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Guus Hiddink would like to remind you, over and over again, that he saved Chelsea from relegation

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Sure, some of this can be attributed to the questions asked from the interim Chelsea manager.  Few things more repetitive and banal in this world than your typical press conference questions.  But it also reminds me of my late grandfather, who would often tell the same stories over and over and over again every time you saw him.  As fascinating as it was to hear about the time he and his teenage friends were heading to the railway station only to see planes fly overhead and watch as the railway station (and 2400 soldiers and civilians) got bombed to smithereens in World War II, after the first dozen or so retellings, the story kind of lost its impact.

Same goes for Hiddink and his personal war story of rescuing Chelsea from the relegation dogfight.

"Realistically we were on the spot. You look at the situation that Newcastle are in now. They are a big club and now they are fighting to get out [of relegation zone]."

"What I had to do maybe was to get [the players] more confident on one hand. Maybe on the other some were a bit complacent so we had to break moods in them. Was there a danger from being in 16th or 17th position, yes? When the water is up to [your chin] you have to be vary careful you don't get drowned."

In fairness, while proud of the team's accomplishments, Hiddink doesn't give himself an outstanding rating for pulling the club out of the dangerous waters.  With just one home win the league since he's taken over in December (and just 3 in 11 in all competitions), plus failed FA Cup and Champions League knockout round campaigns, doing so would've been a fair bit obscene.

"People [here] start sweating because there are experiences in the past where but clubs can go down. From thereon I am satisfied with the reaction of the team."

"I would have loved to have gone into the next round of the Champions League, I would have loved to have got to the FA Cup final. If that had happened I would have given myself a 10 plus. I am just happy that the team reacted in a difficult situation. But it wasn't a one man issue. I had a lot of support."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Mail

We'll never know of course how the season would've panned out if Mourinho had been kept in charge even after Chelsea dropped to within a point of the relegation zone.  Would results have reverted to the mean (or at least below average) as they have with Hiddink?  Would the pressures on the squad, both internal and external, have continued to erode our confidence and actually result in Chelsea getting relegated?  The former sure strikes me as a more probable outcome, but if there's one thing we learned form this Premier League season, it's that sometimes, the least probable things end up coming true.  So we might even beat Spurs on Monday!

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