Wow! So Roberto Di Matteo lasted a mere 6 hours from gracefully accepting defeat in Turin to clearing his desk, probably with Fernando Torres smirking in the background. I personally thought he’d be sticking around at least until the qualification effort was over, but I guess if you know the team is on a losing streak, and you’ve made up your mind, you can afford to get in early to stop the rot before it starts!?
Roberto di Matteo will be disappointed to have been sacked but at the same time he must think he’s just woken up in heaven – he is going to be paid a substantial amount of cash (and sometimes they just pay out the rest of the contract) which effectively means he’s going to have another year and a half of being paid whatever ridiculous amount of thousands a week, quite possibly for lounging around on the beach in Dubai, or sightseeing in New York. If only…!
On top of that, he’s somehow managed to ascend the list of ‘possible managers’ at the top clubs, with his Champions League title ensuring that even if all he did was reinstate Frank Lampard into the starting line-up, he will be respected by chairmen and fans alike.
On Twitter the fans were going crazy with talk that Torres was behind the sacking of RDM – he got the sack the minute he dropped Fernando Torres! Many pointing to the fact that much the same thing happened to both Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas when they finally gave up on Torres, too, which all adds to quite a considerable conspiracy theory.
Abramovich certainly wants Fernando Torres to be perceived as a success at Chelsea, as his one signing that pays off, but right now he’s looking more like an Andrei Shevchenko than a Didier Drogba!
Which is why installing Rafa Benitez makes sense. Picking up a manager who had a less-than-stellar time at Inter after failing at Liverpool doesn’t really seem like a master-stroke to me, even if he did manage to somehow fluke a Champions League win on penalties over a Milan side that must have decided they already had the trophy in the bag.
The one string he has in his bow is the fact that he knows Fernando Torres – and managed to get the very best out of him when they were both at Anfield. Having turned Torres into a £50m striker in Liverpool, will he be able to turn him back into a £50m striker at Stamford Bridge? If he manages it then he will be richly rewarded, but if he slowly loses faith and gives up on the FT project in favour of younger options, expect someone else in charge very soon. Does anyone know who his coach at Atletico Madrid was? Javier Aguirre must be rubbing his hands at the prospect!
Tell us what you think – @ftbllr