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Glen Hoddle (1993-1996)


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Glen Hoddle (1993-1996)

Written by Butch in August 2007

_39913789_hoddle300.jpgIt isn’t often that any Chelsea fan could possibly look favourably on someone with any connections with the pub team that play in white from the north of London. But there have been a few exceptions over the years. One of those exceptions is Glen Hoddle.

There was a time, during 1970s, when Chelsea were considered a fashionable club, with excellent British prospects such as Peter Osgood and Alan Hudson and a style that was easy on the eye. However, in the 1980s and early 1990s, Chelsea struggled, yo-yoing between the then English first and second divisions. Things didn’t look remotely like improving until a certain Mr. Glen Hoddle was appointed to take over from David Webb in 1993. This is considered by many Chelsea fans to be a significant event in our recent history.

Glen Hoddle was born on Sunday October 27, 1957 in Middlesex, England. He had had a distinguished career, both nationally and internationally. Though he spent the majority of his career in North London, he also had some success on the continent with AS Monaco in France. Prior to his time with Chelsea, he had spent two reasonably successful years as player-manager of Swindon Town, where he was able to help the club gain promotion to the Premiership.

Glen Hoddle did not arrive at Chelsea purely as a manager. He also made 31 appearances for Chelsea in that two-year period between 1993 to 1995, scoring one goal (against West Ham) before finally calling it quits as a player at the end of the 1995 season (last match against Arsenal, which he helped us win 2-1). He had made his league debut for Chelsea against Blackburn on the opening day of the 1993 season.

hoddlegullit.jpg Apart from transforming Chelsea’s style of play on the pitch, Glen was also able to use his high profile on the Continent to lure former European Footballer of the Year and European Championship-winning captain of Holland, Ruud Gullit, to west London, a signing that really got the club buzzing again. I personally couldn’t believe we had signed this footballing giant. Despite being slightly beyond his prime, he still was easily one of the biggest names in world football at the time. Other big names that he was able to attract to Stamford Bridge included Mark Hughes from Manchester United and Super Dan Petrescu from Sheffield Wednesday.

Although Glen Hoddle’s Chelsea never made a huge impact in the league where our highest finish under his reign was 11th, we were nevertheless able to compete at a high level and had some good Cup runs, particularly in his first season in charge when we reached our first Cup final for twenty odd years, the 1994-1995 season when we got to the semifinals of the Cup Winners’ Cup, and the 1995-1996 season where we got to the semifinals of the FA Cup.

What Glen Hoddle will likely be most remembered for is the return of the fashionable style of play, and for once again being able to compete with other clubs for the world’s best players. His reign will also be looked upon as a stepping-stone for subsequent seasons where we did secure trophies.

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