Chelsea have confirmed that Guus Hiddink has returned for a second spell after being appointed interim coach until the end of the season.
As reported by Sky Sports, the Dutchman was not in charge for this weekend’s clash with Sunderland, but will watch on from the stands along with owner Roman Abramovich.
Given the lack of options available on a short-term basis between now and the end of the season, it appears as though it is a wise move from the Premier League champions. However, here are five reasons as to why it’s completely the opposite.
Six years since Hiddink’s last stint at Stamford Bridge
Hiddink took temporary charge of the club in 2009 after Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked, and went on to win the FA Cup with the Blues.
However, to assume that the veteran tactician can step in again after so long and immediately get a reaction from the players is a risk as much has changed at Stamford Bridge, both on and off the pitch, since his last spell and it isn’t going to be a quick fix for him.
Unsuccessful recent stints
While he may have established himself as an elite manager with PSV where he won six Dutch titles and the European Cup, it hasn’t been quite so straight-forward in recent years.
Failed spells with Russia, Turkey, Anzhi and the Netherlands since have seen his stock plummet, with many questioning whether or not he is past his best and should have stopped some time ago.
Dated tactical approach and inability to get best out of players
Although there is plenty of talent in this current Chelsea squad, there has been nothing from Hiddink in recent years to suggest that he knows what it takes to ensure that they play to their full potential.
Furthermore, it’s been a long time since he worked at this level, and it remains to be seen whether or not he is caught out tactically by his rivals. This is a Chelsea squad that arguably lost faith in their last coach, they can’t afford for it to happen again.
Nothing more than a journeyman after initial success
Hiddink certainly deserves a significant amount of respect for his work in football over the years, but some of the roles that he has taken over that time beg the question as to whether or not the ambition is still there.
In footballing terms, he has become somewhat of a journeyman after taking charge of the likes of South Korea and Anzhi, and that casts doubt over his ability to make it work at a European giant.
Backward step for Chelsea with old idea
From the club’s perspective, this is a huge step back by recycling an idea that they have already used so long ago. If it delivers the same level of success then it will be a bonus, if it doesn’t, then it should be regarded as a missed opportunity and waste of time.
Instead of bringing Hiddink back, it could have been an opportunity to experiment and hand a rookie coach a chance to impress. Whether the likes of Steve Holland were ready for such a step up is another debate, but Hiddink will come with no thought of life at Chelsea after June.
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