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Di Matteo and Drogba audition for 'The Boss'

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Phil McNulty | 08:19 UK time, Sunday, 6 May 2012

Roberto di Matteo let Chelsea do his talking for him - literally. The FA Cup final win over Liverpool added another impressive line in his application for the post of permanent manager.

Chelsea's players formed an orderly queue to praise the Italian who has emerged from Andre Villas-Boas's failed managerial team to oversee a truly remarkable renaissance.

John Terry, an FA Cup-winning captain for the fourth time, reflected the support for Di Matteo within the dressing room as he said: "We've done Robbie the world of good with this win. It can do him no harm."

Another man waiting on his future also did himself no harm. Didier Drogba once again gave a Chelsea hierarchy so far unwilling to give him the two-year contract he craves a hefty nudge with the decisive goal in this 2-1 victory, scoring in the FA Cup final for a record fourth time.

Didier Drogba celebrates winning the FA Cup

Didier Drogba has now scored in a record four FA Cup finals for Chelsea Image: Getty

Di Matteo's face betrayed neither harm nor good as he emerged after being tossed into the air in celebration by Chelsea's joyous players. It was as stone-faced as it has been from day one as he deadpanned questions about the impact of this result on his future as irrelevant. "The boss (owner Roman Abramovich) will make the decision he feels is best for the club and we will respect that."

Of course no FA Cup win is an irrelevance and certainly not to a manager making his pitch for the job in public - or for a Chelsea side that looked in a state of permanent decline under Villas-Boas before he was dismissed.

"The boss" will reflect on two major decisions that face him this summer after they were placed in sharp relief by Chelsea's triumph against a Liverpool side that were desperately poor, almost overawed, for an hour before spluttering into life after substitute Andy Carroll's goal.

Abramovich must decide what to do about the interim manager who has now guided them to FA Cup victory and to the Champions League final, a competition that the Russian sees as his ultimate goal, as well as the striker who once again proved their Wembley match winner.

In the Chelsea way of things, no commitments will be made until after the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Germany later this month, but Abramovich has matters to ponder in the next step for Di Matteo and the great FA Cup talisman Drogba.

Di Matteo could barely have done more.

He may struggle to qualify for the Champions League via the Premier League's top four but he has repaired Chelsea's fractured spirit, got the "old guard" to roll back the years and has put them in sight of the greatest prize of all, adding the FA Cup as a desirable extra.

And yet there remains doubts about whether he fits Abramovich's bill. Pep Guardiola had his final match in charge at the Camp Nou for Barcelona as Chelsea's celebrations got under way on Saturday night and the suspicion lingers he may receive some high-powered courting to test his resolve of a taking a gap year in his glittering career.

Abramovich will certainly enjoy the cachet of glamour a figure such as Guardiola would provide, even if it appears a long shot at this time.

There is certainly a potential dilemma heading Abramovich's way, although history tells us he can usually solve these matters without recourse to sentiment or soft heart.

The stellar names of management will be more attracted to Chelsea if they are in next season's Champions League, which it looks like they will have to win to qualify. And yet if they win the Champions League how can he deny Di Matteo his opportunity?

As for Drogba, he demonstrated once more at Wembley that even in his advancing years as a member of Chelsea's elder statesmen he still has the power to shape and win a big game. This is not a quality to be cast aside easily, despite the club's apparent reluctance to agree to his current contractual demands.

Wembley is his playground and once again he delivered. He scored the winner against Manchester United in 2007, equalised in the 2-1 win against Everton in 2009, scored the free-kick that beat Portsmouth in 2010 and here he took Frank Lampard's pass to angle a fine finish past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina to score what turned out to be the winner.

He may be 34 and flirting with celebrity after an appearance on the Graham Norton chat show, but here is a football force to still be reckoned with. Of course he can be an irritating old drama queen but Chelsea would still need to spend an awful lot of Abramovich's money, probably more than the cost of a two-year contract, to replace him.

Fernando Torres is seen as the long-term bet and he has shown signs of life but it was a no-brainer to use Drogba's physical presence against Liverpool and Di Matteo was rewarded. If Drogba can be coaxed into the right mood, and on days like this the high maintenance is worth it, then it is surely worth Chelsea's board casting an eye over his contract demands.

He may be closer to the end of his career than the beginning but he will be some free transfer signing for somebody. He caressed a goalpost and touched the Wembley turf in the post-match celebrations and some interpreted it as a farewell but it is clear, like Di Matteo, he has supporters for his cause among Chelsea's players.

Frank Lampard said: "Didier is my hero. No striker scores so many important goals in finals."

The England midfielder also spoke on Di Matteo, adding: "Roberto deserves everything. He's turned the club around."

Chelsea can now turn their attentions to the big prize of the Champions League final - then Abramovich can examine the questions posed to him by Di Matteo and Drogba by the successes of this most transformed season.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Di Matteo has done a good job and Chelsea fully deserved their victory yesterday but the reality for them is that should Bayern beat them in two weeks time the season won't feel so good. If Chelsea finish 6th in the table and have only a Europa League position to look forward to then it has all been a huge letdown.

    I have a feeling that Roman will give him 12 months and then spend the whole of that period wooing Guardiola, hoping he will agree to take the reigns following his sabbatical.

    On a bright note it was pleasing to see King Kenny flop again, now Liverpool fans can tell us how successful their season has been. I hope no one has been backing Liverpool based on Lawro's predictions, they would have more debt than California if they had been.

  • Comment number 2.

    First to comment. Are the others still asleep!!!!!The press seems to want to dictate whether Di Matteo shoulkd be appointed manager or not. He has done well but Abramovich is Abramovich; he decides. Now the talk of Pep Guardiola, because he will be leaving Barcelona. Pep will struggle at Chelsea with the type of football they play. Ang he doesn't want more headaches. Best of luck to Di Matteo but it is a far shot. He will have to buy and buy and buy. Money will bring success, not the coach alone.

  • Comment number 3.

    Yesterday we wrote another chapter in our History, instead of living on past History :)

  • Comment number 4.

    Abramovich won't keep Robert. He just doesn't seem like that kind of person.

    On top of that, Chelsea aren't going to win the CL, however you look at it.

  • Comment number 5.

    "On top of that, Chelsea aren't going to win the CL, however you look at it."

    In much the same way they were not going to get past Napoli, then Barca ?

  • Comment number 6.

    Well I spent the whole afternoon taking the mick out of the 35million pound donkey, but I can hold my hands up and say Liverpool were utter pish until he came on, so humble pie eaten.

    Initial reaction to the second goal was that it was completely over the line, its not so clear on slow-mo replays so good call by the ref on that one I think as I dont see how he could ever have been sure.

    Still I hate the fact the FA cup has become so devalued :( not one 3PM kick off yesterday in the top flight, yet the cup was still postponed to 5:15 what's that all about ?

    and no coverage on the BBC (TV) ? why dont you jokers just give up, you may as well.

    Congratulations Chelsea and good luck in two weeks, Unlucky Liverpool. You both served up a game that as a neutral I enjoyed =)

  • Comment number 7.

    How Liverpool got to the final I will never know. For the first 60-70 minutes it was like watching Chelsea vs West Brom. No offence intended on West Brom but Liverpool just looked very ordinary, much like a mid table side. Apart from the volley from Bellamy they were completely toothless up front.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Liverpool just looked very ordinary, much like a mid table side"

    Guess what Liverpool are ? - (Hint here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/tables )

  • Comment number 9.

    8
    Still doesn't explain how they knocked out Man City over 2 legs in the Carling cup, won it, and knocked out Utd in the FA cup, (doing Chelsea a massive favour).

  • Comment number 10.

    @Jesus the Teddy Bear
    This is an entirely different game.

    I suppose I might me slightly biased, being a Munchen fan, but that's just the way it is.

    This CL campaign meant a great deal to us, what with the final being right in our home, and after getting here, there's just no way we're letting it slip through our fingers.

    Call it German determination, if you will.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well, Liverpool lost. Will their fans finally admit that it has been a rubbish season for them?

    Carroll surprised me though, he played really well. Maybe if Dalglish had played him from the start Liverpool wouldn't have been so toothless for an hour.

  • Comment number 12.

    Its a cup competition.

    I remember York beating Manchester United in the mid 90's (to use an extreme) does that make them a better team than what they are ?

    Same with Chelsea beating Barca to use another example, does that mean that now Chelsea are a better team than Barca ?

    Freak results happen all the time, Liverpool have always picked themselves up for 'big' games, its the games they expect to win that they are naff in.

  • Comment number 13.

    @10 oddly_modest,


    I don't think Chelsea will win it, I hope they do, but I cant see it.

    I was just pointing out that very few gave them a chance in the semi's

  • Comment number 14.

    There is no way I can see Chelsea winning the CL Final, for starters, Bayern are a much stronger and solid team throughout and I cant see Chelsea coping with their presence especially if Drogba starts acting like a drama queen as usual! Also Chelsea have many more key players that will be missing the final compared to Bayern and to top it off its basically a home game for Bayern so they will be relishing winning it at their home ground in their own city!

  • Comment number 15.

    @Jesus the Teddy Bear
    Believe it or not, I was one of those.

    I predicted a FCB - CFC final after the group stages, and look where we are now.

    I never liked Barcelona, they always played an incredibly ineffective game, passing for 90% of the match, and shooting(mostly off target) for the rest. Hence they tend to be really timid against better teams(let's be honest, there are only two teams in the La Liga).

  • Comment number 16.

    People have rightfully underestimated Chelsea, using the wrong assumption, that Chelsea will perform as they did under AVB.

    We came back after being down and almost out at Napoli, after which we beat Barca over the course of two legs, which is an outstanding achievement - not to mention playing with 10 men for majority of the match. It is these Non-Chelsea fans, or the so-called 'haters', that are keeping the Chelsea fans alive and full of energy.

    This is the time for all non-chelsea fans to put their England caps on and support the only English team in the finals. My predictions have been spot on since the Napoli victory and I predict Chelsea will win at Munich even without Terry, Ram, Iva & Meireles due to the pure quality & committment our players have shown under RDM. Revisit your assumptions basing them on RDM's success story as an interim manager. He has my vote to be the next Chelsea manager - this is what we need.

    So go get your Chelsea shirt, it is your duty to support the English team.

  • Comment number 17.

    Chelsea 'player power' may well rob Di Matteo out of the job here. You cant go to the press and call the manager Robbie surely? I couldnt imagine Man U players calling Fergie Alex in private, otherwise publicly. What would happen to these friendships next year once 'Robbie' has to do the job that AVP had - clear out the old guard and bring in new lions.
    As for Dalglish its been a difficult year, but who could they bring in to replace him? The club has been in decline for some time, and no manager is going to wave a magic wand and turn things around overnight. I would like to see both managers get another year and judge from there.
    Surely the example of what Fergie, Wenger and Moyes shows that sticking with a manager reaps its own reward.

  • Comment number 18.

    Liverpool were poor for an hour and quite frankly it's easy to throw the kitchen sink when you're 2-0 down with nothing to lose. Chelsea made it hard for themselves in the end by not preventing the only tactic Liverpool could employ, the crosses for Carroll. And of course as usual, Boswinga gifted a goal with sloppy defending.
    You get the feeling Robben will have the last laugh but, each game is different. Some Chelsea players; Bosingwa, Kalou, Mikel really need to switch on but they are prone to silly errors and one of those could be the difference in Munich.

  • Comment number 19.

    The biggest mistake Liverpool made was not to replace Alonso and Mascherano with anybody decent. They were top class players, and replacing them with Henderson, Adam and Spearing is just not the way forward.

  • Comment number 20.

    I doubt very much that Abramovich is stupid and it seems to me he has little choice but to appoint Di Matteo for next season. It's obvious the players are fully behind him and I don't think he will want another Villas Boas situation which seems inevitable if he brings in a new guy.

    He will have to wait until after next seasons flop to get rid of Roberto (surely going to happen if he sticks with current aging squad)

  • Comment number 21.

    18
    I agree. If Bosingwa plays, Ribery or Robben, (whichever plays on the left) will tear him to shreads. If anything Bosingwa looked better at Centre Back.

  • Comment number 22.

    #19
    Don't forget the football genius that is Jonjo Shelvey.

    One of the worst players i've ever seen.

  • Comment number 23.

    @ hobogeek

    Well said! Continuity is definately the best approach, people have to try and resist making those snap decisions to replace someone based on a patch of bad form or results!

  • Comment number 24.

    22
    Exactly, it was clear the midfield was overun all the way through the match, the only way they got back into it was hooping long balls up to Carrol.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ribery plays on the left.

    Bosingwa has absolutely no chances. He's going to get dragged around like a rag doll.

  • Comment number 26.

    Chelsea were the better team, if Di Matteo does not get the job, Abramovich does not know his football. the Blues did me proud.

    And on the controversial goal, We were lucky in the semi final too. Bring in the technology guys!
    http://playwithflair.com/2012/04/16/blue-is-the-colour-at-wembley/

  • Comment number 27.

    #26
    You were lucky in the semi-final definitely but not yesterday, Carroll's header was clearly not in.

  • Comment number 28.

    Will Di Matteo be cautious in Munich or will he play Drogba and Torres from the off. To answer my own question, I doubt he'll play both.

  • Comment number 29.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 30.

    I love the way everyone gives CFC "no chance" against Bayern - let's wait & see. Considering the (relative) flops RA has appointed even if we don't win the CL DiMatteo should still get the job, the players want it, the fans want it, and who else could he get? If we really want to be as financially prudent as the board say we have to stop chucking millions away on managers who don't last half a season.
    As for the final yesterday, I'm over the moon that we won, as for playing it mid-season, in the evening, with poor/no transport for the other team's fans - ridiculous. The FA Cup should be the last game of the season, at 3PM - end of.

  • Comment number 31.

    #30
    I don't think Chelsea have zero chance against Bayern but the suspensions will hurt them more then Bayern's will. Ramires has become one of the best midfielders in England, his drive from midfield and covering ability wil be sorely missed and I thought Chelsea's strength in defence yesterday was largely down to Ivanovic and Terry who were superb throughout. Apart from the few seconds of humiliation for Terry when he got skinned by Carroll!

  • Comment number 32.

    PHIL

    Why go through the hassle of another new manager?

    Just look and compare

    a) the tactics

    b) the motivation

    under AVB & RDM.

    Which would you, as a Chelski fan, prefer?

    Yes, there are still issues for next season to solve, but would RDM be any less capable of solving them than Guardiola/Hiddink etc?

    Even on a week-to-week League basis, RDM's done a very decent job & it took 2 very special strikes by the Magpies to put them out of 4th place running.

    Just because his style of management isn't as obtrusive and obvious as others, doesn't mean he's actually no good. We aren't all full of it & he is a Chelsea man through and through.

    Maybe, just maybe, come 19th May, he could just show he's a lucky manager as well-something you can't legislate for!

    As to the Final yesterday, Liverpool were dire for an hour. Don't understand why Kennysaurus actually failed to start with Kuyt behind Saurez or on a flank, so Bellamy could play there-just no support to him at all & therefore too much for him to do alone until Ronnie Carroll came on.

  • Comment number 33.

    #7....like Chelsea v West brom....

    Ummmm, BIG difference....lil' old West Brom beat Chelsea if I remember correctly, and did you a great favour....cos it hastened the departure of AVB.

    A lilttle pointer....if you are criticising a team, best not pick one that cost a fraction of your own, yet beat you. Oh, we won't go into the fact that West Brom recorded a £9.2 Million profit last year...Chelsea lost a mere £71 Million...when they WON the League and Cup in 2010. Ho, hum....good business plan, until someone gets fed up of chucking Millions away. Oh, no slight against Chelsea intended.

  • Comment number 34.

    as an England and liverpool fan I fully and emphatically agree with comment number 16.
    we should all support chelsea as english fans . come on guys . eliminating Barca is not at all easy . as united and arsenal . all the best chelsea. hoping you will beat the germans on their own turf good luck.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ Kinace
    Well Said!

    They need to get the financial fair play rules sorted out properly, then we shall see which clubs are run properly and are not just successful because they are the richest!
    Prime example, Arsenal have not made a loss financially in the past 14 years, yet they have consistently made it to the CL knock out stages consecutively for the past 14 years! Nuf Said!

  • Comment number 36.

    33
    "until someone gets fed up of chucking Millions away"

    I'm sure the Chelsea owner will get fed up of chucking millions away when he has a mere £10 billion in the bank. Imagine the interest on that, and the huge profits from his own businesses. And anyhow, when somebody sells the club, the new buyer has to be even richer to be able to buy a club with such high wages and running costs, and the demanded cost from Mr Abramovic.

  • Comment number 37.

    Roberto Di Matteo does not need Roman Abramovich.

    Yes he loves Chelsea and would no doubt relish the full time managers job but he will not be out of work next season no matter what Abramovich does.

    There are probably a lot more people now wishing Chelsea to bring home the Cup from Munich and this extra good will is down to Robbie De Matteo.

  • Comment number 38.

    "He may be 34 and flirting with celebrity after an appearance on the Graham Norton chat show"

    Sorry, but that's it, you're quite right. If he's been on the Graham Norton Show then he is certain to have had his head turned - his football career is as good as over. Still, perhaps the BBC can fashion him into a West African cookery expert - we need one of those. Sunday 9.45-10.02 am?

  • Comment number 39.

    35
    Let me explain, the ffp rules will do absolutely nothing. They are designed to lower wages, and stop smaller cluns from going bust. The value of players will go down, meaning larger clubs will still buy the best players but for just lower prices. Meaning all clubs will make larger profits. The richest clubs will remain the richest for years to come.

  • Comment number 40.

    Bayern are odds-on across the market at the moment, whereas Chelsea can be found at 4-1. In reality, with RDM at the helm and with significant players on both sides forced to sit it out, Chelsea are more a 6-4 shot with Bayern at evens.

    If I had to call it, I would say Chelsea on penalties (even if JT takes one!).

  • Comment number 41.

    Credit to Chelsea for the win. First half was a dreadful game with both sides being negative but got exciting in the second half with the Chelsea second goal and Livepool fight back.

    I don't know why but I am convinced Capello will be the next Chelsea boss. I think it's been on the cards ever since he quit rather than remove Terry as the England captain. De Matteo is one of the nice guys of football and deserves all the success he gets so I hope for his sake Chelsea pull off another upset and become only the second English team to beat Bayern Munich in Munich.

  • Comment number 42.

    Without wishing to detract from his achievements so far this season, the question is really whether R.D.M. can build a new Chelsea that is good enough to challenge Manu and City in the coming years. The acien regime may have had a renaissance but they can't go on for ever.

  • Comment number 43.

    I know virtually no one gave Chelsea a chance when they faced Barcelona, and to be honest I think that worked in their favour. But I really can't see them beating Bayern on their home turf. Especially without the legs and work rate of both Ramires and Raul Meireles, and also their two best central defenders. Plus, with Cahill and Luiz fighting for fitness there's no guarantee that they'll have one natural central back, let alone two to face the in-form Gomez. (Not that David Luiz should actually play CB - he goes wondering far too often, lacks concentration, and is prone to mistakes that invariably allow Chelsea's opponents to score, or at least attempt to. I think he'd be better positioned as a full back personally). Nevertheless, whatever team Chelsea field they'll be up for it 100%, but Bayern will just nick it.

  • Comment number 44.

    Drogba getting owned here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FGdsy1DNzU

  • Comment number 45.

    @40 " I would say Chelsea on penalties (even if JT takes one!)."

    Sorry to disappoint you, mate, but you'll probably miss JT's missed penalty. He's not eligible for the final.

  • Comment number 46.

    When will Liverpool Football Club do something about the behaviour of their fans? They are a disgrace to the Club. Those who booed during the National Anthem should be banned. Those that caused havoc on the trains should be banned. Those that abused and spat at Chelsea fans should be banned. This is the first time I have experience the venom of LFC fans - I won't put myself through it again.

  • Comment number 47.

    The main thing in favour of Di Matteo is that he is a very lucky Manager and that can not be under rated or under valued. Contrary to popular opinion I believe his team selections are extremely flawed and this is why Chelsea make such heavy weather of playing good teams. Liverpool were there for the taking yesterday and Chelsea should have been out of site and 4 nil up before the Reds scored. Can anyone tell me why Mikel is constantly picked ahead of Essien for the DM position when Essien is the far superior and experienced player? Can anyone tell me why RDM keeps picking Kalou who can't hit a barn door? Why not play Torres in that wider role? At least when he cuts in we would have had a real chance of scoring or creating an opening for someone else. Chelsea are not expected to win in Munich (as they weren't expected to get past Barca) and I dare say Robbie's stock will go down after the Bayern game. Chelsea could do a lot worse though than give the job to RDM but I would love them to ALSO bring in a strong character with authority next to him like Gus Poyet to assist him with his obvious team selection problems. To help him in this CFC should get rid of players Kalou, Mikel, Malouda and Bosingwa this summer so that they cannot be picked by the new Manager. Obviously other players would need to be recruited for him but that is not a problem for the club.

  • Comment number 48.

    Delicious opinions on here. Loving the intrigue the final is already setting into people's hearts.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45

    My deliberate irony!

  • Comment number 50.

    Can any Liverpool fan now say that this season is anything other than an unmitigated disaster then? In the build up the majority of them were talking about 'two cup wins' as though it was a formality. When the sole aim of the season was a top 4 finish, is mid-table obscurity and the squad players trophy really enough after the clubs vast spending?

  • Comment number 51.

    If Chelsea lose the champions league final they will end up sixth with FA cup - that's a really poor season for them - time to rebuild and let go of terry, lampard and drogba

  • Comment number 52.

    @oddly_modest only two teams in Spain? That explains why three of the Europa League semi-finalists were Spanish, in a tournament containing City and United...
    People say there are only two teams purely because of how far ahead Real and Barca are, but at the end of the day anyone who watches La Liga week in, week out will tell you it's still a high-class league, and for Chelsea to beat Barca was nothing short of miracle.

  • Comment number 53.

    @46

    unfortunately its part of that clubs stinking " history "

  • Comment number 54.

    Good luck Chelsea for the Champions League final. Having said that if they don't win it Di Matteo will be treated the same way as Avram Grant was and he wont be given the job he so richly deserves. Having said that I agree with post 37, and he deserves much more than Abramovich, who just can't be trusted! He is a typical rich, spoilt young man who thinks he has the world at his finger tips and has little or no regard for people.

  • Comment number 55.

    #47

    Essien's finished. End of.

    Shame, but injuries have definitely taken away his pace & he's too old without it.

  • Comment number 56.

    Support the English team in Munich? That'll be the one that's owned by a Russian, managed by an Italian and with players from Czech, Italy, Spain and all points south? Yeah right!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    For all those saying to support Chelsea in the CL final, it's really difficult for a Newcastle fan (like myself) or a spurs fan to want Chelsea to win when it mean missing out on CL football next year after finishing 4th...c'mon bayern!

  • Comment number 58.

    @rhythmandhughes
    United and City have been horrid all season, both in England and Europe. To be completely honest, I believe that it's been an altogether embarrassing year of football for England.

  • Comment number 59.

    @rhythmandhughes Forgot to add, only redeeming factor is Chelsea getting through to the finals, but let's be honest, that was nothing short of unbelievable luck.

  • Comment number 60.

    #55
    Have to agree. Before his knee injuries he was in my opinion the best midfielder in Europe but he's now a shadow of his former self.

  • Comment number 61.

    @Susie45

    To be fair, Chelsea fans are no saints either! Think back to the minute silence held for the Hillsborough disaster in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Spurs - those that were disrespectful and couldn't keep quiet for 60 seconds should be banned!

  • Comment number 62.

    Awful match to watch. Less a showpiece of football than a training session for Chelsea for the first hour.

    Did JT travel home in AC's back-pocket?

  • Comment number 63.

    #57
    Not to mention having the likes of Terry, Cole and Drogba. It's hard for many people to wish them well.

  • Comment number 64.

    John Terry, an FA Cup-winning captain for the fourth time, reflected the support for Di Matteo within the dressing room as he said: "We've done Robbie the world of good with this win. It can do him no harm."

    In a nutshell that is why Di Matteo should not get the job. In the players pockets, and so what happens next season ? You can postpone awkward decisions but eventually they have to be made about the older players.

    Chelsea are a team riding the crest of good fortune, as any cup side does (and that is what they are this season)

    Napoli 3-1 down. Coles's goal line clearance to stop it be 4-1 ?
    Benfica -dominated Chelsea despite the fact they were down to 10 men.
    Barcelona - For all the hype over beating them, even a semblance of better finishing and good fortune would have seen them off. Luis getting injured before Barca ? Was that a blessing ?
    Tottenham - the goal that never was, changed the emphasis of the game. Even Bale scoring, Cech stayed on which actually was better
    Liverpool - it should have been 2-2, that header should have been scored and would have been 99 times out of 100. Liverpool may not have been in it much up to scoring their goal but they sure had a head of steam and getting to 2-2 would have enhanced that.

    Look, you get good fortune but you have to also accept it and take it, no problem on that score but the reality is Chelsea have primarily become an ageing team on the way down who have got lucky this season, the fact they are so far off the pace in the league reaffirms that to give Di Matteo the job will simply put control back into the senior players and delay the inevitable. There again, maybe thats what Chelsea are happy with, short termism, thats what the owner shows in his revolving door with his managers.

    If they win the CL, sorry when they win it because Good Fortune is on their side, as with United 99 (Post hit with 5 mins to go otherwise its 2-0 to Bayern) and Liverpool (Shevchenko would have scored in the last minute 9/10), maybe Roman might walk away ? he will have achieved his ambition after all.

    To repeat winning though, it means no Di Matteo next season. You can only get lucky so often.

  • Comment number 65.

    47
    I would say Mikel is a decent DM, Essien in his prime was one of the best box to box midfielders in the world, Chelsea used to have Makekele at holding role, who was quite literally awesome.

  • Comment number 66.

    Fact of the matter remains that yesterday Chelsea beat a Liverpool side who are, at the very best, worth their 8th position in the EPL. They've had another very poor season, and not even old St Kenny can do anything about it.

    I don't mean to detract from Di Matteo's impact, as Chelsea have looked much better since he came to the helm, but their season has also been a poor one. The blame cannot be solely laid at AVB's door. The players on the pitch are the ones who deliver the performances, and I would love to know the full story of how AVB was pressured out of the job by JT and co. Who would have thought Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle would all leapfrog Chelski this season? Recent results included, a rebuild of Chelsea is needed to get the club challenging consistently for the league again. JT doesn't look like a top flight cb anymore (Ivanovic bails him out alot!), the less said about Malouda and Kalou the better, Torres is finally looking good, then gets dropped for the FA Cup final, wow...that'll do him a world of good! Lampard isn't the box to box force he was, and still spends too long passing sideways or backwards (it was a nice pass to drogba though), Bosingwa is as good a defender as Rafeal (ehem) and Mikel is not exactly Claude Makelele. They've had a great cup run, the prem table doesn't lie. They need rebuilding, and is Di Matteo strong enough to knock the over blown egos down a peg? I'm not sure to be honest. 

  • Comment number 67.

    Support the English team in Munich? That'll be the one that is owned by a Russian, managed by an Italian with players from Czech, Italy, Spain and all points south? Yeah right!!!!

  • Comment number 68.

    He stuck with Avam Grant for one year, and Chelsea did not do so bad under him, and i think DM is a better man manager at least DM has proved enough that he can handle the big games same as Drogba and Lampard who have been under scrutiny all season by the media, but they have proved to many people wrong. How much longer do we have be swayed my the media to help us make our minds up. Drogba should stay without any doubt he has been an amazing player in the Prem but as soon as the figure on his age doesnt look so great people say he is washed up, its just pathetic really.

    The only challenge that DM may face is that if he looses the CL final and doesnt finish 4th can he attract players. So if Chelsea dont qualify next year for the CL then it will be down to who can attract the right sort of players to keep Chelsea pushing forward.

    Newcastle and Tottenham may not be able to repeat what they did this year because bigger clubs with more spending power may raid their squads. It seems the battle for 4th and perhaps 3rd is the most interesting part of what i consider in general a poor season.

  • Comment number 69.

    I find it amazing how Chelsea did not offer the 2-year contract to Didier Drogba. Think about it - He wanted a new 2-year contract a year ago, so if we offer him a 1-year extension he would have been here for 2 years anyway!

    I really hope RDM get's the job, but before AVB came I hoped Guus Hiddink would sign, but he was managing Turkey.

    Chelsea clearly need a big overhaul in the summer, funny how you see Bosingwa dancing away even though he's going. I still hope Lampard says for 2 years +, as he is still a brilliant Midfielder even if he doesn't have the 'legs' anymore - I hate that saying - he is still has something to give.
    Out: Malouda, Meireles, Bosingwa, Hilario, Mikel, Kalou.
    In: Winger, Striker, Midfielder

  • Comment number 70.

    66
    Completely agree. Bosingwa is a crime against football. Far worse than Rafeal. Kalou and Malouda are simply aweful, and the signing of Marko Marin has got to mark the end of their Chelsea carears.

  • Comment number 71.

    67

    the german national football team has 10 different nationalities ( i.e players from turkish , polish , backgrounds ..etc...) . they are all counted as germans and when they win it is counted a german win .period . same thing applies to english club.cheers mate.

  • Comment number 72.

    I like the Abramovich's policy very much ( a trophyless season is unacceptable) and as such, every Chelsea manager is effectively a caretaker manager.

    RDM would be retained till the results on the pitch begin to portray Chelsea as a club that is more interested in posting profits than winning trophies; irrespective of the Champions League Finals result.

    Its actually amazing how a team that did the double (09/10) and came second place the next season (10/11- which they would have won if Ray Wilkins wasn't sent away when he was) became old overnight. AVB's mistake was to listen to the press and give more playing time to younger players and bench the 'old guard' ( quite interestingly to the benefit of Man U who still field Giggs, Ferdinand and Scholes).

    Mata and Ramires have been great but the rest of the 'new guard' haven't been outstanding; in plain words, Sturridge, Luiz, Torres and Orielu haven't been our best players this season.

    My UCL final prediction is a Chelsea win via penalty kicks (with Robben missing a pen) and Mr McNulty would forget to post a blog on the game.

  • Comment number 73.

    69
    How can you call for Mikel and meireles to go? I think they've both been in good form lately. Especially meireles' work rate in barca, it was fantastic. Mikel has really stepped up too.
    Agree that kalou has to go though, awful player

  • Comment number 74.

    @51N4eem

    I really dont get this at all. The problem this season was AVB trying to force long standing members of the club out. Look how your missing Alex now, apart from being sent off against Barca i think Terry has been a rock and the defensive frailities comes from Boswinga and David Luiz, ths forcing Ivanvic as the main full back.

    Lampard has scored so many crucial goals this season and has covered more of the oitch than any other player. Drogba was the deciding factor next to Ramires against Barca and won you the FA cup. But you want them out?

    Miffed about that one, you obviously follow the media more than watching the actual games.

  • Comment number 75.

    You can never tell with Roman Abramovich. However, if Drogba wants to stay in the club, they can always renew his contract for a year, using him as an impact striker. Players like him defy age. What was Sheringham's age when he scored against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final?

    I suppose not even Abramovich can tell if he will keep Di Matteo or not. I remember when he was managing West Brom: their fans were worried that big clubs would come for him and take him away. It only took a string of bad results to be shown the door. It's a crazy world in football management today.

    The same goes for Kenny Dalglish too. Knives are sharpening at Liverpool for him. Perhaps, Liverpool are one quality striker away from re-emerging. We don't know if we'll be able to find out though, with Dalglish as their manager. At the moment, his history in the club keeps him in his job.

  • Comment number 76.

    For reasons I don't have the time to go into, I think Di Matteo should stay and I think the time is right for Chelsea for Drogba to move on, with our sincere thanks and gratitude for his time at Chelsea.

    p.s. Phil - I think that was something of a snide dig at Drogba when you mention celebrity. The interview itself was largely about Drogba's interest and involvement in positive things for his country, and little about himself. Perhaps if people concerned themselves less with, for example, the colour of Rooney's kitchen and less with trying to paint Drogba as the football pantomime villain of this age, you might see that one is a rather 'better' person than the other and should perhaps be acknowledged as such.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    @3 BritAbroad - "Yesterday we wrote another chapter in our History, instead of living on past History :)"

    History - A usually chronological record of events, as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events; The past events relating to a particular thing; Something that belongs to the past.

    So now you will have another chapter in your 'past' to be proud of, just like other teams!

  • Comment number 79.

    I just don't get how people can say Chelsea have 'no chance' of winning the CL. It's a one-off match. Yeovil Town would have a chance. And right now, the Chelsea players probably genuinely believe they will win it, which matters a lot. After all, Munich are good and have a great history, but so are/do Chelsea.

    OK OK, we all know the rules, in international football you play the game for 120 minutes and then the Germans win on penalties, but just sometimes it doesn't turn out like that!

  • Comment number 80.

    @15 Only two teams in Spain?!

    Would that be the two teams in the Europa league final, one of which slaughtered Man Utd, but are mid table in their league? RM & Barca would walk the premier league. 5 years ago we maybe had the best league (still the most entertaining) but Primera league has much more quality.

    Also how many teams would you say there are in Germany??

  • Comment number 81.

    @76 MrBlueBurns your point is a valid one...but isn't highlighting someone being a 'better person' than Wayne Rooney kind of like saying that water usually runs downhill? Giggs/Cole/Terry (allegedly...*yawn*) aside of course!

  • Comment number 82.

    What a player Ramires has looked these last few weeks

  • Comment number 83.

    What a poor game and it reflected the decline of both clubs. RDM got a bounce in fortune as many new managers do but this Chelsea team is the worst since the Russian arrived......by a distance. Mikel, Kalou, Boswinga? Lampard well past his best and a defence that almost fell apart when Liverpool threw on the donkey and went all route one. Drogba took his goal well but how he wasn;t replaced in the 2nd half is beyond me. It doesn't really matter if RDM gets the job or not. This is a team in need of a serious overhaul.

    As for Liverpool? I was sure that Sam Allerdyce had snook into the Liverpool dugout. Poor as Chelsea were, Liverpool were worse. This is a club in serious decline. Downing and Henderson confirmed, if confirmation were actually needed, that they were a waste of money. Gerrard is cleraly past it, Enrique has gone backwards and Spearing is a poor man's Darren Gibson. However, if you want a good collection of sleeve tatoos then Liverpool are the team to watch..........says a lot about the mentality and character that.

    Poor game between two very poor teams who need serious investment if they are to challenge for the title anytime soon.

  • Comment number 84.

    I was watching Liverpool's ''performance'', and then I thought I must have had the wrong channel, as I appeared to be watching a re-run of the BBC programme ''Walking with Dinosaurs''.

    Didn't this style of play and footballing ethos go extinct sometime during the Jurassic Period?

    What a terrible match. Although, I won't be too harsh on the EPL this time, as it was contested by one team who are challenging for a Europa League place, and another who are the epitome of mid-table mediocrity.

  • Comment number 85.

    Ramires is the guy we will really miss in Munich. He was tired yesterday after an hour but when he is on the pitch he never stops running. He gave Jose Enrique a hard time yesterday to the extent Enrique had to foul him until Dowd showed a yellow. Ramires scored the important first and we dominated until we tired. We have enough big players and enough belief to win in Munich. As Jose would say it is a cup game and anything can happen. Ashley Cole and Cech have been excellent at the back all year. We just need some fit centre backs for CL final.

  • Comment number 86.

    79. At 12:08 6th May 2012, telnolies wrote:
    I just don't get how people can say Chelsea have 'no chance' of winning the CL. It's a one-off match. Yeovil Town would have a chance. And right now, the Chelsea players probably genuinely believe they will win it, which matters a lot. After all, Munich are good and have a great history, but so are/do Chelsea.

    OK OK, we all know the rules, in international football you play the game for 120 minutes and then the Germans win on penalties, but just sometimes it doesn't turn out like that!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Of course they have a chance but that doesn't hide the fact that they are a poor team that needs a serious overhaul.

  • Comment number 87.

    71. At 11:40 6th May 2012, englandany wrote:


    the german national football team has 10 different nationalities ( i.e players from turkish , polish , backgrounds ..etc...)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just because someone's from a different ''background'' doesn't make them another nationality, or any less German. Unless you think that players like Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Danny Welbeck, Paul Konchesky, David Beckham, etc. are anything other than English. :rollseyes:

    There are only three foreign-born players in the German national squad, two of whom came over at a very young age (therefore, are the equivalent of someone like John Barnes playing for England), while the other, Cacau, is the only ''plastic German'' in the squad.

  • Comment number 88.

    Get Rid of lampard? ??
    Scored in a champions league final
    Robbed Messi and set up the win at Stamford Bridge
    Slide Rule reverse pass to Ramires for Chelseas first Goal in The Nou Camp
    Beats Henderson and lays a perfect pass for Drogba to score in the Final
    Your 'avin a larf Mate

  • Comment number 89.

    The interview itself was largely about Drogba's interest and involvement in positive things for his country, and little about himself.
    -------------

    Interesting issue. Personally I like the idea of using celebrity to benefit others better than the standard celebrity 'line my own pockets and look at the WAGm car and house' model.

    #84

    Kennysaurus Rex did try to liven the Chelsea training session up by introducing Andy 'Diplodocus' Carroll!

  • Comment number 90.

    Writing was on wall really as soon as Liverpool lined up with Henderson and Spearing in the middle of the park. Maybe the ball crossed the line but in real time it was impossible to give that, watching it on the telly I'm still not sure if it went in or not.

    RDM must be given the Chelsea job this summer, winning one cup and in the final of another that no-one gave them a prayer of reaching. Although they have done well under him I still don't believe this group have the level of consistency to challenge for the Premier League next season but he's earnt the right to have a crack at it.

  • Comment number 91.

    Poor Liverpool. Poor Dalglish. The Kop still wont critisize their queen. I was listening to a radio phone in show last night and the scousers where still talking of "next season" they had blamed comolli for the poor signings. Some moaned of Henderson, Adams, etc.. but who offered them the contracts?? Dalglish has failed to take the club forward. Carling cups for the likes of Liverpool is no good. Liverpool have become nothing more than a mid table team now. Long live the queen i say.

  • Comment number 92.

    @CANTPAYWONTPAY

    In Germany? Quite a few. Roughly 5 teams have won the Bundesliga in the same time in which only 2 have in both the La Liga and BPL. On top of that, there's always competition, you never know how the table will turn out. Even Bayern can sometimes end up in third, whilst dominating the season before that.

  • Comment number 93.

    Looks like Chelsea don't need to buy any players this summer with the way they have been playing recently. They have a great chance of beating Bayern Munich in the champions league final.

    The key to Chelsea performing consistently and winning silverware each season regularly is by appointing a normal manager like RDM instead of a world class manager. Look at the success Chelsea are already having under a normal interim manager like RDM and compare that to how Chelsea played under a world class manager like ABV earlier in the season.

  • Comment number 94.

    92. At 12:26 6th May 2012, oddly_modest wrote:

    In Germany? Quite a few. Roughly 5 teams have won the Bundesliga in the same time in which only 2 have in both the La Liga and BPL. On top of that, there's always competition, you never know how the table will turn out.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Look at Mönchengladbach: they survived a relegation play-off last season, but qualified for the CL this season. That's the equivalent of Wolves finishing top 4 in the EPL this season!

    Also, a couple of seasons ago, Hertha finished 4th, then got relegated the following season.

  • Comment number 95.

    89. At 12:22 6th May 2012, Rob04 wrote:

    Kennysaurus Rex did try to liven the Chelsea training session up by introducing Andy 'Diplodocus' Carroll!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I was shocked to see Andy scoring a goal, let alone one which wasn't based upon a prehistoric punt up field towards him.

  • Comment number 96.

    Watching some of the game with me yesterday my eight year old daughter was so bored she asked me when she could watch Athletico Bilbao again or Messi and Barca just for some excitement.

  • Comment number 97.

    If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: Liverpool only want to beat Everton. If they had played like they did in the 2 derbies and the FA Cup semi final they would probably have won the double by now. If Liverpool would have won yesterday it would have glossed over their terrible league form and position and their reality would have gone out the window (although Liverpool's reality disappeared years ago still living off their history etc).

  • Comment number 98.

    Di Matteo has enjoyed success by letting a group of talented (if aging in parts) footballers enjoy themselves and play the way they want - getting them out of the collective sulk which I reckon dates back to Wilkins being given the heave-ho.
    He is untested in the transfer market, hasn't shown much sign of bringing through new talent and his tactical nous has looked suspect at times. I'm unconvinced as a long term prospect, but a replacement would need Mourinho's ego to get on top of the dressing room egos until they retire.

  • Comment number 99.

    hobogeek....
    "You cant go to the press and call the manager Robbie surely?" This is what RDM asked to be called by the players. He was questioned about it on MOTD, and said he had asked the players to callhim 'Robbie'.

    As for CL final, BM may be playing at their home ground, but they will only have the same amount of tickets as CFC. Both teams have 4 players suspended for the final. all 8 being important to their relative team.

    I believe that RDM should be offered the job perenantly, whether or not CFC win CL final. The 'old guard' should not be let go, but continue to play and aid the new younger players adapt to CFC's way of playing. Just because a player reaches 30, doesn't mean they are over the hill, and in need of a zimmer frame....

    Common CFC you CAN wil the CL. The fans are behind you all the way.... True Blue forever.....

  • Comment number 100.

    @74 shadow warrior
    What you talking about - you have had a poor season with these over the hill, power hungry players - like I said - you will finish sixth with an FA cup if BM win the CL final - A very poor season ! And it's all down to the players . Club won't qualify for CL next season if don't change. That's fact.

 

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