2021 saw Thomas Tuchel becoming the 29th permanent manager at Chelsea. Alongside these permeant fixtures, the club has also had a further 9 short-term managers taking charge. Tuchel took charge of a club with a mixed history. With a run of outstanding success alongside what felt like a lifetime of failure, the managers’ position isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Tuchel himself has spoken about how hard he has found the transition to Chelsea and the Premier League as a whole. Having previously managed Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel sees the intensity of English football as something quite different.
His first (partial) season saw Tuchel returning Chelsea to the top 4 in the league, but how is he likely to be remembered in the long run? When you look back at those who have previously managed the club, there is certainly a great deal to live up to. If you wanted to place a bet on his long-term success you’d find some favourablePremier League soccer odds, but let’s take a look at the greatest managers that have come before.
1905-1906 – John Tait Robertson
We may well be going back some time to look at Robertson, but as Chelsea’s first manager, there is no way that he can be ignored when looking at the best Chelsea managers of all time. Robertson took charge of the club for 54 matches, while he was also a player. With a win percentage of 61.6%, Robertson claimed an impressive 33 victories.
The Italian brought Chelsea a string of successes during his time at Stamford Bridge. He can boast of topping the Premier League, as well as winning the FA Cup and Community shield. Ancelotti remained in charge for 109 matches. With 67 wins to his name, he left with a win percentage of 62.2%.
Having assigned himself the nickname ‘The Special One’, Mourinho set out his stall at Chelsea and had a lot to prove. Of course, he went on to deliver and he is now widely regarded as the most successful manager that Chelsea has ever had. Mourinho had two separate stints at Chelsea and won every possible trophy that he could. He took three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, and a Community Shield. Mourinho led the blues for 321 games, With 204 victories, his win percentage sits at 63.5%.
Antonio Conte had two seasons with the Blues and added to the trophy cabinet on each occasion. His first season saw Chelsea win the Premier League while his second saw them lift the FA Cup. Conte led the Blues for a total of 106 matches and with 69 wins, his win percentage comes in at 65.1%.
Grant may not have brought any silverware to Stamford Bridge, but that doesn’t take anything away from the successes that he experienced. With a very impressive win percentage of 67%, Grant took charge of 54 matches with a total of 36 wins. He took the club on a 16 match unbeaten run and was named Manager of the Month for April 2008.
Deciding on the greatest
We have taken a look at five of the most successful managers to have taken the helm at Chelsea. To narrow these down and name just one as being the very best is an impossible task. These managers brought varying degrees of success in terms of trophies, but this can not be the only measure of a great manager. One thing that is for sure is that Tuchel is filling some very big shoes and the hope will be that he can go on and deliver.