In the second-to-last match of the season, Chelsea will be visiting Europa League finalists Liverpool. While Liverpool have at least one massive game left this season (hint: it's probably not this one, later tonight), Chelsea have nothing left to fight for. The fans, the players, and the manager are all looking forward to the future, where, we're assuming, better days await.
Except maybe when it comes to John Terry.
"He has been training the recent days. Of course, when you come on the pitch for training after being sent off, it's not the most beautiful thing. In training, he started to lift up his morale and trained ok. But being there in the last few days."
"When I make a judgement on how he plays, fitness, age, he's able to continue. Where? It's up to the club. It would have been last game, that's not up to me. In any case, it's not been a good season, so it's always good to see the key players playing. Especially for your own crowd, and champions Leicester."
"I do not know the fans' state of mind. It's not a question for me - the board and the management. Whatever the club might think - it's difficult for me to answer about John Terry."
"If he stays, it's clear, if he goes... In the last option, he deserves a huge goodbye. It's never really goodbye, after going away, calming down, they can make a big impact on the culture of the club. Like Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Petr Cech, they can be very useful."
None of the names mentioned by Hiddink have made a return to Chelsea yet — their goodbyes, so far, have really been goodbyes — but we saw it almost happen with Didier Drogba, who was set to re-join the club in January in a coaching capacity but ultimately didn't as his contract with MLS's Montreal Impact only ends at the end of the calendar year. It wouldn't be illogical to assume that once his obligations with Montreal are over, Drogba would complete his move to Chelsea as a staff member — and so could Terry.
"The other day we were speaking to each other before the game in Bournemouth. We discussed about sitting in that spot [as a coach]. It felt good. Those players have the experience, like in the past, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman, they were also in the latter period of their career."
"They start thinking what should I do now? Most of them want to stay in football. John has always been a leader, you can always rely on him. He can make this step, but you need time to switch off from your career in my experience, then time to start your manager career."
In more immediate coaching matters, Chelsea will soon have a new manager in Antonio Conte. Hiddink is adamant to let the new man work with a clean slate, just as he himself wanted to after replacing Mourinho (no secret breakfast meetings and the like, as some had rumored).
"I want to be fair to the players, I'm not going to give judgement. I have to work with them now. They [Conte and his staff] are clever enough to make their own judgement. I didn't want information in December - everyone has a coloured view, right or wrong. However you make your judgement."
But that's not to say that Hiddink will be retiring completely from the world of football. While he doesn't expect to be "in the limelight" as a manager anymore, he will still be involved in some capacity — and perhaps even with Chelsea.
"I will be involved, not in the limelight. Helping clubs, players. What we can improve. This week, for instance, we had a small encounter with a company following development of young players. The technical part of the game. In Holland, I am an adviser with them. We like it very much, it's a modern approach. I like to do those things - here or elsewhere."
"A lot of people have been saying goodbye? I have been here before, it won't be forever, but I have mentioned that I will be here, not in the spotlight."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Get West London
Hiddink, after his mighty impressive first stint in 2009, certainly showed some weaknesses this time around, but his vast experience could still be potentially helpful behind the scenes. Here's hoping that we will see Hiddink again in the future, just not on the sidelines.