GUUS HIDDINK

Hiddink arrived in mid-February 2009, charged with saving the Blues' season after it had stuttered under Luiz Felipe Scolari, and he took England by storm.

The Dutchman was in the middle of a contract with the Russian national team, but the lure of the Premier League and a good relationship with Roman Abramovich meant a three-month contract with the Blues was also signed, and he quickly set about rejuvenating a struggling side.

The then 62-year-old immediately reinstalled the troubled Didier Drogba to the line-up, and the Ivorian quickly repaid the faith, scoring four in Hiddink's first six matches, including vital strikes against Juventus and Portsmouth.

His first five matches were won, and indeed over 22 games under Hiddink we lost just once as he led us to a third-placed Premier League finish.

It was in the cup competitions that he really showed his worth though, guiding us to a 3-1 win at Anfield in the Champions League, and into the FA Cup Final with a Wembley win over Arsenal in the semis, Drogba again netting the winner.

The temporary coach had improved matters by moving Frank Lampard further forward to aid his link to Drogba, with two other midfielders deeper, and he masterminded a 0-0 draw against the free scoring Barcelona in the Camp Nou, before the ill-fated second leg back at Stamford Bridge, where we outplayed the eventual champions for 90 minutes, only to come undone by an injury-time Andres Iniesta strike, several penalty appeals going unanswered in the process.

After the game, even the usually serene Hiddink was at a loss to explain some of the refereeing decisions. Clutching a DVD of the game, having already watched the key replays, he said: 'Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes, the referee can make mistakes...but if you have seen three or four situations waved away, then it is the worst I have seen. At this moment I have to think a lot if I have seen worse.'

Strong, but considered words, an embodiment of what he had brought to the club, and in the end Hiddink was rewarded with silverware, the FA Cup lifted after a comeback against Everton in his final game.

Celebrations were long, but as promised beforehand, Hiddink left quietly with the party still in full flow, the fans' rendition of 'Guus Hiddink, we want you to stay' no doubt still ringing in his ears as he did so. The players bought him a watch as a show of their appreciation.

He had long been revered across Europe, having lifted the European Cup with PSV in 1988 before taking on club roles across the continent with Fenerbahçe, Valencia and Real Madrid and then international duties with Holland, South Korea and Australia.

After Chelsea he took over the Turkish national side and then returned to Russia to manage club side Anzhi Makhachkala before retiring.