Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf has revealed his shock at why Chelsea tend to appoint only Italian managers, with Maurizio Sarri the sixth Italian manager the club has appointed.
Gianluca Vialli was appointed Chelsea’s player-manager after Ruud Gullit was sacked in February, 1998. Vialli, then only 33, became the first Italian to manage in the Premier League.
Claudio Ranieri was appointed in 2000 to manage Chelsea, and he became the second Italian to manage the club, lasting until 2004 before he was sacked and Jose Mourinho was appointed.
Chelsea appointed Carlo Ancelotti in 2009, and he lasted only two years in the job.
Roberto Di Matteo was appointed as caretaker manager after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March 2012, and the Italian lasted only a few months in the job after it was made permanent.
Antonio Conte was appointed in 2017 to manage Chelsea, and he became the fifth Italian to manage the club and lasted only two years in the job before being sacked at the end of last season.
Sarri was appointed in place of Conte as the sixth Chelsea Italian manager in 20 years, and former Blues defender Frank Leboeuf can’t understand why Chelsea keep appointing Italians to manage the club.
He said: “But one thing I want to do and I want to say to Chelsea football club is what is that tradition of getting Italian coaches all the time?
“And I’m not trying to [say] ‘please take a French one’, but maybe they have some coach in England who understands better the culture of English football and maybe others like Germans, like we see with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
“I don’t know what is the tradition of getting an Italian coach at Chelsea all the time. But lately it hasn’t been a very good idea, so maybe after Sarri will be the time to change it, get another nationality to see another football, another type of experience and another spirit maybe on the field.”