So Roberto Di Matteo was executed hours after losing the vital Champions League tie in Turin. How predictable….how very sad.
RDM delivered Chelsea’s greatest night. He may not have been the long-term answer but what Roman Abramovich has done is play to all the prejudice, all the pre-conceived ideas about the club being a rich man’s plaything. Just how many managers does he have to go through to finally be happy with his very expensive toy?
Installed as a caretaker, RDM confounded the sceptics in lifting not one but two trophies with a team that was a “busted flush”. A team in need of major surgery – which has only just begun. The “project”, to use the terminology of the last man to be ousted from his bed in the middle of the night, is still in its nascent stages.
The Chelsea job is rapidly becoming a poisoned chalice that no self-respecting coach will want to take on. It has a limited timespan and every result that goes against the team represents another few days off your managerial life. Decent men have come and gone and RA is running out of options, although we all know the characters who are being lined up.
It’s also becoming clear that whoever is advising RA on players needs to leave it to the pros. Shevchenko and Torres were the whims of the tycoon and they both failed miserably. Doubtless there will be others to follow, forced upon the manager.
RDM has been treated abysmally, but then so too were Carlo Ancelotti and Claudio Ranieri. The club talks about values, about its corporate social responsibility, about RA’s “fanaticism” but then discards respected football people as if they are toy soldiers. “A change had to be made” is becoming the mantra in the boardroom at Stamford Bridge.
Sadly, aside from chanting RDM’s name every now and then, Chelsea fans will soon move on – despite the triumph in Munich. People can vote with their feet, but they seldom do. Following a football team is like opium for the masses and as soon as the next man is appointed for his 18-24 month spell, he will be welcomed with open arms and a new era will dawn. A short-lived, painful era that will end in similar fashion, of that I am sure – because as we have seen in the past two years, even winning the “double” and Champions League does not guarantee the loyalty of your employer!