Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Chelsea's manager Guus Hiddink talks to Didier Drogba during a training session at the team's ground at Cobham.
Chelsea's manager Guus Hiddink talks to Didier Drogba during a training session at the team's ground at Cobham.

Hiddink leaves on a high

It was no flippant comment when the Chelsea captain John Terry said he would not be watching the Champions League final.

It was no flippant comment when John Terry said he would not be watching the Champions League final. For the Chelsea captain being unable to play in such a prestigious match caused him much distress. It is a feeling shared by many of his teammates and reflects how their mentality has reverted back to what it once was.

No longer moody Blues, they want to be winners again: a mindset reinforced by the arrival of Guus Hiddink as coach four months ago, just when it seemed Roman Abramovich's expensively-assembled side might have lost their old drive and desire. An FA Cup triumph tomorrow - for what would be their first trophy since Jose Mourinho left two years ago - would be the perfect farewell for Hiddink as he focuses on his role as Russia's national coach for next year's World Cup challenge.

He will be missed as Terry said: "We had to regroup after [Luiz Felipe] Scolari went. We have done that and the manager has been fantastic. We have loved working under him and it will be a shame to see him go." Despite missing out on the Premier League title and losing a controversial Champions League semi-final to the eventual winners Barcelona, Hiddink will leave with his reputation enhanced by his short spell at Stamford Bridge.

"After the game against Barcelona I was not in the best state of mind, but then I had a conversation with Roman a day after and I was still angry," he said. "But he told me to be proud because I had made a good impression worldwide with how we played against Barcelona, especially in the second game. "Roman added that I should not be negative and be proud of what the team and I have achieved." The FA Cup may not have ranked highest among their goals at the start of the season, but it could provide a validation of Hiddink's efforts in transforming the Blues.

"We are in a profession where it is always good to get some silverware," he said. "I've enjoyed working with the players. They responded very well and they are still very eager to get a lot of prizes next season. "When I came here I did not expect that. I expected I would have to fight against big names to get them on the right track to perform, but there was no such fight needed. "They are not fed up even though they have won prizes in the previous years and that is good to leave behind."

akhan@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National