By Ewan Day-Collins
It was inevitable. It could have happened next week, next Christmas or next summer. Ruthless Roman chose yesterday, a mere footnote. Roberto Di Matteo’s gone. Rafa Banitez is in. Pep Guardiola will soon follow. The cycle of Chelsea managers continues. Surprised?
Roberto Di Matteo is either a tactical genius or the jammiest manager of all time. Yet his luck is out. He’s gone, probably forever. He will be remembered as the player who scored a really quick goal in the FA Cup final. Oh, and he won – through skill or luck – the Champions’ League. But Ruthless Roman Abramovich doesn’t care.
And that’s what makes him successful. Most people probably think Roberto Di Matteo should have stayed around. Some will shout at Roman for his “impatience”. But they’re wrong. This was his opportunity to sack poor Roberto Di Matteo. He took it.
People crow on about how “longevity” is important for success. But that’s not true. Jose Mourinho doesn’t stay anywhere very long, but he’s done alright. As have Chelsea; who have had seven managers since Ruthless Roman bought the club in 2005. In that time, the club have won nine trophies; Manchester United, with stability, have won eight.
This does not guarantee Roman’s gamble will work. But it does prove he usually gets it right, and also that caretaker managers are usually successful. Avram Grant got to a Champions’ League final; Guus Hiddink won the FA Cup; RDM won the Big One. Banitez could be triumphant also.Ultimately, this was just one crossroads on the path to Guardiola, the end of which Chelsea are determined to reach. This is the true gamble. The Spaniard could be the planet’s greatest manager. But he could equally be rubbish: guiding Messi, Xavi and Iniesta to glory doesn’t prove a great deal.
It will, however, take a lot more to take Chelsea to glory.
That was something RDM did. But that’s in the past. In the present, he wasn’t doing that well. Ruthless Roman has continued his cruel but effective cycle of change. Surprised?
About the AuthorEwan Day-Collins is a 16-year-old aspiring journalist. He enjoys writing about sport – especially football, cycling and cricket – yet has many other interests besides. As well as writing for OldTrafford.com, Ewan has written for ESPN cricinfo, cricketweb and the i newspaper. He hopes to pursue a career in journalism in the future.