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Di Matteo’s sacking and Benitez’s appointment – Right move for the Blues?

1.01K   //    22 Nov 2012, 08:29 IST
Juventus v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League

TURIN, ITALY – NOVEMBER 20: Head coach Roberto Di Matteo of Chelsea FC during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Juventus and Chelsea FC at Juventus Arena on November 20, 2012 in Turin, Italy.

Earlier today, I was informed of the sacking of Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo and my first feeling was one of bemusement. Bemused at the fact that the man who had led Chelsea to their first Champions League trophy and an FA Cup, all within two months, had been sacked after a disappointing few results.

But my second feeling was one of “here we go again”. Yet again, on TV, on social media and in newspapers, there would be a reaction to the sacking of a Chelsea manager. We were in this situation in March this year. Very frustrating.

What makes this even more frustrating and annoying is the fact that little to no Chelsea fans were calling for the sacking of Di Matteo, unlike when AVB was the manager in a supposed “crisis”. As much as every Chelsea fan (including myself) appreciate Roman Abramovich and his impact since buying the club, I feel his decision is out of touch with the views of those who make the club profitable, the fans.

Plus, who’s to say that Chelsea could not have escaped from this rut that they are currently in? A lot of the games that Chelsea achieved negative results in were without their inspirational captain and key centre half John Terry. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Chelsea’s attacking trio of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata will take time to work at their best, but they have the potential to be magnificent, and we’ve seen glimpses of their potential.

But enough about Di Matteo. Regardless of how sad it is to see him go, we must look to the future. And that future looks like it will be under the management of former Valencia, Liverpool and Internazionale manager, Rafael Benitez. Quite a few Chelsea fans are unhappy about this appointment, partly because of the circumstances, partly because of the fact Benitez was the Liverpool manager in many a controversial Chelsea versus Liverpool match.

Hull City v Liverpool

HULL, ENGLAND – MAY 9: Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez shouts instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool at the KC Stadium on May 9, 2010 in Hull, England.

However, I think us Chelsea fans should look past this issue and get behind the new man. If he receives a reception which is even slightly frosty, confidence will be lost, and pressure will begin to kick in. It would be very ill advised to not give him your full backing.

Despite the controversy of the appointment, Rafael Benitez has many desirable factors about him. His record is generally excellent, having led Liverpool to their historic fifth Champions League title in 2005, and the year before that, he was the manager of the Valencia side that won the 2003/04 La Liga title, defeating the “Galacticos” of Real Madrid and also Barcelona. His tactical astuteness is something to be admired too, while others say Benitez’s teams are amongst the most well-conditioned they’ve ever played against. Plus, Fernando Torres was never better than when Benitez was manager of Liverpool.

So, to Chelsea fans like myself, I encourage you to, yes, feel aggrieved about the sacking of Di Matteo, but please look at the merits of Benitez before you presume that he’s not the right man for the job.

Many, if not all Chelsea fans wouldn’t have expected Di Matteo to do what he did last season, so Benitez could well do something just as remarkable.

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