Chelsea right to turn Italian in bid to resume winning ways

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Four Premier League titles and FA Cup trophies, three League Cup successes and two European triumphs have been celebrated during Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich era. All of them under the stewardship of foreign managers.

As the Russian seeks to replace his most triumphant coach of all, for the second time, it seems he is set to stick to the tried-and-tested formula that overseas overlords are the ticket to silverware.

Specifically, Abramovich is returning to a nationality of coach that has invariably gone hand-in-hand with triumph at the club.

Chelsea have had four Italian managers in their history, two of them appointed by Abramovich. All but one were able to win multiple trophies in their time at the helm.

On that evidence, it’s easy to see why two new Italian candidates are at the head of Ladbrokes’ betting to become the club’s next permanent manager.

Current Azzurri coach Antonio Conte is a 3/1 chance in that market, which is led by current Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri at 8/13.

The Bianconeri maestro has reportedly been offered a mammoth €10m a year contract by the Blues and certainly has the credentials to extend the club’s marriage of success with Italian managers.

A two-time Serie A winner, collecting one each during his time in charge of AC Milan and Juventus, Allegri has also won the Coppa Italia with the Old Lady and reached the final of the Champions League last season.

Should he accept the offer he would be following in the footsteps of compatriots Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo. Three of that quartet ensured a spot in the club’s folklore by winning silverware in west London.

Vialli is the club’s most decorated manager beyond Mourinho thanks to winning the League Cup, FA Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and Super Cup between 1998 and 2000.

Ancelotti added an FA Cup crown of his own to the Premier League trophy he scooped in his first campaign with the club, while Di Matteo delivered the long-coveted Champions League in tandem with now obligatory FA Cup success four years ago.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.