It wasn’t long ago I done a similar post for the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. I hoped at the time I wouldn’t have to do another one for at least a season but then again this wouldn’t be Chelsea Football Club if a manager was given time.
Here’s what some fans thought on the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and some thoughts on the man himself.
“Di Matteo was my hero growing up and seeing him lift the European Cup in Munich was a fairy tale in itself. Let that be your abiding memory of him as a manager.”
Where do you start with this? I am just baffled.
We have suffered far worse runs of form and decisions have been delayed for a lot longer in the past; it all seems a little too kneejerk. Salient squad issues are there for all to see: no new manager can change the fact Torres is barely even a shadow of the player he once was; no new manager is going to instantly amend our horrific schoolboy level of defending and no new manager is going to turn any of our squad into a John Terry style leader before January. We are sorely in need of a centre back; one powerful/technical midfielder and at least two strikers.
We no longer possess the midfielders to bully teams or play defensively. We no longer possess a striker (I could end the sentence there) who we can play directly to if needs be. We can only really play in an attack-attack-attack sort of fashion with any fluidity and were arguably three players away from cracking it.
The fact remains anyone bar a genuinely world class managerial appointment is going to cause deep resentment between the fans and “the board”. You cannot ditch an icon like Di Matteo for anyone less than a Mourinho or Guardiola (and even Guardiola is a huge risk). He might only have been a yearlong appointment, but if there was such trepidation about him in the first place why even appoint him?
Di Matteo was my hero growing up and seeing him lift the European Cup in Munich was a fairy tale in itself. Let that be your abiding memory of him as a manager. Wembley 1997, enough said there. The job may have been too big for him, but he deserved a bit more time than this.
Benitez… words escape me. Look forward to dour defensive tactics and an inability to attack. What fun lies ahead!
“The management of the club know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The fans will make their contempt for this ridiculous decision clear on sunday.”
“The way he and Eddie jumped, hugged and spun in utter jubilation after Torres rounded Valdes”
Socks over knees.
Boro home impromptu celebration.
Peroxide hair Sheff Weds away.
Golden tanned thighs.
Dedicates 43 second goal to blind sister.
League Cup semi screamer against Arsenal at SB.
Stockholm. Kissing Vialli and Zola.
Aston Villa. Old Wembley. History.
St Gallen. Leg shatters in triplicate.
Career ends in a Chelsea top.
2012. Galvanises dysfunctional mob.
We won 5-1 Wembley.
FA Cup Final: Chelsea players throwing Bobby in the air in celebration in front of the ecstatic fans.
Napoli. Benfica. Barcelona. Munich.
His respectful, articulate dealings with the British pr*ss.
The way he and Eddie jumped, hugged and spun in utter jubilation after Torres rounded Valdes.
His defiant, joyful, clench fisted mental shake of the European Cup. The Blue and White ribbons of Chelsea Football Club ruffled his cheeks as his victorious roar joined with the celebrating thousands in the warm, Munich air.
I love you, Bobby.
“Whilst I’m not for the Benitez appointment, I also don’t think it’s a great idea to completely dismiss any possibility of him winning the fans over. He’s a good manager and he normally knows how to build a solid defence. Do I like him? No. Am I happy with his appointment? No. I do think he deserves at least a chance though.”
“What makes it all the more maddening is that it’s far from clear how the switch benefits Chelsea on the pitch.”
It was hard to take. Losing a well-liked manager in Roberto di Matteo would have been upsetting even if he was swapped the Special One himself. But that his replacement was Rafa Benitez — a man with whom Chelsea supporters have a decidedly frosty relationship — well, it’s hard to blame people for being rather vexed at the whole situation.
What makes it all the more maddening is that it’s far from clear how the switch benefits Chelsea on the pitch. Benitez is a more tactically astute manager than di Matteo, but his style follows essentially similar themes, and what Chelsea need more than tactical tweaks are personnel changes at centre forward and central midfield. With that in mind, it’s very difficult to understand when di Matteo wasn’t given until the January window to fix things.
“It’s hard to encapsulate how I initially felt on the Di Matteo sacking. As for the appointment of Rafael Benitez, I don’t like using the term ‘out of touch’ in football but it really, really stands up here. One of the barmiest decisions in living memory. Since there’s one very clear reason this move has been made, I don’t support Fernando Torres FC.”
“There might not be an opportunity for second chances in the Chelsea managerial job but even those most accustomed to the owner’s knee-jerk whims have despaired at this latest decision.”
And so another one bites the dust. We’re getting used to this whole charade now, aren’t we? Except this time it’s different, this time the club have sacked a man who guided us to an unforgettable FA and European Cup double just six short months ago, a man who has handled himself in the perfect fashion since picking up the reins from Villas-Boas in March, a man who was a club legend.
It would be unanimously agreed that Roberto Di Matteo’s dismissal was harsh, however after a run of form that has seen the Blues pick up just 2 league points from a possible 12, and on the brink of missing out on qualification to the knockout stage in Europe, it wasn’t a complete surprise. Roman Abramovich has been notoriously ruthless with his managers these past 9-and-a-half years, yet tends to deliver the silverware at the end of the day that placates the uneasiness with which he goes about his business. Yet this all feels rather different.
There might not be any opportunity for second chances in the Chelsea managerial job but even those most accustomed to the owner’s knee-jerk whims have despaired at this latest decision. Abramovich never rated Di Matteo but felt pressured into giving him the job after he failed to lure Pep Guardiola. He’s evidently been waiting for the Italian to slip up ever since.
To then go on and appoint Rafa Benitez as Robbie’s successor rubs salt into the wounds of watching Chelsea fans. The former Liverpool boss has been damning of Chelsea supporters in the past but, more than his Merseyside connections, antipathy towards him also concerns his managerial pedigree. If he’s still unsure of what Chelsea passion looks like, chances are he’ll have a better idea by 6o’clock tomorrow evening.
You’ve heard what the Chelsea fans have to say. Take a look at what fans of other teams think here