By Rasmus Lukunka
The sacking of Roberto Di Matteo was not a surprise. In fact, more surprising to me was that…a lot of people were surprised. I’d have been more shocked had this happened at any club other than Chelsea. A revolving door of managers is the norm under Roman’s empire. If Mr Abramovich can sack arguably the best coach in the world, namely Jose Monrinho, then it’s probable that no one is safe. The Chelsea owner’s expectations are simply unrealistic. To him, Chelsea FC is like playing a game of EPL Fantasy. With seemingly unlimited funds, he has the ability to handpick some of the best players in the world and doesn’t mind flushing the odd £50 million down the drain.
When it comes to handling managers, Roman Abramovich is like an impatient puppet master, becoming flustered and losing patience if one string gets tangled. Imagine his style of management – I’d compare it to having a boss suffering from bipolar disorder. You just never know what to expect. Every day is like a game of Russian roulette; you may or may not live to see another day at Stamford Bridge!
Unfortunately for Chelsea fans, it may get worse before it gets better. Since Mourinho was sacked in 2007, the lack of stability at the managerial level should be concerning. Seven managers including Avram Grant, Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andres Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo have graced the hot-seat in the last five years. Yes, there has been some success in the form of silverware in this period but it feels like a matter of time before the club goes through all the prominent managers left in the world of football. Soon there will be no experienced managers left to choose. Then what? With these tactics only short-term success is possible, sustaining it year-after-year is not going to happen.
So what does the future hold for Chelsea? Well, only Abramovich knows! Pep Guardiola is still enjoying his sabbatical in New York while Rafa Benitez has been appointed as Interim Manager. Following a spell of unemployment, Benitez doesn’t bring much assurance for Chelsea fans. He enjoyed success at Valencia and gained credibility at Liverpool. But since then, he’s fallen down the pecking order of the best managers in the game. Perhaps he can bring the best out of misfiring striker Fernando Torres?
In my humble opinion not even Sir Alex Fergerson, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola or Arsene Wenger can survive at Chelsea under Roman’s empire. It seems that no one can. The door may keep revolving until managers accept the fact that it’s impossible to please Roman Abromovich. Unless something fundamental changes then managers have to think about their long-term careers and find the courage to reject the millions to keep their dignity and careers intact.
About the Author: Rasmus Lukunka was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia and has been living in the United States since 1996. He’s been a keen follower of the English Premier League since its inception.Rasmus has been a contributor to OldTrafford.com since November, 2011. He has also worked with several local newspapers and sports affiliate websites to promote the game of Football(Soccer) in the United States.