I keep hearing this insane theory that Chelsea FC would be putting themselves into real trouble going forward if they make the decision this evening to part ways with interim manager Rafa Benitez. After all, Chelsea have earned themselves a reputation of being quick to fire managers when things start to turn sour, so who in their right mind would one want to leave their perfectly stable job in order to take the Chelsea hot seat?
Here's the thing with managers though,,,the best of them, like the best players, are not short on confidence at all. They're going to look at what they have to work with, and think about what they are capable of doing with those parts. Sure, any sane candidate isn't going to be expecting a 15-year tenure with the club, but nobody that should be considered for the job is going to approach with an expectation of failing.
When it comes down to it, any potential Chelsea manager is going to be looking at several very appealing things when they are considering the club. Just off the top of my head...
- Notoriety - With the Chelsea job comes plenty of publicity, and managing a club like Chelsea (even if it ends in the sack) is going to be good for your career in the long term. Being a former Chelsea manager has loads of prestige, and probably hasn't hurt anyone in the Roman Abramovich era.
- Paycheck - The Chelsea job is probably going to come with a rather significant raise for every single person that might get the job. I don't know if you realized this, but Chelsea pay well.
- London - London is one of the biggest cities on the planet, and probably is a big selling point for the vast majority of potential candidates. After all, who would want to live in Manchester instead?
- Talent - Chelsea squad is absolutely packed with young talent already, and they could probably assemble a team that would be promoted from the Championship from their surplus to the requirements on loan. Stepping back and looking at things from a potential managers perspective, they'd be hard pressed not to be drooling when looking at the talent already at hand.
- Deep Pockets - Chelsea spend to bring in top talent. They have for years, they do it mid-season if need be, and they probably won't be changing that pattern at any point in the near future.
- Facilities - The training ground at Cobham is an absolutely world class facility, and it will be a massive upgrade to the facilities at all but a very select group of clubs.
- Other Resources - I've mentioned once or twice that Chelsea have loads of money, and with that comes more scouting, better training staffs, travel, hotels, meals, and anything else that might make a managers job easier to do. Their really aren't limits at Chelsea at the moment.
It's easy to look at Chelsea's past with managers and come to the conclusion that most sane individuals wouldn't want to put themselves in that situation, but that's probably not the case at all. Sure, a guy like Pep Guardiola that had his choice of any of the world's biggest clubs might pick another international giant over Chelsea, but Pep is certainly the exception as opposed to the rule.
Even with the recent shelf life of Chelsea's managers taken into account, all of the other factors will still make the job exceptionally appealing to the vast majority of candidates. The club could go through three more managers by the end of this season and there would still be loads of qualified individuals jumping at the chance to replace them. It's not a perfect job, but it's still one of the best in the world, and top candidates will always be interested.