Ghost of Wembley in 96 back to haunt Chelsea boss Hiddink
04 April 2009 01:53
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Managing one football team challenging for honours is tough enough. Balancingthe demands of two sides means your troubles are multiplied.
Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink must have been relieved to fly away from Russia to the relative calm of Chelsea after critics questioned his commitment to a national side that could only manage a disappointing 1-0 victory away to Liechtenstein on Wednesday.
Hiddink may believe the jobshare is workable but, back in Russia, the the jury is firmly out.
'After Hiddink went to work for Chelsea he doesn't care anymore about our national team,' said former Soviet international Anzor Kavazashvili.
'I have very good advice for Hiddink,' added Vladimir Maslachenko, another former USSR player and now a popular TV football commentator.
Hiddink knows Chelsea must beat Newcastle to stay in the title race
'He has a wonderful and cosy job at Chelsea and perfect relations with the club's owner. So he should concentrate on that and leave our national team alone.'
Hiddick, then, must have been looking forward to playing the Newcastle side he left behind rather than the revitalised team he will face on Saturday.
For he knows all about the inspirational powers of Alan Shearer, having led Holland when they were mauled 4-1 by England at Euro 96.
'I remember that Shearer, Sheringham and Gascoigne were the three engines of theteam,' he said. 'Luckily we scored a goal from Patrick Kluivert so we got through tothe quarter-finals. Nevertheless it was a big defeat.'
Did Hiddink believe Shearer when he said he will only be in charge of Newcastle for eight games?
'Yes, he said so, and I respect him very much because I know him as a player,' repliedthe Dutchman.
'It's always good to have big players making the transfer to managing. Sometimes in these circumstances any input is good, especially from someone with a big personality and history with the club.
'He may have no experience of being a manager but in this phase of the league it is not always important to know how to do training sessions in a responsible way. You have people who can prepare perfect training sessions. It's more about the psychological and mental input from ex-players like him.'
Hiddink put on a brave face regarding his own job juggling.
'I love both situations and it is manageable,' he said. 'We can do it, as we have proved in the previous month. It is nice to work on both jobs.
'I was in contact nearly every day with Ray Wilkins about training and player development. I was busy and fully focused on the games but in the hours in between I was able to have good contact with Chelsea.'
International week injuries to key players have added to Hiddink's problems. He will be without striker Didier Drogba because of an ankle injury sustained during a shooting drill in training during the week, while Portugal right back Jose Boswinga is out with a hamstring injury.