Roberto Di Matteo has been declared the new Chelsea manager, with a contract binding him to the club for two years. I have to say I was not expecting this decision but I’m very pleased it happened.
After an initially promising campaign under new, young, manager Andre Villas Boas things took a turn for the worst, AVB was sacked and RDM was brought in to “steady the ship”. What he proceeded to do was what no other manager in the history of this club could do; win the coveted champions league trophy.
When news of his temporary appointment broke out, I admit I felt a bit gutted. I didn’t expect things to improve much, especially under the guidance of a relatively low profile manager like Di Matteo. However, I can safely say that Roberto Di Matteo exceeded all expectations and defied all odds to turn Chelsea’s disastrous season, into a historic one. As soon as he took charge you could feel the sense of belief, determination, spirit pump back into the veins of this Chelsea team, and before we knew it, we were back to watching the beautiful Chelsea of old. Now I’m not sure if these things happened solely due to the sacking of AVB or the appointment of RDM, but one thing is for sure, RDM deserves credit for what was accomplished. He united the dressing room, and brought the ageing stars back into the spotlight after they had been cast aside, and boy was he rewarded for that. Performances from Lampard and Drogba in particular (players who AVB didn’t treat as well as he should have) must have left AVB scratching his head at what could have been. I’m not here to bash on AVB, I just respect the fact that he and RDM are different. AVB’s approach did not seem to click with Chelsea, while RDM’s did.
One thing that calmed my nerves at the initial appointment of Di Matteo was the fact that this was not his first spell at Chelsea. He was a Chelsea player in the past and if there’s one thing I truly appreciate, it’s players who go back to serve their teams after retirement, whether as managers, coaches, or backroom staff.
Now after Di Matteo won the Fa Cup and Champions League, his future was surely a topic that was going to come up. I wanted him to stay, but judging from the time it took from the end of the season till now, I though Chelsea were on a hunt for a new manager whom they were eager to announce any day. Even with regards to his unprecedented success, I though Di Matteo handled himself pretty well all this time. He was always coy about his future, refusing to dwell too much on it giving the impression that he would accept any decision. He was always humble and calm especially when dealing with the media, and that is a trait I respect.
Then came the news that RDM got the job, and not just for one year, but for two! I was truly happy for him, he thoroughly deserves it and the players seem to respond well to his appointment.
Another point needing to be considered is that if Chelsea had not appointed Di Matteo on a permanent basis, who would have ended up coming in? The fact that Chelsea have gone through so many managers in a short period of time tends to ward off potential candidates, and with all honesty I do not see any manager on the market that would truly deserves the Chelsea hotspot.
In the end we congratulate Roberto Di Matteo on his 2 year appointment, and wish him the best of luck, and regardless of what happens he shall always be known as the one who finally brought the holy grail to Stamford Bridge.