With all the talk of bookies odds I thought I'd go take a look at the odds list for the next permanent Chelsea manager and report back the results. I ended up averaging a wide variety of sources into one list, then sorting through it all, so this doesn't reflect any one bookmaker in particular. There may be snarky commentary, and grades will be given entirely in smily faces.
Harry Redknapp (2.4 : 1)
Current manager of Tottenham Hotspur. 5th in the Premier League after late collapse, team overperformed to get into Champions League position in 2009/10, took advantage of opposition's inability to deal with width to advance to quarter-finals. Once signed a man who'd never played football. Tactical inability overstated, still poor. Massively overrated due to English-ness. Might be worth signing and then putting on gardening leave for a few years just to keep him out of football.
Rating: >:( >:(
Guus Hiddink (2.6 : 1)
Current manager of Turkey's national team. Prior experience with Chelsea, favours 4-3-3, has won European Cup with PSV Eindhoven. Player and fan favourite; excellent manager. Possibly more interested in Director of Football role, recently reminded world that current focus was on his actual job rather than the Blues vacancy.
Marco van Basten (3.5 : 1)
Read Macro van Basten's profile here. Good developer of youth, which we require, actual managerial skills (tactical, motivational) perhaps in question. Talked about as van Basten/Hiddink partnership, unclear whether it's wise to have a manager in that situation whose primary strength is developmental rather than on-field. Still interesting, however.
Andre Villas-Boas (5.7 : 1)
Former Chelsea scout, has stepped out of Jose Mourinho's shadow to become a brilliant manager in his own right. Favours 4-3-3, undefeated with Porto, could bring some very interesting players with him. Top tactician and motivator, less abrasive than the Special One. Prior Chelsea experience huge plus. Knocks against him include lack of experience and possible issues with control of the dressing room at Stamford Bridge.
Massimiliano Allegri (8 : 1)
I don't know why he's on this list, but ok. Allegri guided AC Milan to the Scudetto in his first year with the club, mainly by acquiring talented players and getting out of their way as they did their stuff. Not going anywhere, but interesting name.
Mark Hughes (8.8 : 1)
Pep Guardiola (10.7 : 1)
Overrated because of Barcelona-yness, no reason to leave best team in world, would be perfectly acceptable if he brought over Xavi, Lionel Messi, and Sergio Busquets. Busquets is so I could hunt him down and kick him in the nuts more easily.
Jose Mourinho (16.7 : 1)
Steve Clarke (20 : 1)
Widely regarded as the tactical brains behind the squad during Avram Grant's reign, contribution to the club hugely understated as both player and coach. Currently under Kenny Dalglish's wing at Liverpool. Deverse a change to manage in his own right, but not at Chelsea. Yet.
Frank Rijkaard (22.4 : 1)
Used to manage Barcelona and therefore will always be on lists like these. Guardiola without the eye for youth players. Pass.
Rafael Benitez (23.5 : 1)
This is what's commonly known as 'taking the piss'. Over our dead bodies.
Cesare Prandelli (28 : 1)
Currently embedded in a long-term rebuilding effort with the Italian national team. Has been in job for nine months. He's not going anywhere.
Didier Deschamps (28.2 : 1)
Quite an interesting name, actually. Obvious Chelsea connections and is doing a superb job managing Marseille - Chelsea met him in the group stages of the Champions League, and the Ligue Un side came much close to knocking Manchester United out of the competition than Chelsea did. Excellent manager, if minimally experienced; would much prefer him to be higher up the list.
Jurgen Klopp (28.3 : 1)
Manages Borussia Dortmund, who won the Bundesliga on account of being really quite good during one of Bayern Munich's off-years. Exciting, skillful football thanks to a bevy of young players coming through the ranks, might actually be a very good fit for Chelsea. But why would he leave?
Martin ONeill (28.8 : 1)
I would accept this choice only if it was all part of a practical joke for him to walk out on the team before opening day and be replaced by our real manager. Think of the laughs! As far as actual managerial stuff, no. No no no.
Fabio Capello (29.9 : 1)
The Italian, better-dressed version of Harry Redknapp. I would kill myself.
Manuel Pelligrini (30.5 : 1)
A fine manager at Malaga and interesting enough, but I have no idea why he might be on this list. What's up with that?
Ronald Koeman (33.3 : 1)
Bert van Marwijk (35 : 1)
Joined the finest traditions of Dutch football by being on the losing side of a World Cup final. Plays surprisingly boring football. Meh.
Gianfranco Zola (35.5 : 1)
Franco will always get a smile from me. Underrated as manager, too. Still not ready for a big club. I will never, ever, ever forgive West Ham United for sacking him.
Roberto Donadoni (36.5 : 1)
Flamboyant, entertaining, inconsistent. There's an air of Scolari about this one, and I'd prefer to enjoy Donadoni from afar. He is fun though.
Arsene Wenger (37.7 : 1)
Well Chelsea do want to bring in the kids, right. Why not go with the master? I don't think Wenger's actually a bad manager, and if he was given more money to play with he might actually do very well with Chelsea. He's not going to go anywhere, however, and he's certainly not coming to Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Mancini (38.3 : 1)
Here's how Chelsea would have lined under Roberto Mancini last season: Petr Cech; Ashley Cole, John Terry, Alex, Branislav Ivanovic; David Luiz; Jon Obi Mikel; Florent Malouda, Michael Essien, Ramires; Didier Drogba.
Louis van Gaal (38.4 : 1)
Ralf Rangnick (42.8 : 1)
A coach even less able to deal with Manchester United in the Champions League than Carlo Ancelotti was! Clearly we should sign him.
Marcelo Lippi (49.2 : 1)
I am slightly surprised to find out that Marcelo Lippi is still alive. Good manager, although he's been out of club football for seven years and as best I can tell has never managed outside of Italy. Not sure how he'd cope with England - no slight against the Serie A as it is now, but in the early 2000s? Awful.
Glenn Hoddle (49.7 : 1)
Sven Goran Eriksson (51.2 : 1)
I think it would be awesome if he and Hoddle were co-managers, but that's because I have an awful awful sense of humour. That said, he Eriksson would give Patrick van Aanholt more playing time, which would be aces.
Martin Jol (55 : 1)
Not on your life.
Steve McClaren (56.5 : 1)
What John Terry needs is a manager to coddle him. John Terry's problem: Not enough love in his life. Considering what happened to Wolfsburg this year, might get us relegated.
Slaven Bilic (62 : 1)
Slaven Bilic is amazing. Good tactics, great style of play, looks like he could take on Nemanja Vidic in s knife-fight and emerge triumphant. He'd actually be a pretty fun appointment.
Jurgen Klinsmann (62.6 : 1)
I am in favour of any coach who believes in proper counterattacking football and a youth movement, and I am not in favour of anyone who's played for Tottenham Hotspur as well as Klinnsman did. Therefore, I am officially neutral on this one.
Dennis Wise (66 : 1)
No to Dennis Wise, manager; HELL YES to Dennis Wise, club public relations man. I literally cannot think of a better idea than that.
David Moyes (69.4 : 1)
Has anyone noticed that David Moyes hasn't really done anything with Everton lately? I have. Many will blame that on the club not being ready for the next step up, but that might have something to do with the manager as well, no? If he comes with Leighton Baines I'd give it a shot.
Owen Coyle (70.7 : 1)
He needs to stay at Bolton Wanderers and groom Josh McEachran into Wilshere 2.0 (the upgraded version sees the annoyingness toned down a lot at the expense of looking like a zombie). I can't see him at Chelsea. At all.
Diego Maradona (75 : 1)
Ok, Dennis Wise as Chelsea's PR guy is no longer the best idea ever. Diego Maradona managing Chelsea is the best idea ever. I would happily watch multiple seasons of that, especially if he was a player-manager. Just signed with Al Wasl, though, so he's probably not coming.
Luiz Felipe Scolari (83 : 1)
That's just rude, bookmakers. Rude.
Joachim Low (85.1 : 1)
He's like Jurgen Klinnsman only without the having played for Tottenham part. Great manager, would fit in extremely well with a long-term rebuilding effort, and I love his team's style of play. One problem; So would Germany, and he already works for them.
Avram Grant (88.9 : 1)
Leonid Slutsky (94 : 1)
I have no idea who this man is. I really ought to pay more attention to the Russian Premier League.
Roy Hodgson (100 : 1)
I would like Chelsea to play like a lower mid table team that plays 4-4-2 and hopes to score off a set piece while not conceding too many. I would also like to put up a statue of Michael Jackson outside Stamford Bridge, sign Clint Dempsey, and basically become Fulham. WAIT NO I WOULDN'T
Roy Keane (100 : 1)
Only if it's a trap to lure him into Roman Abramovich's torture chambers. You know he has them.
Gus Poyet (124.8 : 1)
If Poyet had just a couple more years of experience he'd be far higher up on this list. Chelsea pedigree, sublime tactical awareness (good example - he hates knocking the ball back to the goalkeeper from halfway because it turns possession on the halfway line into a 50/50 aerial ball five yards into the opposition half) and a fun name. What more could you ask other than experience managing in a team that isn't Brighton & Hove Albion? One for the future, however.
Laurent Blanc (132.7 : 1)
Something tells me that Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien, Ramires, Jon Obi Mikel and Ashley Cole wouldn't be very happy about this one.
Ray Wilkins (143.1 : 1)
Ok, thins would be pretty funny as well. There's nothing that says he can manage a club, and lots that says he will never, ever work at Chelsea again, making him a sure bet to be our manager next year.
Ian Holloway (150 : 1)
Dennis Wise: Public relations. Diego Maradona: Director of Football. Ian Holloway: Manager. I love this alternate universe I have constructed. It's brilliant.
Sir Alex Ferguson (150 : 1)
Sir Alex Ferguson is a world-class manager and I would totally forgive that 'Manchester United' business so long as his exit was suitably hilarious. But he's not coming. Ever.
Roberto Di Matteo (155.4 : 1)
I am still angry at West Brom for firing him. We should actually fuse Zola, di Matteo and Poyet into one super-person to manage the club. That might actually work pretty well.
Steve Staunton (200 : 1)
The last time he managed a football team was slightly before the discovery of penicillin.
Terry Venables (250 : 1)
My main memory of Terry Venables is a certain England team that made me cry when I was little. Now I'm getting those memories back and it's no fun at all.
Zico (303 : 1)
Who the hell are you?
David OLeary (500 : 1)
I considered just deleting him since I was at the end of the list and had nothing interesting to say. How do you get fired from Al-Alhi Dubai?