the form of the FA Cup. The Champions League final, which was held in Allianz Arena, dragged on to extra time, and the Blues triumphed over Bayern on penalties, becoming the first London club to win the Champions League title.
Although Chelsea had good performances in the initial stages of the new season, he was sacked when the English club was eliminated from Europe. The club's decision caused controversy amongst the pundits and the fans. Nevertheless, Roberto Di Matteo will go down as one of Chelsea’s greatest-ever managers.
The record of legendry Italian manager at Stamford Bridge proved why he is considered one of the best Chelsea managers ever. On 1 June 2009, Ancelotti was appointed as the Blues manager, and two months later, he won his first trophy in the form of the Community Shield, beating Manchester United on penalties. After Gianluca Vialli and Claudio Ranieri, Ancelotti was the third Chelsea's Italian manager.
In his debut season, the Italian led the Blues to the Premier League title, becoming the first Premier League team to score more than 100 goals in a single season (103 goals). After the Premier League title, the Italian manager led the Blues to an FA Cup triumph; Chelsea secured their first-ever domestic double under Ancelotti. Chelsea started the next season strongly but was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Champions League loss to Manchester United.
Although the Blues ended the season in second place, Ancelotti was sacked on the last day of the season following a 1-0 loss to Everton. The Italian finished his job at the England club with a record of 67 wins, 20 draws, and 22 losses in 109 matches, the third-highest win percentage in Premier League history, and the record was broken by Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson).
"Maybe the club wants to change something in the structure of the club and they sack a manager; it does not matter. The fact that I was sacked cannot change what I felt there. It was two fantastic years. There were problems in the second part of the final year, but at the end it was a fantastic experience," said Carlo Ancelotti on his dismissal.
's double, including a Champions League title, in 2004 under Jose Mourinho, the English club snapped up the Portuguese manager. He moved to Chelsea on a three-year contract. "We have top players and, sorry if I'm arrogant, we have a top manager. Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion, and I think I'm a special one," upon joining the Blues, Mourinho said in a press conference.
In his debut season, Mourinho helped Chelsea to lift the domestic double, setting the record for most Premier League points as well as the fewest goals conceded, setting the record for most Premier League points (95) and the fewest goals conceded (15). Also, the English club started the following season strongly, and Mourinho led the Blues to their second consecutive Premier League title and the Community Shield title.
Chelsea did not start the 2006-07 season strongly, however, he helped the Blues win the FA Cup and League Cup. In September 2007, Mourinho departed from Chelsea because of differences with owner Roman Abramovich.
In 2013, a Special one returned to Chelsea and said: "In my career I've had two great passions, Inter and Chelsea – and Chelsea is more than important for me. It was very, very hard to play against Chelsea, and I did it only twice which was not so bad. Now I promise exactly the same things I promised in 2004 with this difference to add: I'm one of you."
In his second season, Mourinho led the Blues to the Premier League title and League Cup. Once again he departed in 2015, and due to his success at the Blues, his name is among Chelsea's best managers.
In this part of our article on Chelsea managers history, we will take a look at the
worst Chelsea managers of all time
On 1 July 2008, Luiz Felipe Scolari was appointed as Chelsea manager, becoming the first World Cup-winning manager to manage in the Premier League. The pundits believed that his decision to join Chelsea was financial. "I'm 59, and I don't want to work as a coach until I'm 70. I want to retire in four or five years, so it was a financial matter, but there are other things," said Scolari.
Under the Portuguese manager, the Blues won 20 games, drew 11, and lost five times. All in all, the results and performances were not bad, and the Russian owner had no patience. In February 2009, Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked and became one of the worst Chelsea managers.
On 22 June 2011, Villas-Boas was named the Blues manager, and during his time, the England club scored 69 goals in 40 matches, but it was not enough to keep his job. He joined Blues on a three-year contract for a world record of €15 million (£13.3 million). He helped the English club win pre-season fixtures, conceding only one goal in all six games.
During 40 matches, Chelsea lost ten times and drew 11 under Villas-Boas, and the Portuguese manager had a win percentage of 48%, which is also one of the lowest of all of the Abramovich era.
In fact, hiring him was gambling due to his low experience in a managerial career. Following a defeat against West Brom, he was sacked, and Roberto Di Matteo was appointed as the Blues' new manager.
Late Ron Stuart's managerial career lasted less than a whole season at Chelsea. It was about time that there was less money available for players and managers. Chelsea just won eight times, drew 12, and lost 14 games out of 34 games under Ron Stuart. To be fair, Chelsea was struggling near the bottom of the league when the English manager took a charge of the Blues. He was one of the worst managers in the list of Chelsea coach history.
In the list of
Chelsea coach history
, Danny Blanchfower is one of the worst managers. He was the Blues manager less than a season. During his career as the Blues' manager, the English club won just five times, drew eight, and lost 19 games.
Chelsea conceded 68 goals and scored just 34 times under the Irish manager. It is worth mentioning that Danny Blanchfower made one of the best-known quotes on football: "The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom."
We wrap off our article on Chelsea managers history with a complete
list of Chelsea managers
from their First ever coach, John Tait Robertson, to their current one, Thomas Tuchel.
John Tait Robertson (1 August 1905 - 27 November 1906) – No title
William Lewis (27 November 1906 - 1 August 1907) – No title
David Calderhead (1 August 1907 - 8 May 1933) - No title
Leslie Knighton (8 May 1933 - 19 April 1939) – No title
Billy Birrell (19 April 1939 - 31 May 1952) - No title
Ted Drake (1 June 1952 - 30 September 1961) – 2 titles
Tommy Docherty (1 October 1961 - 6 October 1967) – One title
Ron Suart (6 October 1967 - 23 October 1967) - No title
Dave Sexton (23 October 1967 - 3 October 1974) – 2 titles
Ron Suart (3 October 1974 - 16 April 1975) – No title
Eddie McCreadie (16 April 1975 - 1 July 1977) – No title
Ken Shellito (7 July 1977 - 13 December 1978) – No title
Danny Blanchflower (14 December 1978 - 11 September 1979) – No title
Geoff Hurst (13 September 1979 - 23 April 1981) – No title
Bobby Gould (23 April 1981 - May 1981) - No title
John Neal (28 May 1981 - 11 June 1985) – One title
John Hollins (11 June 1985 - 6 March 1988) – One title
Bobby Campbell (6 March 1988 - 12 May 1991) – 2 titles
Ian Porterfield (11 June 1991 - 15 February 1993) – No title
David Webb (15 February 1993 - 11 May 1993) – No title
Glenn Hoddle (4 June 1993 - 10 May 1996) - No title
Ruud Gullit (10 May 1996 - 12 February 1998) – One title
Gianluca Vialli (12 February 1998 - 12 September 2000) – 5 titles
Graham Rix (13 September 2000 - 17 September 2000) – No title
Claudio Ranieri (17 September 2000 - 31 May 2004) – No title
Jose Mourinho (2 June 2004 - 19 September 2007) – 6 titles
Avram Grant (20 September 2007 - 24 May 2008) – No title
Luiz Felipe Scolari (1 July 2008 - 9 February 2009) – No title
Ray Wilkins (9 February 2009 - 15 February 2009) – No title
Guus Hiddink (16 February 2009 - 30 May 2009) – One title
Carlo Ancelotti (1 June 2009 - 22 May 2011) – 3 titles
Andre Villas-Boas (22 June 2011 - 4 March 2012) – No title
Roberto Di Matteo (4 March 2012 - 21 November 2012) – 2 titles
Rafael Benitez (21 November 2012 - 27 May 2013) – One title
Jose Mourinho (3 June 2013 - 17 December 2015) – 2 titles
Steve Holland (17 December 2015 - 19 December 2015) – No title
Guus Hiddink (19 December 2015 - 16 May 2016) – No title
Antonio Conte (3 July 2016 - 13 July 2018) – 2 titles
Maurizio Sarri (14 July 2018 - 16 June 2019) – One title
Frank Lampard (4 July 2019 - 25 January 2021) – No title
Thomas Tuchel (26 January 2021 – present) – One title
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