Wilkins Out, Zola In?

The club today announced the immediate departure of Ray Wilkins from the coaching staff at Chelsea FC.

A statement on the Official Chelsea Website read; “Chelsea Football Club chief executive Ron Gourlay has announced today that the board has decided not to renew Ray Wilkins‘ contract. This will take effect immediately.”

Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said: “On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank Ray for everything he has done for Chelsea Football Club. We all wish him well for the future.”

Since then, the official site has put a nice piece about Ray’s many times with us, but still very little explanation in terms of the reasoning behind his departure.

Speculation is already rife as to the nature of any replacement, with names such as Clarke, Poyet and Di Matteo tagged for a return to SW6, to whispers of Maldini being reunited with Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge.

The assistant manager position at Chelsea has in recent years provided a link to the club and it’s roots, whilst in the hands of managers who maybe weren’t so familiar, or not such a long term proposition. Someone ‘Chelsea’ to help steer the ship.

Ancelotti appears to have won over the fans, he’s certainly more popular than any since Mourinho, yet will it be his choice as to who he brings in as his number two? Or that of the club in keeping with the policy of imposing some kind of conditions on the appointment.

Will it be a name we know, or a coach not many has heard of? Could it be someone Ancelotti has worked with previously and selects on skill-set alone? Or will the club want someone they know and with the link to the Chelsea’s history?

Could it be that Gianfranco Zola is the perfect middle ground?