Chelsea’s Manager History in the Past Two Decades – Part 3

This is Part 3 in a 4-part series. You can read Part 2 here

José Mourinho: June 2013 to December 2015

‘The Special One’ was called back to head Chelsea ahead of the 2013/14 season.

Although not perfect, Mourinho’s first season back in charge was a definite show of progress. Their league performance was their best since the 2009/10 season. A record of 25-7-6 saw Chelsea finish third with 82 points.

After being knocked out of the FA Cup and EFL Cup in the fifth rounds, as well as a loss to Atlético Madrid in the UCL semifinals, Chelsea ended their 2013/14 season without a trophy, a first since the 2010/11 season.

Mourinho’s second season since his return was more successful. With 26 wins, 9 draws and only 3 losses, the Blues amassed a total of 87 points, enough to crown them Premier League champions for the fifth time. Mourinho also won Chelsea the EFL Cup after a London Derby final 2-0 against Tottenham.

There were, however, some disappointments in that season. For one, after Chelsea drew to PSG 3-3 on aggregate in the UCL semi-finals, PSG advanced on away goals. Chelsea also saw an early elimination from the FA Cup after a 4-2 loss to Bradford City in the fourth round.

The third season curse with Mourinho came to be true in his third season since his return – 2015/16.

He was in charge for only 24 games, and it was indeed a difficult period. In that period, he won only three Premier League games, drawing three and losing nine times. A loss on penalties in the fourth round of the EFL Cup saw early elimination for the Blues.

However, the silver lining to the dark cloud in that Mourinho ensured the Blues topped their UCL group.

On 17 December, Mourinho was sacked.

Eddie Newton & Steve Holland: December 2015

Assistant Managers Eddie Newton and Steve Holland stepped up for one game before the club signed Mourinho’s replacement.

Their one game in charge was a 3-1 win against Sunderland in the Premier League.

Guus Hiddink: December 2015 to July 2016

Guus Hiddink, who had won the FA Cup with Chelsea back in 2009, was recalled by Abramovich to take charge for the rest of the 2015/16 season as interim manager.

In his 27 games in charge, his record read 10-11-6.

At the end of what was a very difficult season for Chelsea, they finished an astonishing 10th in the Premier League. The Blues had no silverware to take home that season.

Antonio Conte: July 2016 to July 2018

Antonie Conte’s first season as Chelsea’s head coach was one to remember, especially after having come off a particularly hard campaign. Chelsea won the Premier League that season with 93 points, following an incredible 30-3-5 record.

Chelsea only played domestically that season, but was unable to secure the FA Cup and EFL Cup. Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final, whilst West Ham beat Chelsea in the fourth round of the EFL Cup.

The 2017/18 season was Conte’s second season in charge, and he had been hoping to carry on the momentum.

The first half of the season was decent for Chelsea. 14 Premier League wins, qualification to the EFL Cup semifinals and the knockout phase of the Champions League, held promising signs for Chelsea.

However, the second half of the season saw a drop in momentum. In the Premier League, they won 7 games, drew 4 and lost 6, taking them out of the title charge, and good enough only for Europa League qualification. Chelsea also lost their EFL Cup semifinal to Arsenal, and fell in the last 16 of the Champions League to Barcelona.

Conte, however, managed to acquire silverware for Chelsea that season by beating Manchester United in the FA Cup finals.

The dip in performances, however, was enough for Chelsea to bid Conte goodbye, ahead of the 2018/19 season.

Maurizio Sarri: July 2018 to June 2019

Maurizio Sarri was the man chosen to replace Antonio Conte. When the 2018/19 season started, the Italian had garnered adoration from the Chelsea fans following a successful start. It was not hard to understand why, as his first game at Stamford Bridge was a 3-2 win against Arsenal.

Sarri started off strong in the Premier League, winning Chelsea’s first five games. He also went unbeaten in all competitions until late November. From then on, however, inconsistencies started to show. To put it into context, on 30 January, Chelsea lost 4-0 to Bournemouth, then three days later, Chelsea beat Huddersfield 5-0, before losing 6-0 to Manchester City a week later.

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League that season. In that same season, the Blues were knocked out of the fifth round of the FA Cup by Manchester United and lost the EFL Cup final to Manchester City.

As for Europe, Sarri led the Blues successfully to victory in the Europa League, ending the season with silverware, on his first try. Chelsea won the title by beating Arsenal 4-1.

That, however, was not enough for Chelsea to decide to keep him.

Frank Lampard: June 2019 to January 2021

A month before the 2019/20 season, Frank Lampard was appointed as Chelsea’s head coach on a three-year contract. Lampard had earned legend status at Chelsea from his playing days, the task was now to achieve it as manager.

Lampard’s time as manager started on a particularly dull note. In their first game of the season, Chelsea lost 4-0 to Manchester United.

In the first three months, there were some positives. Chelsea had 9 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses in all competitions. Among those losses was another loss to the Red Devils in the fourth round of the EFL Cup, knocking them out of the competition.

Lampard’s next five months in charge proved to be a somewhat difficult time for the club. In all competitions, the Blues had 12 wins, 6 draws and 8 losses. At this point in time, Chelsea had made it through to the UCL knockout rounds by the skin of their teeth. However, a first-leg 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge was a disappointing feat.

Due to COVID-19, football resumed in June 2020 after a two-month break. Lampard and Chelsea appeared to have revitalized as they collected 6 wins and only 3 losses in their final 9 games of the Premier League season. This allowed them to secure qualification for the Champions League by finishing fourth.

Chelsea had also gotten to the FA Cup final but lost to Arsenal. They had also lost 4-1 in their second leg against Bayern Munich, taking the aggregate to a shocking 7-1, ending their Champions League campaign that season.

Chelsea ended the 2019/20 season trophyless. However, there was a strong positive under Lampard’s leadership. Due to a transfer ban, Lampard had to turn to the youth at Cobham. Under the former English midfielder, three academy players had flourished in the first team – Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Reece James. Jorginho and Kurt Zouma also grew a lot under Lampard.

Lampard’s second season in charge of Chelsea was the 2020/21 season. In 29 games in all competitions, there were a lot of inconsistencies in performance. Despite winning most of those games, it was mostly unclear which direction Chelsea were headed in.

Following 4 wins and 5 losses in 10 games, Frank Lampard and Chelsea departed ways, with half a season left to play.

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