Bridge Banter: Clarke is my choice to lead the Blues - one day

It seems bitterly unfair that Roberto Di Matteo, reigning Champions League-winning manager, has been ushered to the exit at Stamford Bridge… but why should anyone really be surprised.
 

The Blues go through gaffers like Hollywood actresses go through husbands.
 

Roman Abramovich has owned the club for less than a decade, but now a ninth manager is to be appointed in his time in charge.
 

Yes, Chelsea have enjoyed success during the Roman empire, and there’s never a dull moment on or off the pitch, but even fans who quite enjoy the unpredictability of this rollercoaster ride sometimes yearn for stability.
 

Pep Guardiola is the number one candidate, but you sense that a consistently glorious era will never arrive until a coach can be appointed with a measure of security, and that seems impossible under the current regime.
 

Who would I choose? There’s only one candidate, and he’s still cutting his teeth in his first proper appointment at the Hawthorns.
 

Steve Clarke knows Chelsea inside out, but more importantly he knows just about every other club inside out, having quietly studied them as an able deputy to a string of managers.
 

His Blues’ heritage is important to fans, and the calm,
understated way he has enhanced West Brom this season has been a joy to behold. Quite unlike Chelsea, in fact.
 

It’s too soon for Clarkey, but he’ll get his chance.
 

November has never been a good month for Chelsea.
 

They always seem to trip, stumble and fall flat, and once again defeat to West Brom has been a Blues manager’s undoing.
 

For Abramovich, the likely exit from the Champions League after being soundly beaten by Juventus on Tuesday night, was the last straw.
If so, the Blues would become the first holders to exit at the group stage.
 

Ah well. It’s only the reigning league champions Manchester City who visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
 

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