There aren’t too many better ways to spend the next 45 minutes than watching and listening (but mainly listening, since it’s a “live” episode of Sky’s Transfer Talk Podcast) to former Chelsea stars Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Eidur Gudjohnsen, two of the greatest attacking players to ever lace on their boots at Stamford Bridge, reflect on their Chelsea careers.
One of my personal favorite Chelsea players of all time, Gudjohnsen especially drops plenty of fun little details. It’s well worth your time.
- Their own transfers to Chelsea (both in 2000) — JFH from Leeds United by way of Atlético Madrid; Gudjohnsen, then just 21, from second division Bolton Wanderers — manager Gianluca Vialli a big draw for both of them
- Vialli’s sacking just three months later — Eidur finding out from television and calling up Jimmy (they were still both just living in a hotel, trying to get settled in!)
- The glorious JFH-Eidur partnership under Ranieri with Zola “sulking” — “Are we not brothers from different mothers?” (Hasselbaink, 2020)
- Beating Liverpool 2-1 in 2003 to secure Champions League qualification — Eidur talking about Chelsea CEO Trevor Birch telling them before the game that if we don’t qualify, we’re in deep [SHIRT] and will have to sell off half the squad.
- The Abramovich takeover — the extra pressures that brought and Ranieri telling them both that they will probably need to look for new clubs with Crespo, Mutu coming in! Eidur’s response? “No problem boss, I think I’ll be here long that you will” BOOM! JFH (angry) response? “Do what you need to do; I’ll be just fine.” Also correct.
- That match in Monaco — Ranieri’s death-knell
- Mourinho — JFH never meeting the new manager before getting sold; Eidur’s first impressions and first phone call and hearing exactly what he needed to hear. “The first team meeting we all looked at each other and said, ‘we’re going to win the league’”
- Mourinho’s squeezing all the juice out of the lemon — escalating demands and the three-year cycle
- Why Eidur left for Barcelona in 2006 — “Boss, we know, don’t we?”
- JFH failed Barcelona transfer in January 2003 — “Everything was agreed” but Van Gaal was sacked that night
- Mourinho v Guardiola v Klopp man-management styles — No hugs needed for these two, but all players need recognition and reassurance
- Enduring love for Chelsea — JFH: Chelsea were “the four best years of my career”; Eidur: “I absolutely loved my time there” (And how close he came to returning later, when Chelsea instead signed Anelka)