A few thoughts on Hiddink’s rumoured return to Chelsea

Amidst all the swirl of Hiddink’s possible moves, the Chelsea rumours seem to carry most credibility. They could soon have Guus Hiddink back as technical director. It would look a bit crowded at the top with Carlo Ancelotti as manager, Frank Arnesen as director of football, and Ron Gourlay elevated to CEO in place of Peter Kenyon.
Hiddink was for better or worse, an employee of Roman Abramovich whilst the coach of the Russian national team.
Now, that they are no longer a part of the World Cup equation, the Chelsea owner must have come to the conclusion that Hiddink’s contract to end in June 2010 would serve no further purpose. As this Guardian article points out, the Dutchman’s future was also in doubt with changes in the Russian football federation creating less salubrious circumstances for his continuation.
What Hiddink’s responsibilities in that role might be and how it overlaps with Frank Arnesen’s job as director of football is yet to be fleshed out. Arnesen was mostly concerned with the scouting and development of the youth squad but he has increasingly become stretched with an increased role in supporting Carlo Ancelotti with first team responsibilities. But this is almost too tempting not to conjecture that this is less about Arnesen and more to do to keep Ancelotti on a short leash, even though the Italian has on the face welcomed the move.
It is no secret that Abramovich desires the CL title and it will be the benchmark that Ancelotti will be measured upto. Ancelotti has been the beneficiary of the shot in the arm provided by the performances of Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Florent Malouda and Didier Dogba which occurred in Hiddink’s heading off the crisis. Especially Lampard and Drogba. Something the Italian is cognizant of.
Ancelotti might have been half joking when his reaction was, “It’s not a problem.” Jokingly, he added: “Maybe I could take a little holiday.” Hiddink’s addition could be invaluable to the push for the elusive CL. At its most negative, his presence could be yet another center of power to polarize the club in case Ancelotti stumbles. How the stay at home Italian and the Dutch journeyman interact will be an interesting story to follow.

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