Chelsea continues their boneheaded ways with managers…
I woke up this morning contemplating Chelsea’s recent awfulness and what, if anything, original could be said about it. That led me to thoughts about Roberto Di Matteo, that maybe I’d write a little something in his defense since I was slightly surprised to hear commentators emphasizing how under fire he is after Chelsea’s poor Premier League form and Champions League struggles. These were my pre-morning coffee thoughts, but then I flip on the ol’ internet machine and the first thing I see are the Di Matteo’s-been-fired headlines. What? Seriously? What?
I’m actually shocked by the news that Di Matteo’s been given the boot. I shouldn’t be of course, given Chelsea’s managerial revolving door the past few years, but I’m still kind of shocked.
Chelsea’s current performance problems are player-related and not Di Matteo’s fault. The timing of this firing is very poor. Who are they going to get to replace him at this point in the season? Is another “caretaker” really a better idea than just sticking with Di Matteo for the rest of the season? I don’t think so. Managers have to do the best they can with the players they’re given. Di Matteo has done that. It’s not his fault that Torres can’t score, or even hold onto the ball for more than 0.5 seconds (and Chelsea’s woes aren’t solely Torres’ fault either – I can’t remember the last time the defense had a shutout).
By firing Di Matteo, Chelsea are seriously impeding their long-term progress and unnecessarily complicating this season’s quest for success. A team’s fortune can change pretty quickly – if Chelsea had given Di Matteo just one more week, Chelsea could potentially beat Premier League leader Manchester City this Sunday, and qualify for the Champions League knockout stage with a win next week. It’s hard to imagine them canning Roberto in those circumstances. Alas, we’ll never know. At some point Chelsea is going to have to learn real patience with managers or the club will be in a perpetual state of rebuilding.
What do you think of Di Matteo’s firing?