Guus Hiddink to Chelsea: We profile the Dutch manager

Guus Hiddink, Head Coach / Manager of the Netherlands looks on

Guus Hiddink has been confirmed as the new Chelsea manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Thursday. Here, we profile the experienced Dutch coach and examine his record before and after his first stint at Stamford Bridge...

Lifting the FA Cup in 2009 was bittersweet for Chelsea's players. The 2-1 win over Everton ensured a problematic season ended with a parading of silverware under the Wembley arch, but it also marked the end of Guus Hiddink's fleeting spell in charge.

The Dutchman had become a hugely popular figure at the club after taking over from Luiz Felipe Scolari in February of that year. In the months that followed, Petr Cech, Michael Ballack and John Terry had led the calls for him to stay, but Hiddink had vowed to continue in his role as Russia manager and their pleas fell on deaf ears.  "I realised I was wasting my breath after the 20th time of asking," recalled Terry at the time.

Guus Hiddink celebrates with Chelsea's players after winning the 2009 FA Cup
Image: Guus Hiddink celebrates with Chelsea's players after winning the 2009 FA Cup

Chelsea's players showed their appreciation by clubbing together for a £200,000 Rolex watch as a parting gift. It showed the special bond Hiddink had formed with his squad, and winning the FA Cup wasn't his only achievement.

Hiddink had steadied the ship after Scolari's chaotic tenure, and if it wasn't for Andres Iniesta's stoppage-time strike at Stamford Bridge he would have taken them to the Champions League final too. Hiddink only lost one of his 22 games in charge, and his 73 per cent win ratio remains the best of any manager in Chelsea's history.

The manager was spot on and did everything really well. We completely trust him.
John Terry on Guus Hiddink in 2009

Hiddink, a midfielder in his playing days, was already vastly experienced when he took the Chelsea job. At international level he had had success with Netherlands, South Korea and Australia as well Russia, but his first role in management started at PSV Eindhoven in 1987.

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In two glittering stints at the Dutch club, Hiddink won six Eredivisie titles, four Dutch Cups and the 1988 European Cup. In between those successes, he spent time in charge at Fenerbahce, Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Betis, where his achievements were more modest, with the 1998 Intercontinental Cup with Real Madrid his only piece of silverware in that time.

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Terry, John Obi Mikel and Branislav Ivanovic are the only Chelsea players who remain at the club from 2009, but Roman Abramovich will be hoping Hiddink can have the same kind of impact on and off the pitch.

Top Premier League win percentages (minimum 10 games)

Manager Win percentage
Guus Hiddink 85%
Manuel Pellegrini 66%
Jose Mourinho 66%
Sir Alex Ferguson 65%
Carlo Ancelotti 63%
Roberto Mancini 62%
Arsene Wenger 58%

His record since leaving the Blues, however, has been patchy at best. A few months after leaving Stamford Bridge, Hiddink's Russia were denied a place at the 2010 World Cup after an unexpected play-off defeat by Slovenia.

Hiddink left his post in June 2010 and immediately took charge of Turkey, but he resigned after they failed to qualify for Euro 2012.

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He resurfaced at Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in February 2012, signing an 18-month contract for his first permanent club position in six years. Hiddink steered the club from mid-table to third place in his second season, but he unexpectedly resigned just two games into the 2013/14 campaign.

In March 2014, Hiddink succeeded Louis van Gaal for his second spell as Netherlands manager. There was no repeat of his success in his first stint, however, and he resigned in June 2015 after a poor start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

Dutch national soccer team head coach Guus Hiddink in 2014
Image: Dutch national soccer team head coach Guus Hiddink in 2014

"I am sorry that it went this way," said Hiddink.

"I thought it was an honour to again coach the Dutch national team and I wish my successor, the staff and the players every success on the way to the European Championships in France."

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In total, Hiddink won just four of his 10 games in charge, and the Netherlands were unable to salvage their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign under his replacement Danny Blind.

But while Hiddink's recent record does not inspire much confidence, the memories of his first stint at Chelsea are not forgotten in west London. If he can come close to matching those achievements, Terry might find himself asking a familiar question.  

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