Chelsea has appointed Roberto Di Matteo to a permanent position as manager.
The news was reported by the team’s official website and states that Di Matteo has been signed to a two-year contract.
Di Matteo took over on an interim basis after the team fired first-year manager Andre Villas-Boas in early March.
Chelsea was in fifth place in the English Premier League when Villas-Boas was sacked. Di Matteo was not able to coax improved league performances out of the side, but led them on fantastic trophy-winning runs in the FA Cup and the Champions league.
The UCL triumph is what earned Di Matteo a permanent position on the sideline. His masterful defensive tactics were the reason for Chelsea’s victory.
The Italian’s strategy allowed the Blues to keep the potent Barcelona attack out of the goal in the second half of the second leg in the semifinal round. This accomplishment was made even more impressive because John Terry had been red-carded and the team was down to 10 men.
In the final, the team’s defense was spectacular once again, despite being shorthanded. They would eventually tie 1-1 and win via a penalty shootout.
Di Matteo undoubtedly earned the right to manage Chelsea for an entire season, but owner Roman Abramovich did not hire him immediately. Instead, management courted Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona manager who resigned after the season.
Abramovich has always been drawn to big names like Guardiola, but he did eventually settle on the right choice to lead his team.
Di Matteo may not be the most brilliant offensive football mind, but he proved that he can draw up strategies that win games.
Even with a haul of new attacking talents, Chelsea will run into matchups where the team will have to win games by relying on its defense. This will be especially true if they hope to equal their success in the Champions League.
Di Matteo coaxes the best performances possible out of his players and puts them in position to win matches. These are the most important skills a manager can have, even if it does not produce the most exciting brand of football.