FORMER England and Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle is desperate to seal a dramatic return to Stamford Bridge as Andre Villas-Boas’s successor and has urged the club to break with tradition and employ an Englishman.
Villas-Boas became the sixth managerial casualty of the Roman Abramovich era after he was sacked on Sunday following a run of results which has seen Chelsea slip out of the top four in the Premier League.
Hoddle enjoyed a successful three-year spell as Chelsea manager in the mid-1990s, transforming the image of the club by attracting the likes of Ruud Gullit to west London, and he believes the time is right to end six years in the managerial wilderness.
“At this moment in time a return to management is something I’m keen on,” Hoddle, who parted company with Wolves in 2006, told City A.M. “If I was asked by Chelsea I’d obviously say yes. I loved my time there and only went because of the England job.
“I would throw my hat into the ring without any shadow of a doubt. After what I achieved there first time around I think it would go down reasonably well with the supporters.”
All six of Abramovich’s managerial appointments since he assumed control of the club in 2003 have been foreigners and Hoddle believes it is time Chelsea abandoned that policy and hired an English coach for the first time since he left in 1996.
“Chelsea haven’t tried going down the English route since I was there. It would be interesting for somebody to go in there knowing the culture and knowing the way players think in this country,” he said.
“Maybe an Englishman could repair that link to the fans which might have been dismantled a bit. Getting that spirit in the club right is a key to success. I think they will go foreign again but they shouldn’t dismiss the idea of appointing an Englishman.”
Roberto di Matteo has been installed as caretaker boss until the end of the season – he took charge of his first game in last night’s 2-0 win at Birmingham – and Hoddle believes, contrary to popular opinion, the Italian is in pole position to land the job permanently.
He said: “It’s similar to when Avram Grant came in. He was one penalty away from winning the Champions League and would probably still be here today if he’d have won it.
“Di Matteo has nothing to lose and if he can get in that top four and get to the latter stages of the Champions League he’s in with a great shout.”
Glenn Hoddle was speaking in his role as 20-20 Football’s technical director ahead of the Elite Legends Cup tournament at Loftus Road on 20 May.