LONDON: Guus Hiddink has been appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season after Thursday’s sacking of Jose Mourinho.
This will be the former Holland manager’s second caretaker stint at Stamford Bridge. Taking temporary charge after the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2009, he managed to turn things around and ended the season winning the FA Cup and reaching the semi-final of the Champions League.
Hiddink, 69, whose last post was as Holland coach, said on the club’s official website: “I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. However, I am sure we can all turn this season around.”
He added: ‘I am looking forward to working with the players and staff at this great club and especially renewing my wonderful relationship with the Chelsea fans.”
Not everything has gone right, however, for Hiddink since he left Chelsea after his first stint. He has managed Turkey, Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and the Dutch national team.
All three jobs were relatively unsuccessful, with his recent spell as manager of the Holland perhaps being one of the most disappointing stages of his career.
Hiddink took charge of the Dutch national team in 2014, succeeding Louis van Gaal, who had just joined Manchester United. He was tasked with the difficult job of forging a new team out of a group of relatively inexperienced players.
He had led the Dutch to the semi-final of the World Cup in 1998 but this time he left the job after only 10 months in charge.
Having won only four of his 10 matches in charge, Hiddink was dismissed in June 2015. The Dutchman’s second spell as manager of the Dutch national team had not even lasted one year. He was replaced by his assistant Danny Blind but the Dutch did not even qualify for Euro 2016.
Meanwhile Mourinho has indicated he has no wish to take a break from football after his sacking.
A statement on his behalf said: “He will not be taking a sabbatical, he isn’t tired, he doesn’t need it, he is very positive, and is already looking forward.
“Because of his love of football, you will see Jose at football grounds working and supporting friends. He will not be attending any high-profile games because he wants to discourage any speculation about his future.
“During his career, Jose has sometimes chosen to leave a club, but only at Chelsea has the club decided that he should leave.
“Each time represents for him the end of a cycle, and the opportunity to start a new one. Jose hopes that his future after Chelsea this time will be as successful as when he left the club in 2007.”