When Roberto Di Matteo took his Chelsea side to Turin to take on Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, he knew it was a massive game and a defeat would leave him under a bit of pressure at Stamford Bridge.
However, not many expected Roman Abramovich to sack the Italian this morning after a disappointing result. The Blues went down 3-0 to Juventus and now their Champions League fate is out of their hands – which means they could be the first holders of the competition to go out at the group stages.
Abramovich is, as we all know, no stranger to getting rid of a manager – but just six months after winning both the Champions League and FA Cup, giving Di Matteo the boot really is a bit of a shock. Although the Londoners face a tough task in reaching the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition, they are still in contention for the Premier League title and stability was what many thought the Russian owner was after.
A spokesman from Chelsea said: “Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo.
“The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.”
Di Matteo had to deal with a lot of things off the pitch as well with the John Terry saga taking centre stage of the majority of press conferences during his short spell in charge. He dealt with the situation extremely well and has been without his captain and players such as Frank Lampard for most of this campaign.
Eight managers have now come and gone since Abramovich took over the club in 2003 and now the role as Chelsea gaffer is becoming somewhat of a poisoned challis. If you win a domestic cup and then the biggest club trophy available and get the boot after a poor month or so – what do you have to do at Stamford Bridge to remain in a job?
The search is on for a new boss now, but would managers that are well respected in the game take this job knowing that they are not likely to be given any sort of time?
Chelsea fans must have a very strange feeling right now. For all Abramovich has done for the club, he seems to be treating it a bit more like a toy of his instead of realising just what I means to so many people.