The 5-1 stomping of Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday was yet another showing of how spirits have been running high at Chelsea since Guus Hiddink's appointment as manager, with players once ostracized by The Previous One getting back into the fray. One of them is midfielder John Obi Mikel, who saw his resurgence as an important part of the Blues' starting XI in the last few months and makes it more than clear that he wants Guus Hiddink to stay at the club.
"If you speak to the players, 98 or 99 per cent of them want Guus to stay so I mean, we are very happy, we are performing well and let's hope this continues. Obviously, definitely, I want him to stay. It is the choice of the owner, the club and the board. They will have to decide."
"It depends on the board and it depends on Guus if he wants to continue. He has said that he is here until the end of the season, but you never know, he might change his mind. If the club want to appoint him, fair enough. His record speaks for itself. Let's hope he stays."
While Hiddink seems set on retiring following this season, perhaps Abramovich can convince the Dutchman to stay in football, perhaps in a task that isn't as demanding. Given the evidence from last summer and other poorly dealt summer transfer windows in previous seasons, the club and the board could certainly use someone with as much football knowledge as Hiddink in an advisory role.
To add to his previous praises of Hiddink, Mikel also lauded the way the new manager has lifted the atmosphere within Chelsea's dressing room once he took over, managing to get the players in a good mood.
"From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed. He has given responsibility to people and expects them to thrive on it and make sure they do it in a way where they feel comfortable. I think that is what the players are showing, now."
"When you come into the training ground, he doesn't get into people's business, he gets on with his own thing and players feel very comfortable and know exactly what to do so when he gets on the training pitch, he doesn't need to speak."
"We all know what he wants and it is the same when we go into a game. We get on the pitch and know exactly what he wants. He doesn't stand up that much to speak, but we know exactly what he wants."
"When he gets upset he tries to clear the air straight away. He speaks to whoever is involved and lets you know what you have done is wrong. This football club is bigger than anyone and he puts the record straight, right away. He does not hold grudges. It is finished and we move on. You can see it with Diego [Costa]. It takes a lot to get Diego in a good mood!"
-John Obi Mikel; Source: Telegraph
As a manager, Hiddink might not be as useful by this point of his career given how tactically conservative he's been - either out of necessity or just based on his own footballing philosophy. In any case, we will always be glad for his services in taking over the club at difficult times twice over the course of our recent history -- many, including fans begged him to stay in 2009, too -- and hopefully this can end on a sweet note, perhaps with a trophy along the way.