Former Queens Park Rangers head coach Gareth Ainsworth is being lined up as the next manager of Chelsea Women, according to the latest reports.
Ainsworth has been out of a job since the end of October when he was sacked, with QPR sitting 23rd inside the relegation zone. Rangers had lost six games on the bounce and looked destined for relegation.
Furthermore, the ex-Wycombe Wanderers boss became the first manager in Queens Park Rangers’ history to guide the club to 11 winless matches at home in their 141-year history, a record which will stand out when many look at Ainsworth’s stint in the Loftus Road dugout.
Ainsworth was replaced by a relatively unknown entity in Marti Cifuentes, who was most famous in Sweden for managing Allsvenskan club Hammarby and coaching the side to the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying rounds where they lost to Dutch outfit Twente by one goal over two legs.
Additionally, Cifuentes was playing some scintillating stuff in Scandinavia but QPR’s decision to appoint the Spaniard certainly raised a few eyebrows given his lack of experience in English football.
Nevertheless, while the London club are still inside the bottom three, Cifuentes has kept the side in the survival conversation. 13 of QPR’s 21 points this season have come since the Spanish coach arrived from Sweden, while Ainsworth was in charge when the team picked up the remaining eight.
However, Ainsworth is now being linked with a return to management. According to a report from the Bucks Free Press, the 50-year-old is one of several names on Chelsea’s list to replace the legendary Emma Hayes.
This is one of the strangest rumours so far in 2024 and it’s certainly going to be difficult to top. Hayes is leaving Chelsea after 12 illustrious years as one of the greatest managers that the women’s game has ever seen and as a six-time league title winner.
While Ainsworth proved he is a good manager from his time at Wycombe, his spell with Queens Park Rangers was disastrous, to say the least. While any coach who replaces Hayes will be a step down in quality, there are far better options for the job including ex-Manchester United boss Casey Stoney and current Aston Villa head coach Carla Ward who should be considered before Ainsworth.