• Premier League

Gullit: Pep Guardiola would struggle at Chelsea

ESPN staff
November 26, 2012 « Ennis one of five women on SPOTY list | Chartbeat test »


Former Chelsea star Ruud Gullit feels Pep Guardiola would struggle to replicate the success he had at Barcelona, were he to take the reins at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are a club in a state of flux, with Rafa Benitez in charge following the Blues' decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo.

Benitez has been handed a deal until the end of the season, which has only added weight to those who feel Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich wants Guardiola to take control.

Guardiola is taking a year out of management, following a stellar time in charge of Barcelona. The former Spain international's record at Barca stands up to the closest scrutiny, notably three Liga titles and two Champions League wins, but he had the likes of Lionel Messi, Carles Puyol and Xavi strutting their stuff.

Although Chelsea have top-class talent on their books, Gullit does not feel they are of the same calibre as the players Guardiola worked with at Camp Nou and believes success would be far harder to achieve.

"I think what Pep [Guardiola] did with Barcelona is difficult to repeat," Gullit said. "Also because he had the players there. You cannot do the same thing twice, especially not in another culture.

"I remember with other cultures, they try because they think they have a formula, and it doesn't apply everywhere. No, it doesn't."

Many Chelsea fans are unhappy with the appointment of Benitez and Gullit feels the club have work to do to repair the damage.

He said: "Abramovich [has done] a great job at Chelsea. Development, new training ground, trophies, he also brought them trophies. So for that reason you cannot blame him. But sometimes it's a hard cookie to swallow in the way things happen. But it's his club, he can do what he likes.

"I'm afraid [for what] the consequences can be. Publicly-wise. About Chelsea. Because I love Chelsea, I love the way the club has evolved, now you have to work hard to get your sympathy back."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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