GLOOM, doom, misery and despair.
And that’s just since Sunday.
Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is being eyed up by ChelseaPA:Press AssociationFor Chelsea fans, growing increasingly disillusioned with Maurizio Sarri and “Sarriball”, the prospect of potentially having Zinedine Zidane in the Stamford Bridge home dug-out would appear a chink of light from the midst of the darkness.
The man who transformed a warring, in-fighting, anxious and unhappy Real Madrid into three-time Champions League winners.
One of the finest players in the history of European football, too.
A player who was both beauty and the beast in one, at times.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich could sack Maurizio Sarri after the club dropped down into sixth spotAP:Associated PressZidane won an accolade of trophies during his spell in charge of Los BlancosMore crucially, someone who would send out a renewed, revitalised, statement of intent. The message that Chelsea ARE back.
That the Blues hierarchy have made the first steps towards recruiting the French legend as a possible Sarri replacement is not, in itself, a huge surprise.
Indeed, it is more than likely that Chelsea approached Zidane as soon as he walked out on Madrid, finally having had enough of the nonsense from above, in the wake of that Champions League Final win over Liverpool in Kiev.
At that time, though, Zidane was knocking back all approaches.
He felt – like Pep Guardiola did when he left Barcelona in 2012 – that he needed a year out of the maelstrom and madness.
Now, though, and Zidane will be weighing up his options.
He knows that plenty of big clubs will fancy him.
Manchester United would be one, for all the fan desire to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or the board interest in Mauricio Pochettino.
Old club Juventus if Max Allegri chooses to move on.
Paris St Germain should Thomas Tuchel not fall miles short of delivering the Champions League.
But we know that Roman Abramovich has always been prepared to throw the whole kitchen sink at the managerial targets he really wants.
Zidane is believed to be keen on a return to management with England a possible destinationReutersEven that was not enough to land Guardiola of course. But Carlo Ancelotti, definitely. Antonio Conte too. Jose Mourinho, second time round.
With some Blues fans questioning whether Abramovich’s commitment is wavering – not helped by the visa issues that have kept him out of the country for 10 months – landing Zidane, splashing the cash to bring in a big name boss, would be the ultimate answer.
Let there be no doubt, nobody would have been more angry and upset by the Manchester City debacle than Abramovich. He will still be fuming.
Zidane’s record at Madrid shows the value of a top class man manager.
He did not get on with everyone – any possibility of Gareth Bale coming back to the Premier League in a blue shirt would be ended if Zidane was appointed – but he melded together a fractured dressing room.
Big names who grumbled and moan about the Rafa Benitez era, questioning his credentials, could not argue with the three-time world player of the year.
Zidane was able to set out his stall simply: “I know what it feels like to be a great player, like you. I know you need to feel valued. And I will value you.”
Maurizio Sarri is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge following the 6-0 defeat against Manchester CityEPAThe West London side are in danger of finishing outside of the Champions League placesAP:Associated PressThere were no great tactical shifts. He made the players want to play, for themselves, the manager and the club.
The results speak for themselves. Cristiano Ronaldo turned up, time and again, when it mattered.
Sergio Ramos rediscovered his love for the club. The heartbeat was back.
And then the trophy haul – nine in two years and five months, including those three Champions League wins and La Liga. Not bad!
He did it without spending a fortune, either. Just over £60m. Chicken feed by modern standards. Barely that, by Real standards. Galacticos no more.
The other factor, one that will not have passed Abramovich by, is that Eden Hazard has never hidden his love and admiration for Zidane the man.
Madrid target Eden Hazard is known to be a huge fan of ZidanePA:Press Association
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It seems that the Belgian is minded to quit this summer, for Madrid. But what if Zidane turns up in SW6? That could alter the equation completely.
Other players, too, who are evidently considering their futures under Sarri, may be tempted to think again if Zidane is manager next season. Big players want to play for big managers. Always have, always will.
What would be certain, too, just like when Guardiola arrived at City, is that a Zidane appointment at the Bridge would get the football world buzzing, transform the mood music, make people believe Chelsea were serious again.
This season, for all Sarri’s initial results, Chelsea have looked at best a top four club. And, for the moment, they are not exactly looking even that.
But Zidane does not play for the top four. He plays to win. And win big.
As statements of intent go, Chelsea could not make one that shouts louder.
by – thesun.co.uk/sport