Sunday’s match at Anfield is going to be horrible for two very clear reasons. Firstly, away to Liverpool is always a ridiculously difficult game and even more so this season given our top four pursuit and our fixture list. The second reason is the Interim One Rafael Benitez and his love affair with Liverpool, should Sunday end in a defeat I suspect Mr. Interim’s reputation with the Chelsea fans will hit a new low. The love affair that will surround his return to Anfield will be vomit inducing. Thankfully though we are entering his last month in charge as the interim which means there is increased speculation as to whom the new Chelsea manager will be and there are two names that stand out the most.
Like on Wednesday I firmly believe Fernando Torres should start at Anfield. Why? Because he is in form and is finally showing why Chelsea paid so much for him and he will be raring to score a goal against his former club. Also as wasteful as he has been in the past, Torres compliments Chelsea’s system far more than Demba Ba. However, I would also start Demba Ba on Sunday because it gives us the Plan B should Torres return to his former self during the match. Demba Ba has been able to win long balls, but there has never been anyone willing to win the second ball as Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard are easily bundled off the ball.
Playing Torres would allow the second balls to be won and with Torres’ burst of pace it could be fruitful. Another reason I would like to see both of them start is because the other option is one of Victor Moses, Marko Marin or Oscar. Moses and Marin haven’t exactly shown themselves to be world class players while Oscar is suffering the toll of a long season which has seen him play over 60 matches. In a match of this intensity it would be better to keep the Brazilian on the bench and bring him on for the last 20 minutes or so to have a go at a tiring defence. At the back I would keep with the centre-back pairing of David Luiz and John Terry as it is by far and away the best pairing in the Chelsea line up, why Terry was dropped on Sunday against Manchester City only the Interim knows.
Speaking of the interim, I am very thankful that his reign as Chelsea’s manager is almost over. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a countdown clock, hopefully he has brushed up on his paella making skills as I find it hard to see him getting a top coaching job ever again. Maybe Liverpool if Brendan Rodgers is let go at some point next season.
This summer we get to play my favourite game of all time, “guess the Chelsea manager” and there are two names that stick out. Firstly there is the Special One, Jose Mourinho he is my ideal choice for the job and is the choice for most if not all Chelsea fans. The charisma alone makes my knees weak and his ability to defend his football club in the media is something that has been sorely missed at Chelsea.
The other name is Manuel Pellegrini and on my non-Mourinho list his name occupies the top three spots. He has worked miracles at Malaga with a squad barely capable of a top half finish, but it isn’t only that which makes him an ideal candidate. With his Malaga squad he also manages to blend youth with experience (e.g. Isco and Saviola) and that would be very much welcome at Chelsea considering the amount of criticism the Blues have faced at not promoting promising young players.
Pellegrini has also experienced managing a club with a bats**t crazy owner and a big club, Real Madrid, which in Chelsea’s environment is again welcome. He has managed big egos and also plays great progressive football - given Chelsea’s current squad make up his name just screams Chelsea manager.
My only concern with Pellegrini is that he isn’t a ‘big name’ and much like Andre Villas-Boas (who was s**t lets be honest) and Roberto Di Matteo he could have a bad run of games and then given the boot leaving us with, you got it, another game of “guess the Chelsea manager.” Pellegrini is also slightly on the older side (reaching 60) however given Chelsea’s turnover of manager since the early 70s I don’t think that should be a problem.
I think the manager will most likely be Mourinho, but if it is Pellegrini I sincerely hope he is given at least a season to stamp his authority.