With Roberto Di Matteo gone, who should be Chelsea’s next manager?
General David Petraeus: If there’s one place outside a battlefield where the skills of a military tactician come in useful, it’s on a football pitch: sneaking down the wing when the opposition’s attention is diverted elsewhere; throwing all your resources into the Big Surge around the 85-minute mark – all to ensure that you leave with a victory under your belt. But best of all, this is a man with a proven talent for playing successfully both at home and away.
Abu Qatada: To be fair, he doesn’t win many matches, but he does have a marvellous track record of getting the authorities to overturn his team’s losing scores. Roman Abramovich may try to shift him after a few poor results, possibly with the lure of a foreign transfer, but Abu Qatada has proved himself a very hard man to shift anywhere.
Sir Mervyn King: Managing Chelsea could be the perfect job for King after he finishes his stint as Governor of the Bank of England, given the club’s history under Abramovich of throwing more and more money at the problem. After all, this is football’s equivalent of quantitative easing (with, so far, similarly inefficacious results).
Mitt Romney: Being possibly richer than Roman Abramovich, he won’t be cowed by the Russian’s cash. He also has “binders” full of players he can hire. And if it turns out that they’re no good, he likes being able to fire them. The size of Stamford Bridge itself won’t faze him, the pitch being slightly smaller than Mitt’s own back garden (one of them). Romney’s trademark match tactic is the flip-flop, in which Chelsea players will suddenly start running in the same direction as the opposing team, towards their own goal. It’s a trick that’s guaranteed to confuse everyone, even the Chelsea squad.
Dr Rowan Williams: Having failed in his bid to allow women to be appointed as bishops, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury could channel his efforts instead into allowing women to play for Chelsea’s first team – a laudable strategy, given the success of England’s women footballers in international competition compared with their male counterparts.