Chelsea's decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo is short sighted and smacks of a rich boy playing with his toy……take that as literally or figuratively as you like.
Di Matteo was given the job at the end of last season after he guided an at times dysfunctional bunch of players to the glory of the Champions League and the FA Cup. And what was his reward? A one year contract - something that in the context of Roman Ambramovich's reign at Chelsea might be considered a ‘long term’ deal with 9 managers in 9 years.
Rumour has it they have replaced the door to the boss’s office with a turnstile and laid heavy duty carpet to cope with the high foot traffic.
This season Chelsea is struggling in the Champions League but sit 3rd in the Premier League with a record that reads 7 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses. Wow, third in the league behind the two Manchester clubs and right in the hunt for the title.
Apparently though the last straw was a loss against West Bromwich Albion (4th on the table), and of course the 3-0 defeat at the hands of Juventus in Europe.
This decision is dumb though, just plain dumb and smacks of no long term planning and certainly no faith in the man they lauded as they pushed out the door.
Words like 'will never be forgotten' were spun in the press release but ask yourself, how many of the 9 Chelsea managers of the last 9 years can you name? (The list is at the bottom of this blog to ease your pain).
Owners like Ambramovich may bring money and profile to the game, they may bring trophies every now and then thanks to the war chests they make available to buy a readymade championship winning squad.
I would argue those trophies are flukes or a result of the vast sums spent on players and little to do with a manager who has hardly taken his seat.
But an owner like Ambramovich also treats his club with disdain and with no sense of history or legacy.
With the attention span of a five year old opening Christmas presents, they discard what they one minute thought was shiny and new and the best thing in the world for the next gift under the tree, wide eyed and crazed with anticipation.
Well guess what Roman, you can’t have the best team every season, let alone every week.
At some point you have to invest in a long term vision and with it show some loyalty to a manager who will pour their heart and soul into the long term sustainability and success of your football club.
Sure success can be expected from time to time and if you plan right, have the right players in place and the right values at Stamford Bridge that success will come.
That might not mean winning the league every year; it certainly won’t be winning the Champions League every season.
But 9 managers in 9 years is just wrong. That is more a sign of an owner who does not know how to appoint the coach of a football team, or one that has no idea how to show any loyalty towards him and couldn't care less as he kicks another one for touch and starts opening another brightly wrapped present.
Jose Mourinho June 2004 to September 2007
Avram Grant September 2007 to May 2008
Luiz Felipe Scolari July 2008 to February 2009
Ray Wilkins February 2009
Guus Hiddink February 2009 to May 2009
Carlo Ancelotti June 2009 to May 2011
Andre Villas-Boas June 2011 to March 2012
Roberto Di Matteo March 2012 to November 2012
Rafael Benitez November 2012 to not long in the future