Forget “Geordie Shore,” forget “Strictly Come Dancing,” forget “Big Brother.” This week marks the beginning of the greatest reality show in the history of England, “Roman Courts a Manager.” In this show Roman Abramovich attempts to find the man that will bring him his one dream: To hold the giant trophy with the Big Ears. This marks the 5th series of this show, with each of the previous four finishing with Roman finding his manager, before the relationship breaks down and ends in a messy, and rather expensive, divorce. Jose Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, and Andre Villas-Boas have been the previous winners of the show, yet Mr. Abramovich’s search continues for that perfect someone.
As we look at Roman’s potential managers, we’ll have a look at their CV’s. Nothing more important than knowing that each has some history of winning a trophy before. We’ll also look at their positive to forming a great relationship and their negatives. Finally, rather than offer them a trinket, we’ll simply ask ourselves “Would Roman send the helicopter?”
Let’s meet this season’s contestants.
Current manager of F.C. Barcelona.
Has won every trophy but 3 that he has tried for as manager.
Positives: Guardiola plays the type of football that Abramovich dreams hat his team plays. Guardiola learned at the feet of Johann Cruyff and has taken Cruyff’s philosophy as a manager to continue to see the creation of players coming from La Masia. He’s also been ruthless to players, if needed, and will sell players on that are unneeded. Just ask Deco, Edmilson, Ronaldinho, Eto’o, and Ibrahimovic.
Negatives: There’s only really one negative on Guardiola, and that’s his transfer market ability. For every David Villa, Alexis Sanchez, and Cesc Fabregas, Guardiola’s also purchased Dmitriy Chygrynskiy, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Maxwell, Martin Caceres, and Aliaksandr Hleb.
Will Roman Send the Helicopter? In a heartbeat, yes. Would it be the best fit for the side? I’m not totally sure. The Barcelona team as we know it has been being assembled for a number of years. The players that he’s winning with were largely trained through La Masia, and one would assume it would take a while for us to develop that. The positive is that he’s open to moving to England at some point in his career and is ruthless enough to rebuild the squad properly. The chance that he comes to us without take a year off is pretty remote, though.
Frankly, I’m not sure I really need to post his CV. Every Chelsea fan on the planet knows what Jose brings to the table in positives and negatives, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade and just woke up today. I’m going to skip right to …
Will Roman Send the Helicopter: Reluctantly, yes. I say “reluctantly” because in order for Jose to be hired, Roman will have to admit his mistake in ending that relationship in 2007. He will also have to acknowledge that Jose should be allowed to make all personnel decisions, which seemed to be the major problem the last time. Will he be willing to do so will be the main question. No doubt, Jose’s the fans choice.
2 La Liga titles with Valencia
1 UEFA Cup with Valencia
1 Champions League with Liverpool
1 UEFA Super Cup with Liverpool
1 FA Cup with Liverpool.
Positives: Widely hailed as a tactical genius. Won trophies in two countries and has hoisted the trophy that Roman so covets. He’s also an experienced manager in England from his time with Liverpool.
Negatives: Transfer Policy. Let’s start. He did buy Fernando Torres and Luis Garcia. However, how about these names? Bruno Cheyrou, Antonio Barragan, Philipp Degen, Nabir El Zhar, Ryan Babel, and Albert Riera. Where are they now?
Also, Benitez plays a rather defensive brand of football that isn’t terribly attractive, and Roman has made it clear he likes attacking football.
Will Roman Send the Helicopter? All Chelsea fans might collectively riot if it did. Seriously. While Benitez is certainly qualified to lead Chelsea, we cannot forgive him for 2005 and 2007 and the other times we met on the field of battle, and his team proceeded to bore us all.
5 Serie A titles (7 if you count the two that Juventus had to forfeit)
1 Champions League
4 Italian Super Cups
2 La Liga Titles
Positives: Capello has won in every country he’s managed in at club level. He’s also a presence in the dressing room and isn’t afraid to make the big decisions on players when needed. Tactically, he’s one of the soundest managers in world football, and does know the English game.
Negatives: Still doesn’t speak great English, despite managing England since 2008. Plays a very Italian brand of football based upon a strong defence that’s effective, but not particularly attractive. Will be 66 in July, so is he willing to take on a long-term project?
Will Roman Send the Helicopter: More than likely not. Capello isn’t the type of manager that Abramovich goes for as he’s still older than Scolari was at the time of his hire. Capello would also command a large salary given the amount of money that he was paid by the FA, plus he still doesn’t really speak English.
1 DFB Cup in 1997
Finalist against Chelsea in 1998 in the Cup Winners’ Cup
Positives: Jurgen Klinsmann might have been the Germany manager, but Low has widely been acknowledged as the tactical brain behind the 2006 World Cup Third-Place finishers. When Low took over in 2006, Germany has continued to play well. Low has also overseen a total overhaul of the German National system, as well as his handling of the Michael Ballack situation after the 2010 World Cup.
Negatives: His club management career is less than stellar. Aside from the Cup Winners’ Cup appearance, his CV doesn’t leap out at you. However, he has been very good with Germany, though he has a slightly abrasive style to his man management.
Will Roman Send the Helicopter: Possibly. I think Low is an outsider for the job, but he might be the third choice on this list. He might be the easiest to sway, given how long he’s been out of club management, his age, and the fact that he’s gone through 2 EURO qualifying campaigns and a World Cup campaign as manager of Germany. He may feel it’s time for a new voice to be heard.