Less than a year after winning the FA Cup and Champions League with Chelsea, Di Matteo was shown the door at Stamford Bridge for his poor performances throughout the prestigious tournament this season. The club stands to become the first defending champions to be eliminated in the group stages.
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 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.
The sacking of Di Matteo makes him the eighth Chelsea manager to lose his job in as many years—the same time in which Roman Abramovich took over the club as owner.
Which, quite frankly, is ridiculous. Why sack your title-winning manager just eight months after his success?
He won the FA Cup, he won the Champions League, and he had the club off to a bright start in both domestic and European competitions this year.
I mean, seriously, the Blues have lost just two games in the Champions League and technically aren't even out of the competition yet, and yet they still fire Di Matteo? Chelsea currently sit third in the English Premier League and have lost just two matches there as well.
Yet still the Italian boss was asked to leave the club.
The decision is one that will remain a mystery for some time to come, with the only logical explanation being the oversensitive needs of Abramovich to be considered an elite force in world football, where a single defeat is not acceptable.
Several of football's top writers have shared their opinions on the decision.
Remarkable that Roberto Di Matteo has been sacked by Roman Abramovich. I wasn't a fan of RDM, but this is just insane. #cfc— Samuel Tighe (@stighefootball) November 21, 2012
Brutal move by Abramovich to sack Di Matteo 6 months after he won Champions League. Shouldn't be surprised though. It's how Chelsea operate— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) November 21, 2012
Di Matteo sacked on my little boy's 3rd birthday. Something to tell him when he's 18. Probability be another 30 managers from now to then.— Mersey Reds (@MerseyReds1) November 21, 2012
262 - Roberto Di Matteo lasted 262 days as Chelsea manager, longer than Villas-Boas (256), Grant (247) & Scolari (223). Fired.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2012
If you bet that a Chelsea manager would be the first to get fired in the Prem this year, I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY.— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) November 21, 2012
According to BBC Sport, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez are being linked with the new managerial position, with the latter believed to be the front runner for the new post at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have not made a statement as of yet, but with a key fixtures against Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend, they would likely want to name a new successor prior to that match so that they can continue on with their season.
After all, this is a club that is still definitely in contention in England this year and still technically in contention for the Champions League also.
Should Chelsea win over Nordsjaelland in their last group-stage match—which seems likely—and Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juventus in Ukraine, then the Blues would be through to the knockout rounds of the tournament, seemingly rendering the decision to fire Di Matteo pointless.
What happens then if the West London club rise throughout the European ranks once more, clinching the Champions League and winning the domestic Premier League title along the way? Will that manager be held to the same standards that Di Matteo was, or will he be given more freedom to suffer short-term pain in order for long-term growth?
Chelsea are set for one very big month of football.
What do you make of the decision to fire Roberto Di Matteo?
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