To many soccer fans, players and managers, it’s really unbelievable that Roberto Di Matteo, who took over from Andre Villas Boas and guided Chelsea to their first European Champions title, was rudely sacked by owner Roman Abromovic.
The Russian billionaire has hired and sacked a record nine managers since he bought the West London club in 2004!
The megabuck instantly installed the former Liverpool and Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez as interim boss until end of the season - the same manner Di Mateo had taken over the mantle from Villas Boas in March.
After the heroic winning of the elite European Champions League for the first time and the fourth English FA Cup, Abromovic hesitantly handed the Italian a two-year contract and he last just three months.
And of course, the logic behind the Billionaire’s hesitation is simple; he had started lobbying Pep Guardiola- former Barcelona manager, to take over the mantle at Stanford Bridge.
As such, Benitez’s status quo MUST be as short-lived as Abromovic negotiates and does all the required maneuvers to convince a highly respected and world class club manager. In a nutshell, Benitez is merely warming Guardiola’s chair, just in case he accepts the very hot seat.
And the Spaniard apparently came in primarily to re-ignite the expensive 50 million Pound flop Fernando Torres, his fellow Spaniard he signed for Liverpool from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool.
Yes. Sun Sport revealed that Chelsea chiefs “were aware Di Matteo was thinking of dumping Abramovich’s pet signing against Juventus a fortnight ago, advised him not to but the Italian ignored the warning”.
So, all the hopes are that under Benitez, Torres will regain confidence and hit the net regularly.
Would Pep risk accepting the job?
Isn’t Jose Mourinho, the current Real Madrid manager and the first man to win Chelsea’s first two Premier League titles equally respected?
Yes, Mourinho, who baptized himself “the special one” at the time, disagreed with Abromovic on the players transfer policy and was shown the exit door. The same applied to the Brazilian Luis Felipe Scolari and Italian Carlo Ancelotti.
So why risk one’s career credibility and job security at a time when there are better alternatives? In fact, as you read this, it’s an open secret in England and European circles that Guardiola is the anointed Sir Alex Ferguson successor at Old Trafford.
Ferguson is a best friend to Guardiola, has proposed him to the management echelons at Old Trafford as a suitable successor and has reportedly visited him at his leave camp in New York. Understandably, the Spaniard prefers Manchester United.
Having said that, the irony behind Di Mateo’s quick sacking is that more big club bosses will be shown the exit sooner than later. This reminds me of Harry Redknapp’s wise suggestion that “managers’ contract terminations should have a closing window”.
Even if the due terminal benefits are paid, a manager’s professional credibility is tarnished. For instance right now, the current Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas is frequently referred to as “a flop” since he was untimely sacked from Chelsea.
And in fact as things are now, he is among the few top club managers under intense pressure with doubts on whether their contract won’t be terminated soon. Until Wednesday, when the error refereeing enabled Hotspurs a 2-1 home win, AVB’s team had succumbed to three successive defeats and dropped to eighth on the table.
I’m among those who sympathized with AVB when his team drew with Lazio putting their Europa League hopes in jeopardy. But of course, the manager is not alone to blame.
Replacing of Harry with AVB was a mistake. Under Harry, the Spurs had actually qualified for Champions League only to be replaced by Chelsea, who had won the competition but had ended the season sixth.
So I’m sure the club chairman Daniel Levy must be sweating as much as Villas-Boas because he really needs this appointment to work. By dismissing Redknapp, against such a decent finish, Levy made a rod for his own back making such a miscalculation.
It against this backdrop that I strongly believe that Spurs already face one hell of a battle if they are merely to repeat Redknapp feat of finishing fourth; Everton have show the ability and ambition to qualify for Champions League, Liverpool have drawn several times against hard lucks but shown their quality.
The irony of it all is that Redknapp has returned to Premier League as Queens Park Rangers new manager and must be relishing haunting none other than Levy with whom he had a cat-and-rat relations at white Hart Lane.
And I’m sure Redknapp will practically show the difference between him and AVB at QPR in terms of tactics.
Otherwise it had been amazing that it’s mid-November and no Premier League manager had yet been sacked. And it’s not only Di Mateo and QPR’s Mark Hughes to lose their dear jobs, many more will be shown exit.