• Premier League

Wilkins: Chelsea running out of options

ESPN staff
January 18, 2013 « Sri Lanka edge out Australia | Chartbeat test »

Ray Wilkins believes Chelsea may struggle to find a replacement for Rafael Benitez because owner Roman Abramovich's ruthless approach is putting potential managers off.

Benitez joined the Blues as interim manager in November following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, who was axed just six months after steering Chelsea to a maiden Champions League title.

Wilkins, who was axed as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant two years ago, believes the lack of job security that comes with the manager's role at Stamford Bridge was the reason Pep Guardiola decided to join Bayern Munich.

"Any manager who accepts the Chelsea job knows exactly what they are walking into," Wilkins said in the Sun. "There is a big salary that comes with the job but also the understanding that you could be relieved of the post at any time.

"Guardiola may well have decided that he didn't want to be in a situation like that. He will have studied the squads at Chelsea and at Bayern and might feel his best opportunity of capturing big trophies at the moment lies in Munich.

"I was surprised when Mr Abramovich dispensed with the services of Carlo a year after we won the double and when he sacked Robbie Di Matteo a few months after winning the Champions League. But the owner doesn't hesitate when he thinks it's time for a change and you don't get much warning that it's coming. In my case, it was literally 'crash, bang wallop and off you go'. That's the way he works.

"And when you think of the money he has spent on Chelsea, he's entitled to do what he wants. If I'd spent £1billion on something, I wouldn't have too many people telling me what to do, either.

"When you employ the biggest coaches in the world, these are people who are going to have an opinion. And because they all now have the luxury of wealth, they're no longer afraid to speak out for fear of getting the sack because they already have all the money they can spend."

Wilkins believes there is no chance for Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who has made no secret of his desire to return to the Premier League, to come back to Chelsea.

"I'd love to see Jose back and so would the fans," he added. "The Premier League needs characters like him and he's a big man for a big job. But there's too much past history between him and the owner at Chelsea. And because Jose also likes to spend money on the players he wants, there would be a conflict there straight away."

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