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Chelsea FC History

Club With Most Premier League Manager Changes Will Surprise You

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

Since the Premier League started in 1992 there have been more than 240 managers. The club to have had the most managers is Newcastle United with current manager Steve Bruce the 23rd manager to take charge of the Geordies during the Premier League era.

We were surprised when we saw that it was Newcastle with most managers. It does make sense though a yo-yo history in the league and high expectations from fans and ownership make high manager turnover inevitable.

Given our record with managers, I thought we would top the list. We could reclaim our spot at the top of this hall of shame as we are tied for 2nd in the list just one behind Newcastle.

Frank Lampard is our 22nd manager during the Premier League era if you include caretakers such as Ray Wilkins and Graham Rix who each had temporary roles in charge for a game or two between permanent managers.

Chelsea are currently tied in second with Spurs who are managed by Jose Mourinho who has managed the Blues twice, this list counts every managerial change so Mourinho counts as 2 for Chelsea. Also the clubs have both had Andre Villas-Boas as manager in recent years.

Let’s hope our number does not move for a long time and that the Mourinho magic fails to materialise and we move down the list.

 

Chelsea First Club To SACK Manager In Premier League Era

By Chelsea FC History2 Comments

In February 1993 Chelsea sacked Ian Porterfield making Chelsea the first club to sack a manager in Premier League history.

Porterfield was the manager for the admin’s first-ever Chelsea game a 3-2 defeat after being 2-nil up which characterised the inconsistent nature of the Blues during this era.

His sacking came after a bright start to the season and he was replaced at the end of the season by Chelsea FA Cup-winning legend David Webb. Webb took the Blues on a seven-game unbeaten run to stave off the threat of relegation and further enhance his legendary reputation among Chelsea fans.

Changes In Managerial Lifecycle 

The managerial lifecycle is a lot different now than it was back in 1993.

It is unfathomable to think in the modern league that the first manager to be sacked would not meet their fate until February. Let alone that they would be the only manager to be sacked before the season’s end.

The fact Chelsea were the first club to sack a manager would not surprise someone who was more familiar with the managerial policies of Roman Abramovich.

We live in a results-driven league where the financial stakes of success and failure have never been higher. The money in the game today may have been triggered by the foundation of the Premier League but it has exploded beyond recognition compared the early 90’s.

This, the media and fan opinion explosion plus a number of other factors mean that owners are less patient and more trigger happy when a poor run of form sees their investment slide

Whilst being the first club to sack a manager is a dubious honour, we are not the club to have had the most managers during the Premier League era (for now)

You can find out who tops the list in our related article here.

The Spurs Legend Who Was Chelsea’s Worst Manager

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

Results are everything in football and expectations in modern times mean even a few bad games can see a Chelsea manager given the boot. However modern-day managers would never get the time afforded to the club’s least successful manager of all time.

Arguably the worst Chelsea manager in terms of results was Danny Blanchflower who managed the club between December 1978 and September 1979.

Who Was Danny Blanchflower

Danny Blanchflower was one of the greatest footballers of his generation.

Playing in the 50’s and 60’s, he had a glittering playing career with bitter rivals Spurs and went on to be a hugely popular football writer.

He won the double in 1960/1961 and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1963 and was named as one of the 1958 World Cup All-Stars.

“The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.” – Danny Blanchflower

Despite his status as a Spurs legend, his time at Chelsea was his only job as a manager. Having been passed over for the Spurs job whilst working there as a coach.

Danny Blanchflower Worst Chelsea Manager

The case for Blanchflower being the club’s worst manager are pretty compelling

  • Won just 5 of his 32 games in charge (16%)
  • Got relegated and finished bottom of the league
  • Saw club legends Ray Wilkins and Peter Bonetti leave during his reign

When compared to what gets you sacked in the modern era at Stamford Bridge it really puts into perspective how the game and the club have changed.

So whilst Blanchflower should be remembered as one of the greats of the game as a player, he also is arguably the worst Chelsea manager in terms of results. Which to Spurs fans may actually be a badge of honour for a club legend.

RIP Ray Wilkins – Chelsea Legend On & Off The Pitch Dies

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

It is with great sadness that we learned that Ray Wilkins has died after suffering a heart attack recently.

The former Chelsea captain, caretaker, assistant manager and coach lived through some of the clubs hardest times as a player and some of the most glorious times as part of the coaching team.

He will be fondly remembered as a Chelsea legend by fans young and old for his contribution to the history of our great club.

Ray Wilkins Chelsea Captain

To my father’s generation, he is a legend on the pitch having come through the Chelsea academy to the first team at a time when the golden Chelsea generation of the early seventies was fading away and austerity and struggle were the new club order.

He made his debut at 17 and became captain of the team at just 18 years old. He became the heart of the team of the mid to late 70’s battling relegation and winning promotion with the club.

It was with great reluctance that mounting debts saw Wilkins leave Stamford Bridge as a player in 1979 and go on to play for Manchester United.

Ray Wilkins Chelsea Assistant Manager

To my generation, Ray Wilkins will be remembered for his role as a coach and assistant manager. He was a coach during the reign of Gianluca Vialli and when he was sacked was caretaker manager for just one game (that he won).

A role he would also fill when Luis Felipe Scolari was sacked that also saw him victorious making him arguably the most successful manager in our history.

Wilkins will most be remembered for his coaching during the time under Carlo Ancelotti, where he was acknowledged by the Italian as a key cog in the double winning season of 2009-2010.

Unfortunately, something behind the scenes happened and he was unceremoniously cast aside and sacked by the club (reportedly without the consent of Ancelotti). This highlighted his importance to the team that never really recovered leading to the sacking of Ancelotti in the summer.

A true gentleman he was a respected member of the football community with an unparalleled understanding of the game.

He will truly be missed. RIP Ray Wilkins 1956 – 2018

Three Chelsea Midfielders Who Made Horrible Career Gambles

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

Playing for Chelsea Football Club is a draw that many young footballers have found difficult to resist in recent years.

The alluring combination of fame, money and trophies has been hard to resist.

Succeed like Gary Cahill and you can go from fighting against relegation one minute to Champion of Europe and FA Cup winner the next.

However, the dream can sour fairly quickly at a club as big as Chelsea with starlets being sucked into a world of pressure, loans and ultimately rejection.

Scott Parker

Before coming to Chelsea Scott Parker was a big fish in a little pond at Charlton.  Signed for 10 million pounds in 2003 he never really got a chance to prove himself at Stamford Bridge.

He made just 15 Premier League appearances for the Blues over three years as he struggled to get ahead of club legends Claude Makelele and Frank Lampard in the starting XI. He was sold to Newcastle in 2005 and recovered quickly to become one of the most respected midfielders outside of the Premier League elite.

Chelsea fans had a lot of time for Parker, but he never quite made it.

Steve Sidwell

Like Parker, Sidwell signed for Chelsea after impressing at a club outside of the top six. Sidwell joined from Reading in 2007 after leading the Royals to the Premier League with some impressive performances.

Sidwell like Parker before him could not stake a claim in a talent-filled midfield. After one season where he made a respectable 25 appearances, Sidwell was sold to Aston Villa where like Parker he re-established his reputation.

Marko Marin

Marko Marin, who was dubbed as the ‘German Messi’ of his time, had a lot of expectations on his shoulders. He was signed to Chelsea in 2012 after two impressive seasons playing with Werder Bremen. Joining Chelsea Football Club was a dream come true for the German superstar, it eventually turned from a pleasant dream to a train wreck of a nightmare as bad turned to worse as injuries throughout the season plagued him and eventually granted him only six appearances and scoring one goal for the Club.

Overcome with self-guilt and disappointment, the German midfielder left for Olympiakos in 2016 to save face from losing a place in his dream team.

Roman Abramovich Documentary – Decade Of Success

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

Despite the ups and downs, the Abramovich era has been the greatest in the clubs history so we thought we would share this Roman Abramovich documentary.

The documentary covers the first decade of his time at the club. We have come a long way since he got the keys to the Bridge.

It will serve as a perfect nostalgia creator for fans that have lived and breathed the successes and failures of the club in recent years. If you have had a tough day than this is the perfect remedy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u5HwkwcJao

What The Abramovich Documentary Covers

This short 25-minute documentary looks at the run-up to his arrival and the impact he had, particularly the arrival of Mourinho and the changes that his first managerial change had on the Blues.

It includes interviews with Ashley Cole, Michael Ballack, Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, John Terry, Joe Cole and others chronicling the run to our first title, the ghost goal and winning the Premier League.

It provides a really interesting summary of the key moments over the first thirteen years at Stamford Bridge.

Including

  • The ghost goal
  • The sacking of Mourinho
  • Moscow Champions League Final
  • Anders Frisk Barcelona Semi-Final
  • Arrival and departure of Scolari
  • Hiddink winning the FA Cup
  • AVB getting the sack and Roberto Di Matteo arriving
  • Coming back against Napoli
  • Beating Barcelona in the Semi-Final
  • Nearly winning the Champions League in Moscow
  • Unpopular spell of Rafael Benitez
  • Return of Jose Mourinho

It really is a highlight reel of a glorious period in the clubs history. It shows a Champions League, Europa League and Premier League success, not forgetting the FA Cup and League Cups along the way.

It stops short of the 2015 title and the sacking of Jose Mourinho, which is nice as it means that it does not destroy his legacy. Unlike his current time taking shots at the club as manager of Manchester United.

The first Abramovich decade was been incredible the next decade looks like it will match up.

 

Chance For 29 Year Old Chelsea Relegation Play-Off Vengeance Against Middlesbrough

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

Tonight Blues fans have a chance to get revenge for a Chelsea Relegation play-off defeat by Middlesbrough 29 years ago.

A victory tonight will see Chelsea move within one win of the Premier League title. It will also seal the fate of Middlesbrough, who will be relegated back to the Championship after a valiant season in the Premier League.

This will be a reverse of the impact of defeat 29 years ago that gives Chelsea a unique record. Chelsea are the only team in the history of the English top flight to be relegated via a promotion/relegation play-off.

To Chelsea fans old enough to remember the 80’s tonight’s the ability to relegate Middlesbrough may be the opportunity to get vengeance for 29-year-old scars.

In truth, most Chelsea fans will get little pleasure from but there will certainly be some at Stamford Bridge that will think back to how much things have changed.

Since this relegation Chelsea have only looked up, whereas Middlesbrough has had their share of ups and downs. Since this game, Chelsea have defeated Middlesbrough in two domestic cup final. Lifting the FA Cup in 1997 and the League Cup in 1998.

 

So how did the Chelsea relegation play-off relegation come to pass?

Chelsea Relegation Play-Off Story

In the 1987/1988 season, Chelsea finished 18th, one place above the automatic relegation places. However, for the first and only time in the history of the English Football League there was a promotion/relegation play-off.

The 18th positioned team in the top division entered a four-team playoff process with the teams that finished 3rd-5th in the division below.

Chelsea overcame fifth-placed Blackburn in a semi-final to set up a Final against tonight’s opponents Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough had some household names of the 1990’s emerging in their team, including Gary Pallister, Colin Cooper and Tony Mowbray and completed a comeback fairytale having gone bankrupt just two years before.

The two-legged final was a bitterly fought scrap for survival with Chelsea losing in Middlesbrough 2-0 and only managing a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

As it was the 80’s a mass brawl broke out

 

Why A Chelsea Best XI Of All Time XI Is Pointless

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

As a Chelsea football blog barely a week goes by where we are not asked by someone to name our “Chelsea Best XI of All Time”.

We have tried so many times to do this but just can’t, there are too many players to choose from and too many variables. Nearly 700 players have made a first team appearance for Chelsea since we were founded in 1905 and we don’t have nearly enough information.

The ability of players and their contribution to the team is subjective, given our standing in recent years it is nearly impossible to compare what Kerry Dixon did for the club to that of Didier Drogba.

They were different types of player playing in different eras for teams with different goals. Kerry Dixon wore his heart on his sleeve helping Chelsea as they bounced between what is now the Premier League and the Championship playing with a variable amount of talent.

Whereas Drogba played with 10 of the best players in the world at that time all aiming to win everything in sight.

Football loves nostalgia but is very much focused on the here and now, particularly where glory is involved. Ask fans to name their best Chelsea XI it will be shaped by a range of factors. Like when they grew up and recent success, rather than an objective look at the merits of all who have played in Blue (or for some horrific grey and orange).

Celebrating Players For Their Contribution

In our opinion fans should celebrate players from the club and the era they played in. Whether that be strikers like Osgood in the 70’s, Dixon in the 80’s, Vialli in the 90’s or Drogba in the new millennium. All of those mentioned are Chelsea legends who deserve recognition.

As are the players who played in the eras before television and money seeped into the game. Be it George “Gattling Gun” Hilsdon, or our Olympic medal winning Norweigan Nils Middleboe the first foreigner to play for Chelsea who was also a triple jump champion.

So the next time I see a greatest XI debate I am going to disengage and think about a Chelsea legend, even if I never got a chance to see them play.

Begging CFC Fans No John Terry Walkout on 26th Minute

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

There has been some nonsense about a John Terry walkout during the 26th minute during the final game of the season against Leicester, in protest at John Terry getting a new contract.

Whilst words cannot express our disappointment that Terry will not get a chance for a proper send off on Sunday a John Terry walkout is not an appropriate way and totally misguided.

No John Terry Walkout

We understand the frustration but the end of the line of a legend is a time for celebration not squabbles. Terry has enjoyed a magnificent career at Stamford Bridge that should be celebrated and not mired in controversy.

Unfortunately, legends come to the end of the road eventually and unless a dramatic change of heart happens we have reached it with Terry.

We feel he still has at least a year in him if not more at the top level, the board have decided that the end of the road for Terry is now. We do not agree with this decision but we should make that clear via song and by celebrating him not by deflecting an overall disdain for the board into the end of an era.

There may never be another Chelsea player like John Terry, he has been the most successful captain in the club’s history by a country mile. With him leading the way we have been crowned champions, faced despair in Moscow and gained redemption in Munich.

He has led the way as we went from pretenders to one of the most feared clubs in Europe, just ask Barcelona how they feel when they think of facing us in Europe.

At times he has been controversial and maybe not walked the path the way that we would hope, but shining through have always been his passion for the club and a winning desire.

He has truly been a captain, leader, legend for Chelsea Football Club and no words will ever express how grateful we have been to call him our captain.

If we truly have reached the end of the road, let’s do it in celebration, let’s do it singing about doubles, European cups and glory, not by being first in the beer queue

John Terry Walkout

Chelsea v Norwich Is About Taking A Step In The Right Direction

By Chelsea FC HistoryNo Comments

The arch is blueChelsea are currently 16th in the Premier League table, something that I have not seen since the first couple of seasons supporting Chelsea. The most memorable of which was the 1993/1994 season where we sat near the bottom of the table at Christmas.

Glenn Hoddle was in charge at the time and he was able to turn things around with the help of a run to the final of the FA Cup.

That season Chelsea rallied to finish mid-table but got thumped 4-0 in the FA Cup against Manchester United (I still dream of that Gavin Peacock effort dropping over the line instead of cannoning back off the crossbar.

What does this have to do with our current situation?

Well not alot really, Chelsea are a different team with a different culture and expectations to back then, I guess sometimes nostalgia gets the better of us. Something our next opponents will surely share with us having finished that season in 12th place, something they would definitely take at the end of this campaign.

At the time this felt like an amazing season to make a major cup final for the first time in decades and stay up. This is not going to cut it this season.

This season we are staring into the unknown, I am not sure what constitutes a good season from this point. The top four seems so far away but must be the objective as long as it is mathematically possible.

All we can do is take it one game at a time starting with Norwich.

The game against Norwich is one where a big performance is expected, the international break has taken the pressure off temporarily, now is the time to step and get back on the scoreboard. A win will not save our season, but it will be a start.

I am hoping I will see some real performances from some of our key players, I want them taking responsibility for leading from the front.