Chelsea have named Frank Lampard as the club’s interim manager until the end of the season, continuing a familiar fondness for placing coaches in caretaker charge.
The west Londoners have had several short-term appointments during the Premier League era, with Lampard the latest to take on the temporary reins, named as Graham Potter’s interim replacement in an attempt to stabilise the club.
Following Lampard’s return to Chelsea, we look back at the impact of five previous caretaker managers at Stamford Bridge.
The current Premier League season has seen more manager sackings than ever before, with a dozen top-flight coaches pushed through the exit door. Chelsea were the first club to sack their manager in the Premier League era, as Ian Porterfield was sent packing in February 1993.
In a bid to stop a rot that had seen Chelsea freefall towards the relegation places, chairman Ken Bates named David Webb as the club’s interim manager. Webb made 272 appearances for Chelsea and famously headed home the winner in the 1970 FA Cup final replay win over Leeds.
Webb’s appointment helped improve results and Chelsea ended the season 11th, but the board opted against handing the caretaker boss a permanent deal. Glenn Hoddle was named as the club’s new head coach on a player-manager basis.
Chelsea sought an experienced figure following the failed tenure of Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge, with the club turning to Guus Hiddink during the 2008/09 campaign.
Hiddink took on the role on an interim basis, one he combined with his position as Russia manager. The Dutchman made a huge impact in west London, as Chelsea collected 34 from a possible 39 points in the Premier League and were a last-gasp Andres Iniesta goal from reaching the Champions League final.
Hiddink did lead the club to silverware success in the form of the FA Cup, as goals from Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard earned Chelsea a 2-1 win over Everton at Wembley.
Despite demands for him to extend his tenure, Hiddink walked away to resume his role with Russia. The club’s final home game of the season at Stamford Bridge saw the Chelsea fans hold up banners begging the Dutchman to stay, with widespread songs urging Roman Abramovich to keep Hiddink on as manager.
Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo took the cult of Chelsea’s caretaker managers to a new level during the 2011/12 season, as the Italian led the Blues to an unexpected triumph.
Di Matteo was named as interim boss after Andres Villas-Boas’ reign came to an early end, having worked as an assistant to the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge. A thrilling comeback win against Napoli in the Champions League kick-started a memorable run in Europe, one which ended with Chelsea crowned champions of Europe for the first time.
Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties to win a first Champions League title, becoming the first London club to win the competition. Di Matteo had earlier led Chelsea to the FA Cup and his double-winning feats earned him the manager’s position on a permanent basis.
He lasted only until November of the following season however, when a 3-0 defeat to Juventus left the Blues on the brink of a Champions League exit.
Rafael Benitez received a less-than-warm welcome upon his appointment at Chelsea, with the west Londoners unhappy with the arrival of the former Liverpool boss.
It has been Benitez’s side who had competed with Chelsea in a fierce rivalry during the noughties. The Spaniard had been critical of Chelsea’s football and fans, branded Didier Drogba a ‘diver’ and endured a rather personal spat with Jose Mourinho.
It was unsurprising then that the Chelsea support failed to take to Benitez, who despite the public protestations against his management served the Blues well across his six months in charge.
He led the side to Europa League success after beating Benfica in the final, but received precious little praise from a fanbase eager for his interim reign to end.
Guus Hiddink again
Roman Abramovich turned to a familiar face after Jose Mourinho’s second reign ended in implosion, with Guus Hiddink again brought back to the club on an interim basis.
The Dutchman inherited a side in turmoil, with Chelsea 16th in the Premier League table after losing nine of their opening 16 league games of the campaign. Chelsea had been champions the previous season, but were just one point above the relegation places when Hiddink was parachuted in.
Hiddink improved the club’s fortunes and lost just three of his 22 league games, though Chelsea ended the season tenth, their lowest league finish since 1995/96.
Chelsea appointed Antonio Conte as the club’s permanent manager at the end of the season.