The only thing separating Manchester United and Chelsea during the Roman Abramovich era is the man on the bench. While Manchester United have had the same manager at the same seat during those 10 seasons, Chelsea have been through nine of them, and Rafa Benitez, the most recent one, isn’t going to stay once this season is over.
Claudio Ranieri was the first manager under Roman Abramovich, and while the fans loved him and he brought the team to the Champions League semifinal and finish second behind the invincibles from Arsenal, he didn’t get to manage the team for a fifth season.
Jose Mourinho is credited with the real change at Stamford Bridge, winning two league titles and one FA Cup during his three seasons and some at the helm, the longest tenure under Roman Abramovich. Too much ego, too delusional of expectations, and that ended badly as well.
Avram Grant picked up the job from Jose Mourinho – connections with the right agents are always beneficial. Grant nearly won the league title and the Champions League, but ended up with nothing except a huge settlement package after he was fired.
Luiz Felipe Scolari is probably the biggest failure during the Abramovich ownership era, fired midway through February, paving the way for Guus Hiddink to take the job. The Dutchman lost only once in 23 matches during his short stay with the team, but decided his obligations to the Russian national team are more important.
Carlo Ancelotti was the next big name to take the hot seat at Stamford Bridge, lasting two seasons. He won the league title during his first along with the FA Cup, although his second season was far less successful, with Chelsea finishing second but not really posing a threat to another Manchester United title.
Andre Villas-Boas began the 2011-2012 season, lasting until early March, losing the faith of his players and eventually his owner. Roberto Di Matteo took over, and while it didn’t make for a successful league tenure, he ended up shocking Europe by winning the Champions League while also adding the FA Cup.
It didn’t help him too much this season, sacked after a terrible November, as Chelsea lost 3-0 to Juventus and dropped their early lead in the Premier League. Rafa Benitez replaced him, currently leading the team to a possible Europa League final and hopefully a place in the Champions League.
Manchester United and Alex Ferguson during this decade? Five league titles, one FA Cup, one Champions League title and never finishing under third. Stability goes a long way, even if it doesn’t call for too much money being spent.