Roberto Di Matteo


Chelsea's New Manager

By James Chrystal

How many years is your contract for Roberto ?

A year since they appointed their last manager Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea have appointed a new manager. There is always speculation over the Chelsea job and as long as Abramovich owns them I feel there always will be, unless the current manager is winning trophies of course. Abramavich with managers is just like Henry VIII with wives, if at any point he doesn't feel their good enough he simply gets rid of them one way or another. Chelsea fans will yet again hope that Abramovich has changed his ways and give Di Matteo enough time to build his team and allow them to gel.

Di Matteo was the popular choice in the eyes of the Chelsea fans having saved them from a terrible first half of a season and finished with the FA cup and the Champions League. Roberto Di Matteo's approach to the champions league was not a popular one, having parked the bus in both legs against Barcelona in the semi finals aswell as repeating this against Bayern Munich in the final to carry them through to penalties in which Drogba scored the winner. Abramovich has always been known to want to win the champions league and now he has won it most people would think he'd be delighted, but it is also well known that he wants to recreate what Barcelona have done with Chelsea, and play a game with lots of passing, possession and beautiful goals, the exact opposite of what Di Matteo did in the champions league semi final and final. This is probably why Di Matteo was only given a two year contract, it is enough time for Abramovich to see Di Matteo's approach at retaining the trophy and see him try to win it, but I get the sense that even if he does it twice in those two years Abramovich will still not be happy unless they are playing the "Barcelona way". This is why is comes as a surprise to me that Guardiola was not announced as the new manager, considering the time it took to announce the appointment of Di Matteo I do feel that Abramovich was trying to negotiate with Guardiola before going for his option number two, however I am just assuming and have not seen or heard any evidence of this.

Di Matteo is a manger who I feel could be a huge hit or an enormous flop at Chelsea, there have been many times where caretaker managers come in and do amazingly well, mainly due to the fact there is not much pressure on them and no-one expects them to win many games, but now Di Matteo is a proper manager for them and the pressure will surely rise, not helped by the fact that he will be trying to retain the FA cup and the Champions League. Chelsea fans will certainly hope that he does well however due to his popularity with both them and the dressing room. It's never bad to be popular among your players but when I see clips with them all together he does not appear to be their boss, he seems to treat them more like friends has been seen lots jumping around with them celebrating. This is a good approach until the slightest thing goes wrong, as soon as a big ego spits out his dummy causing a big chance of a power shift between the manager and players, and with the arrival of Eden Hazard I think it will be more likely than people think. Hazard's demands for the clubs that were chasing him was to be played in the centre behind the striker regularly, but with Mata established in this position it could be likely for him to be out of position and put onto the wings but with Sturridge, Malouda and Ramirez already there and Hulk being chased also likely to play there if they sign him, it could create a lot of competition for them positions too. At least one of those players will become unhappy over playing time and that is where Di Matteo will earn his money, or lose his job.

Can he do what Abramovich demands? And in the space of time that he's been given? only future can tell, but no matter what happens, the newspapers will be all over it as usual and back-pages will be filled with either praise for him or calls for him to be sacked.

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