Six months and a day after lifting the Champions League trophy, Chelsea sacked Roberto Di Matteo just hours after their Champions League defeat to Juventus.
I had written earlier this week that this was a make or break week for Di Matteo with crucial games against Juventus and Manchester City. But I expected him to be on the sidelines for Sunday’s match against City. I did not envision a scenario where Di Matteo was fired before then, but after last night’s defeat the club moved swiftly today to fire RDM.
A club statement read:
“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.”
The statement continued: “The club faces a difficult task ahead in qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League as well as maintaining a strong challenge for the top of the Premier League while competing in three other cup competitions. Our aim is to remain as competitive as possible and challenge strongly on all fronts.
“The owner and the board would like to thank Roberto for all he has done for the club since taking over in March. Roberto helped guide us to an historic Champions League victory and a seventh FA Cup. We will never forget the huge contribution he has made to this club’s history and he will always be welcome at Stamford Bridge.
“The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager.”
Immediate attention will turn to whether the club can lure former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola out of a year-long sabbatical from football. If Guardiola does not want to jump into the Chelsea hot seat, other caretaker options are Harry Redknapp and Rafa Benitez.
What do you think of Chelsea firing Di Matteo? Right decision or too soon?