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Every Chelsea manager of the Roman Abramovich era: where are they now?

Chelsea
(Image credit: Getty)

Frank Lampard's time as Chelsea manager is looking increasingly vulnerable – with sections of the media claiming his sacking is now an inevitability. The 42-year-old's legendary playing career has bought him more time than many predecessors were afforded, but owner Roman Abramovich has rarely been a man of great sentiment when it comes to hiring and firing.

Since purchasing the club for £140m in 2003, the Russian has been through a total of 12 Chelsea bosses. Some of those men faded into obscurity after leaving West London and others went on to enjoy remarkable success elsewhere. Here, we take a look at how every Blues boss got on after receiving his P45 from the Russian. We start with the man currently in charge, for reference.

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: July 2019 - present
Titles: None
Win ratio: 52%

Blues legend Frank Lampard was handed his dream managerial job in July 2019, one month after leading Derby County to defeat against Aston Villa in the Championship Play-Off Final. Despite a transfer embargo, Lampard took Chelsea to a top four finish in his first campaign, before receiving heavy backing in the transfer market last summer. Six major signings were brought in - including Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy - at a cost of more than £220m. Results have been underwhelming since, and Lampard is fighting to save his job. 

Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: July 2018 - July 2019
Titles: Europa League
Win ratio: 62%

Large sections of the fanbase were unimpressed with former Napoli manager Sarri’s possession-based tactics and the Italian was sacked after just one year in charge. This, despite finishing in the top four and winning the 2019 Europa League - though it must be said the chain-smoking coach was also keen to leave Stamford Bridge. 

Sarri returned home to manage Juventus for the COVID-ravaged 2019/20 season, and won Serie A for the first time in his career. Elimination in the last 16 of the Champions League saw him sacked in August, however, and he remains without a club. 

Antonio Conte

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: July 2016 - July 2018
Titles: Premier League, FA Cup
Win ratio: 65%

After Italy’s elimination at the hands of Germany in the Euro 2016 quarterfinals, Azzurri coach Conte joined Chelsea on a three-year deal. A shaky start to life at Stamford Bridge preceded a 13 game winning streak between September 2016 and January 2017 - one which helped the Blues on their way to the title. 

Conte secured the 2018 FA Cup Final too, but a fifth-place finish in 2017/18 saw him given the elbow. 

The Italian was appointed Inter boss in May 2019. The Nerazzurri finished runners-up in Serie A and the Europa League last season. 

Guus Hiddink (Interim)

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: December 2015 - May 2016
Titles: None
Win ratio: 37% 

In December 2015, Dutchman Hiddink arrived at Stamford Bridge on an interim basis for the second time in his managerial career, replacing the sacked Jose Mourinho a week before Christmas. 

He made a positive impact, leading Chelsea from 16th in the table to 10th by the end of the season. 

He left at the conclusion of the campaign, and has since enjoyed spells in charge of China’s U21s and U23s and the Curacao national team – although due to the pandemic, he has yet to oversee a game in charge of them.

Jose Mourinho

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: June 2013 - December 2015
Titles: Premier League, League Cup
Win ratio: 59%

The Special One’s second season during his second spell at Stamford Bridge saw the Blues claim a Premier League and League Cup double - his sixth and seventh major titles overall with the club. 

High profile fallouts with physio Eva Carneiro and Eden Hazard caused issues on and off the field in his third campaign, though, and Mourinho was sacked in December 2015. 

He has gone on to manage Manchester United - where he won a League Cup and Europa League double in 2017 - and Tottenham Hotspur

Rafael Benitez (Interim)

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: November 2012 - May 2013
Titles: Europa League
Win ratio: 58%

Though the Stamford Bridge faithful never warmed to him, former Liverpool gaffer Rafael Benitez masterminded Chelsea’s Europa League triumph in 2013 before leaving for Naples. 

Benitez won a Coppa Italia during his time in Italy before a disappointing spell at Real Madrid. After his 2016 Bernabeu sacking, the Spaniard took charge of Newcastle, with whom he was relegated and subsequently promoted. But a lack of financial backing led to his departure in 2019, and he has managed Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional ever since.  

Roberto Di Matteo

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: March 2012 - November 2012
Titles: Champions League, FA Cup
Win ratio: 57%

Former Blues midfielder Di Matteo was promoted from assistant to interim boss after the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in 2012. He led Chelsea to FA Cup glory over Liverpool at Wembley, and the club’s first and only Champions League success shortly after. 

The shootout win over Bayern Munich in the final remains the club’s greatest triumph, yet Di Matteo was sacked only four months later after a disappointing start to the following campaign. 

He went on to manage Bundesliga outfit Schalke, and Aston Villa during their spell in the Championship. He was relieved of his duties by the Midlands club in October 2016 - three months into his tenure - and hasn't managed since. 

Andre Villas-Boas

Chelsea

(Image credit: Getty)

Tenure: June 2011 - March 2012
Titles: None
Win ratio: 48%

Touted as the next Mourinho after treading the same path between Porto and west London in 2011, Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea boss after just 19 wins from 40 matches. He later took charge of Spurs, where he presided over the spending of the “Bale money” following the Welshman’s sale to Real Madrid. 

He left by mutual consent after 80 games and took charge of Zenit St. Petersburg. There, the Portugese coach won the Russian Premier League and domestic cup. He then spent a year with Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG before becoming manager of Marseille in May 2019.

Carlo Ancelotti

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: June 2009 - May 2011
Titles: Premier League, FA Cup
Win ratio: 61%

Ancelotti enjoyed a successful two-year stint in west London, with a Premier League and FA Cup double secured in his first campaign. 

Failure to win the Premier League in his second season led to his dismissal, despite boasting the third-best Premier League win percentage ever at the time. 

He subsequently won Ligue 1 with PSG, a Champions League, Copa Del Rey and FIFA Club World Cup with Real Madrid and the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich. 

A spell at Napoli preceded his current position, with Everton, back in the Premier League. 

Guus Hiddink (Interim)

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: February 2009 - May 2009 
Titles: FA Cup
Win ratio: 73%

The Dutchman’s first term as interim boss saw him replace Luiz Felipe Scolari for the final 22 matches of the 2008/09 season, while simultaneously managing Russia. 

He lost only once as Blues boss - to Spurs in the Premier League - as he led the club to a third-placed finish and victory in the FA Cup final over Everton. 

He departed at the end of the season and went on to manage the Turkish national team, Anzhi Makhachkala and the Netherlands before a second interim stint at Stamford Bridge in 2015. 

Luiz Felipe Scolari

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: July 2008 - February 2009
Titles: None
Win ratio: 56%

"Big Phil" Scolari became the only World Cup-winning manager to coach in the Premier League after he arrived in west London in 2008. 

However, a poor start to the season saw him sacked the following February. He has gone on to manage an array of clubs across the globe, including in Uzbekistan, China and Brazil, winning titles in the former two nations. 

He also made a return to the Brazilian national team in 2012. He currently manages Cruzeiro.

Avram Grant

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: September 2007 - May 2008
Titles: None
Win ratio: 67%

Grant became the first Israeli Premier League boss when he took over from the recently sacked Jose Mourinho in September 2007. 

He got the chop at the end of the season despite finishing as a runner-up in both the Premier League and Champions League. He went on to manage Portsmouth and West Ham, before departing England for managerial stints with Partizan Belgrade and the Ghanain national team. 

He is currently interim manager of Indian top-flight club NorthEast United. 

Jose Mourinho

Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Jose Mourinho and John Terry at Chelsea with the Premier League trophy

(Image credit: PA)

Tenure: June 2004 - September 2007 
Titles: Two Premier Leagues, FA Cup, two League Cups
Win ratio: 67%

Jose Mourinho ended Chelsea’s 50-year wait for a league title when his team secured the 2004/05 Premier League with a then-record points tally of 95. 

Two further years of success preceded his shock sacking in September 2007, a result of a major falling out with the board. 

"The Special One" went on to win a treble with Inter and a league and Copa Del Rey with Real Madrid before his return to west London in 2015. 

Claudio Ranieri

Chelsea

(Image credit: PA Images)

Tenure: September 2003 - May 2004
Titles: None
Win ratio: 61%

Taking only the Abramovich-era spell into account, Ranieri’s record was actually excellent as he led the team to second in the Premier League and the last four in Europe. 

His sacking was inevitable, mind, and his career has been a mixed bag since. 

The Italian has been through 12 managerial posts across five countries, including stints at Valencia, Roma, Juventus, the Greek national team and Fulham. 

Ligue 2 success with Monaco in 2013/14 looked set to be the crowning glory of a half-decent career, before a controversial appointment at Leicester City in 2015 changed everything. 

Ranieri led the Foxes to perhaps the greatest underdog triumph in football history, winning the Premier League with a team hotly tipped for relegation. He currently manages Sampdoria in Serie A. 

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