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 Roberto Di Matteo picked up an award last night in Italy which recognised his achievements with Chelsea last season which, considering he still hasn't got a new job, must have been forgotten too quickly by many in football. The likable Italian was then beseiged by interview requests, judging by the snippets coming out today, and there's some interesting bits in a few of the write-ups but our particular favourite is Tuttosport getting him to talk about his love affair with Chelsea and their fans.
 

Since the manager was sacked, supporters have sung his name around Stamford Bridge to show their support for him and contempt for the current situation. Poor old Rafa Benitez must be sick of hearing the song and Tuttosport asked Di Matteo how it feels to know his name is still sung at every game.

 

"With Chelsea, was love at first sight. It started after the signing of the contract as a player, and grew over the years. This love hasn't and will shut off there. It's sentiment that flows on my part and on the part of the public."

 

The Italian clearly loves the club and supporters a great deal, which made him winning the Champions League with them even more special and later it made the way he was treated even harder to take for fans of the club.

 

He certainly holds no grudges and his name will perhaps be sang even louder next time at Stamford Bridge, now he's reiterated his love for the football club and the public who support them. 

 

Tuttosport are based in Turin and Juventus is the main club they cover, to that end they asked Di Matteo what Didier Drogba could bring to the Seria A side if they signed him.

 

"He's an example, he can be useful to any team. And he's motivated, ambitious, a leader on and off the field."

 

http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/di-matteo-chelsea-fans-still-sing-my-name-because-it-was-love-at-

 

 

ONE DI MATTEO

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Excellent article in the Mirror that backs up what many of has been saying about Abramovich and the board looking for an excuse to get rid of Robbie because he wasn't a big enough "name": Reading the article rings all too many bells, and tells you all too much about the sad state of modern football:


 

Di Matteo, Adkins and O'Driscoll sackings show football is now about jobs for the boys

 

Matt Law argues the beautiful game is now more about who you know than what you know

There only used to be one piece of advice for football managers – win games.

But, as once again proved by Southampton’s sacking of Nigel Adkins, football is no longer a results-based business and it hasn’t been for a while.

Sure, it helps to win games but it is not the be-all and end-all for an increasing number of club owners.

The recent evidence is compelling. Roberto Di Matteo won the FA Cup and Champions League, and was sacked.

Sean O’Driscoll guided Nottingham Forest to a 4-2 victory over Leeds with the club climbing towards the promotion places and lost his job.

Adkins masterminded a victory at Aston Villa before a superb comeback against Chelsea that gave Southampton hope of Premier League survival, only to find himself out of work.

This is not even a particularly new phenomenon, as countless Chelsea managers under Roman Abramovich, Harry Redknapp, Alan Pardew and Chris Hughton could all testify to.

For managers and staff, football is a game of politics as much as it is, well, a game of football.

Owners pretty much all spout the same rubbish when they decide to ignore what matters to supporters and sack a manager in spite of his impressive record.

The excuse ‘We want to move the club forwards’ is basically a pathetic break-up line, more suited to an American teen sitcom – ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.

But it’s embarrassingly obvious Abramovich never really fancied Di Matteo, the Al Hasawi family were desperate to remain friends with Sir Alex Ferguson by appointing one of his old pals at Forest, and Nicola Cortese didn’t trust Adkins with Southampton’s money.

Avram Grant is living proof that it’s who you know and not what you know, and that culture filters beneath managers.

When Sam Allardyce took over from Grant at West Ham, he cleared out a number of members of the backroom staff to bring in his own team.

Goalkeeping coach David Coles was quickly thanked and sent packing, but a glance at his record would suggest West Ham should have been offering him a pay rise and begging him to stay.

Coles had helped Robert Green produce some of the best and most consistent performances of his career. He is also credited with bringing out the best in Antti Niemi at Southampton and David James at Portsmouth.

He spotted and coached Asmir Begovic at Portsmouth and the Bosnian has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

Despite the fact Begovic, Green, James and Niemi would all tell you Coles is the best goalkeeping coach they have worked with, there is currently no room for him in English football.

You see, Coles is popular with goalkeepers and other goalkeeping coaches. The managers he worked with are largely out of work and, crucially, he does not know too many chief executives and owners.

So Coles is now working for the Al Jazira football club in Abu Dhabi, where he has helped his number one and number two goalkeepers become first and second-choice for the United Arab Emirates national team.

Judging by some of Jussi Jaaskelainen’s performances of late, Allardyce could do with a top goalkeeping coach. And there must be questions at Arsenal over why the development of so many talented keepers stagnates.

But despite the public sympathy given by rival managers and clubs, a large part of English football doesn’t really care what happens to the likes of Adkins and Coles.

The real worry for most is understandably self-preservation and after that it’s a case of helping out your mates and trying to create some jobs for the boys.

Owners increasingly hire and fire managers on the basis of whether they can fit into the club’s latest ‘project’, have the right ‘profile’ and press the right flesh.

And if you don’t lunch with the right people, then it’s tough because results alone are no longer enough to bag or save a job in football.

 

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I've already posted this article from the Mirror elsewhere. But in retrospect, as a sad indictment of the state of modern "top flight" football, I think it's well worth its own thread:

 

So here again, is Matt Law in the Daily Mirror, hitting the nail well and truly on the head:

 

Di Matteo, Adkins and O'Driscoll sackings show football is now about jobs for the boys

 

Matt Law argues the beautiful game is now more about who you know than what you know

There only used to be one piece of advice for football managers – win games.

But, as once again proved by Southampton’s sacking of Nigel Adkins, football is no longer a results-based business and it hasn’t been for a while.

Sure, it helps to win games but it is not the be-all and end-all for an increasing number of club owners.

The recent evidence is compelling. Roberto Di Matteo won the FA Cup and Champions League, and was sacked.

Sean O’Driscoll guided Nottingham Forest to a 4-2 victory over Leeds with the club climbing towards the promotion places and lost his job.

Adkins masterminded a victory at Aston Villa before a superb comeback against Chelsea that gave Southampton hope of Premier League survival, only to find himself out of work.

This is not even a particularly new phenomenon, as countless Chelsea managers under Roman Abramovich, Harry Redknapp, Alan Pardew and Chris Hughton could all testify to.

For managers and staff, football is a game of politics as much as it is, well, a game of football.

Owners pretty much all spout the same rubbish when they decide to ignore what matters to supporters and sack a manager in spite of his impressive record.

The excuse ‘We want to move the club forwards’ is basically a pathetic break-up line, more suited to an American teen sitcom – ‘It’s not you, it’s me’.

But it’s embarrassingly obvious Abramovich never really fancied Di Matteo, the Al Hasawi family were desperate to remain friends with Sir Alex Ferguson by appointing one of his old pals at Forest, and Nicola Cortese didn’t trust Adkins with Southampton’s money.

Avram Grant is living proof that it’s who you know and not what you know, and that culture filters beneath managers.

When Sam Allardyce took over from Grant at West Ham, he cleared out a number of members of the backroom staff to bring in his own team.

Goalkeeping coach David Coles was quickly thanked and sent packing, but a glance at his record would suggest West Ham should have been offering him a pay rise and begging him to stay.

Coles had helped Robert Green produce some of the best and most consistent performances of his career. He is also credited with bringing out the best in Antti Niemi at Southampton and David James at Portsmouth.

He spotted and coached Asmir Begovic at Portsmouth and the Bosnian has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season.

Despite the fact Begovic, Green, James and Niemi would all tell you Coles is the best goalkeeping coach they have worked with, there is currently no room for him in English football.

You see, Coles is popular with goalkeepers and other goalkeeping coaches. The managers he worked with are largely out of work and, crucially, he does not know too many chief executives and owners.

So Coles is now working for the Al Jazira football club in Abu Dhabi, where he has helped his number one and number two goalkeepers become first and second-choice for the United Arab Emirates national team.

Judging by some of Jussi Jaaskelainen’s performances of late, Allardyce could do with a top goalkeeping coach. And there must be questions at Arsenal over why the development of so many talented keepers stagnates.

But despite the public sympathy given by rival managers and clubs, a large part of English football doesn’t really care what happens to the likes of Adkins and Coles.

The real worry for most is understandably self-preservation and after that it’s a case of helping out your mates and trying to create some jobs for the boys.

Owners increasingly hire and fire managers on the basis of whether they can fit into the club’s latest ‘project’, have the right ‘profile’ and press the right flesh.

And if you don’t lunch with the right people, then it’s tough because results alone are no longer enough to bag or save a job in football.

 

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This is a depressing reflection upon the warped values with the cult of celebrity has seen taking over elsewhere.  We were perhaps naive to expect football to escape from its invasive poison.

 

Forgive my ignorance, Tommy (and you don't often hear/see me saying that!) but roughly what percentage of top clubs are owned by rich individuals whose egos take priority over the well-being of the club?

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This is a depressing reflection upon the warped values with the cult of celebrity has seen taking over elsewhere.  We were perhaps naive to expect football to escape from its invasive poison.

 

Forgive my ignorance, Tommy (and you don't often hear/see me saying that!) but roughly what percentage of top clubs are owned by rich individuals whose egos take priority over the well-being of the club?

Roughly speaking, and unavoidably mixing the qualitative and the quantitative, I would say somewhere between far too many and 95%, with a conservative allowance of 5% or so for the exception that unfortunately doesn't prove the rule.

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My write up:

 

 

Robbie Di Matteo Speaks

 

Just over three months on from his controversial sacking, Roberto Di Matteo has finally broken his silence and spoken about his time at
Chelsea in an interview with Italian journalists.

As with any other recent victim of football's revolving managerial carousel, Robbie had withdrawn completely from the public eye since receiving the boot in November.

There is little doubt that the board meted out a legal clause to keep him schtum, similar to the one that prevented Andre Villas Boas from addressing the club in the media after his dismissal until he took the reigns at Tottenham.

The 16th minute chanting in support of our former number 16 shows no signs of abating, and whilst Robbie made sure not to pass any judgement on his dismissal or the current incumbent who ousted him, he thanked Chelsea fans for their continued public displays of support.

'I was pleased to hear the fans cheer my name after I left. It was love at first sight with the supporters the moment I arrived in London and I am sure that love will continue over the years.'

He also spoke about our European Cup triumph in Munich, and the enthralling three month spell that led up to it.

'It was an incredibly emotional experience and a very difficult achievement.

'I had three fantastic months on the Chelsea bench, but also tough, as we worked up to 18 hours a day to achieve our results.'

In addressing the ongoing Frank Lampard contract situation, Robbie indicated that he had advised our midfield talisman to consider a move to Seria A with Lazio, the club he played for between 1993 and 1996 before Ruud Gullit brought him to Chelsea as our then record signing.

'It would certainly be a good choice for both parties. I`ve given him my opinion.

'Lampard is a great player and a great professional, so I am certain he can play at least another two years at the top level.

'I don`t know if he will join Lazio or not, but it would certainly be a good choice for both parties. We often talk and I gave him my opinion. At the end of the day he will make the decision.'

Linked to numerous roles in the press over recent months, Robbie was non-committal in speaking about his managerial future in the game.

'Have I had any contact with Italian clubs? I prefer not to talk about this, as I have a great deal of respect for the current coaches. In any case, I won`t hide that I am very happy with what Lazio are doing in Serie A.'

There can be little doubt that Robbie's unjust dismissal derailed our season on the domestic front, and a lesser man might have been tempted to aim a barb at the manager parachuted in by his former boss to right a supposedly wayward ship.

Robbie, however, maintains his class and reputation as one of the games true gentlemen.

One Di Matteo; The question is, will we ever have another gaffer like him?

 

Vital Chelsea

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I don't understand how Rafa could have become "one of the boys" considering he spent the majority of his time at Liverpool spouting rubbish about Roman and his club in the press.

In this context, think of "one of the boys" as an established footballing name. As the author states, this is nothing new. It's the reason we appointed Scolari, despite the fact that he'd been out of club management for several years,  never mind managing in the Premier League, he was the biggest name currently available, as was Ancelotti.  AVB was supposed to be the next big thing. The one time they got it right was with Mourinho, who was the current next big thing. And that time they ("they" being Abramovich and the board - excuse me if I find it difficult to differentiate) blew it big time.

 

The article's reference to "The excuse ‘We want to move the club forwards", eerily reminiscent of Ron Gourlay's recent statement, the inference being that "moving forward" has little or nothing to do with footballing progress and everything to do with satisfying the egos of the Men In Suits. A vanity project, if you like.

 

The same can be said of the club's buying policy. Rather than scouring for hidden talent, or promoting from the Academy, the overriding policy has been to pay over the odds for the last big thing. From Shevchenko to Veron to Torres, these have all been "names",  bought at a time when it has been obvious to all and sundry that the money could have been put to far better use. Even Eden Hazard. He may well go on to become a Chelsea legend, you never know, but am I alone in thinking that £32 million could conceivably have been more wisely spent? On another forward to start the season with, perhaps. No not Falcao. Falcao might be a great player, but he'd also be another £50 milliion  vanity purchase.

 

With all this in mind, read the article again. Every word is all too horribly feasible.

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What baffles me about his sacking is that the board and Roman wanted a manager who could turn our image around. His class and his manner made him a media darling and anything negative he dealt with complete class.

I will never forgive nor forget the way the club have treated one of our own and also the fans themselves.

Our owner and board are showing the rest of the world how not to run a football club.

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I don't think Robbie is a great manager, but compared to Rafa he's our Messiah.

And of course Roman really f*cked things up with him.

I think given a run he would have grown into a great manager. If he, like all managers we have had, didn't have to deal with the meddling and buy their own players he would have stamped his style on the club and would have gotten out of the 'bad patch' we were in.

I believe the whole Clattenburg case was part of the boards plan to get rid of Robbie.

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I think given a run he would have grown into a great manager. If he, like all managers we have had, didn't have to deal with the meddling and buy their own players he would have stamped his style on the club and would have gotten out of the 'bad patch' we were in.

I believe the whole Clattenburg case was part of the boards plan to get rid of Robbie.

 

You might be right and I wish Robbie would have been given a real chance. The problem was that it really seemed like Roman never wanted him as manager, but because of us winning the FA cup and the CL, he felt he had no choice. Let's face it, we would have gone berserk if he'd let Robbie go. Not that him sacking him later on for no really good reason was better.

 

Our board (and owner as well of course) should have given Robbie a year and supported him during that time.

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You say he never wanted him and not giving him the job we would have gone berserk... I agree however we have gone even more berserk knowing they had this FSW lined up and replaced one of our own with a bindipper scum...

I know it's a tough league but the inconsistencies of Utd, City, Arse etc and the money we have spent we should have overseen a dominance like Utd have had if our club was only run with a ounce or sense and ability.

Managers can only do so much. They shouldn't be called managers at Chelsea anyway, they should name the position Romans Bitch and Assistant bitch etc.

The club is a joke, regardless of the success we have had under Roman we have no class, no sense of business and no idea as to what it takes to be a sustainable success.

I can guarantee if we had a sustained manager who had total control on signings etc we would have 5 Prem titles and more than 1 CL to our name.

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Brilliant man, and a Chelsea legend. The board should be ashamed of themselves for treating a hero of the club in such a disgraceful manner.

 

Benitez will never be half the man that Robbie is.

In one way he's 5 times the man Robbie is.

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