How does Sarri compare to Chelsea bosses under Abramovich?
Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the Roman Abramovich era following Maurizio Sarri’s switch to Serie A champions Juventus.
Frank Lampard is widely reported to be first choice to take charge at Stamford Bridge, with the former Chelsea midfielder set to return after a single season gathering managerial experience in the Championship with Derby County.
Sarri was far from universally popular with Chelsea fans despite winning the Europa League, reaching the EFL Cup final and finishing third in the Premier League.
But how does he compare with Chelsea’s many other managers under Russian billionaire Abramovich? Omnisport crunches the Opta numbers to find out.
When Abramovich bought Chelsea in 2003, Ranieri was the man in the Stamford Bridge dugout – but he left the following year. The genial Italian won 61 percent of his matches in charge under Abramovich as Chelsea – who bought players including Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele, Juan Sebastian Veron and Hernan Crespo in a spending spree – finished second in the Premier League behind Arsenal’s Invincibles. Chelsea also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League that year but Ranieri’s decisions in a defeat to Monaco were questioned.
Announcing himself as a “special one” on his arrival, Mourinho justified his own lofty billing by leading the club to the Premier League title, as well as the EFL Cup. They got to the last four of the Champions League again only to be beaten by Liverpool thanks to a controversial Luis Garcia goal. The Blues defended their Premier League title the next season but were unseated by Manchester United in 2006-07, although Mourinho led them to triumphs in both domestic cups. A poor start to 2007-08, including a Champions League draw at home to Rosenborg, saw Mourinho leave the club.
He returned in 2013 and Chelsea won the Premier League again in his second season in charge, as well as collecting another EFL Cup. But he left once more in December 2015, with his win ratio across both spells at the club, in all competitions, standing at an excellent 63.6 percent.
In Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich’s appointment of Grant in a technical role reportedly led to tensions and the Israeli was then installed in the dugout. Despite being unpopular with fans, Grant steered Chelsea to the final of the EFL Cup, when they were beaten by Tottenham, and they finished second in the Premier League. Somewhat improbably, Grant’s Chelsea also reached the Champions League final but they lost to Manchester United on penalties after John Terry’s slip.
LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI
Former Brazil boss Scolari, who led them to World Cup glory, failed to complete a single season at Chelsea as they sacked him in February 2009 citing “deteriorating” results. Scolari won just 55.6 per cent of his games in charge of Chelsea.
Then-Russia coach Hiddink arrived as a temporary successor to Scolari and took Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they lost to Barcelona. They won the FA Cup final in his last game in charge but despite being popular with fans and players, he did not stay on.
Hiddink was a natural choice to return when Mourinho left a second time and a 12-game unbeaten run helped the Blues finish in the top half of the Premier League. Despite this, his win ratio across his two periods at Chelsea stands at just 53.1 percent.
Ancelotti arrived in 2009 and Chelsea pipped United to the Premier League title in his first season, adding the FA Cup to seal a domestic double. But United beat Chelsea in Europe and the Premier League in the following campaign and Ancelotti was dismissed even though his61.5 per cent win ratio in all competitions was admirable.
Like Mourinho, Villas-Boas joined from Porto but he could not match his compatriot’s success. With Chelsea outside the top four in the Premier League, he was sacked in March 2012 with a win ratio of 47.5 per cent – the lowest of any Blues boss in the Abramovich era.
ROBERTO DI MATTEO
Another temporary manager, Di Matteo moved up from being assistant to Villas-Boas and the Italian oversaw victory in the FA Cup final against Liverpool. Di Matteo also managed Chelsea to a remarkable defeat of Barcelona in the semi-finals of the Champions League, then Didier Drogba’s penalty in the shoot-out saw them beat Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena home and claim the club’s first European Cup.
Di Matteo was rewarded with a permanent contract but was dismissed after a Champions League group-stage loss to Juventus. His eight months in charge, while delivering two major trophies, yielded a win ratio of 57.1 percent.
Former Liverpool manager Benitez, whose win ratio was 58.3 per cent at Stamford Bridge, was another appointment that was unpopular with fans. But he secured Champions League qualification and more European silverware, with the Blues beating Benfica 2-1 in the Europa League final.
Another Italian, Conte took charge after successful periods at Juventus and Italy. They won the Premier League title in style in his first season but Conte left despite beating United in the FA Cup final in the following campaign. Conte’s win ratio of 65.1 percent at the club is second only to Grant and he will be a Serie A rival for Sarri next term as he has been appointed by Inter.
2.14 – Antonio Conte averaged 2.14 points per game as a manager in the Premier League; only Sir Alex Ferguson (2.16) and Pep Guardiola (2.34) have averaged more in the competition’s history (min. 10 games managed). Ciao.
Sarri’s style never won fans over but third place in the Premier League, coupled with an appearance in the EFL Cup final – overshadowed by Kepa Arrizabalaga refusing to be substituted – and Europa League glory marked a successful single season. Sarri’s 61.9 percent win ratio at the club narrowly pips fellow Italian Ancelotti, who replaced him at Napoli last year.