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What now for Chelsea heroes?

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Phil McNulty | 23:00 UK time, Sunday, 20 May 2012

As the bells and sore heads rang out across Munich on Sunday morning and Chelsea prepared to make a triumphant return home, owner Roman Abramovich was keeping his thoughts to himself.

Even the capture of the Champions League, the prize Abramovich has cherished most since he made the journey from the Russian territory of Chukotka to buy Chelsea in July 2003, could not prompt him to break his silence.

Abramovich was able to touch that precious piece of silverware he has pursued with such zeal and even allowed himself to be caught on camera tapping a foot, clapping and singing along with the Chelsea anthems that echoed around the Allianz Arena after their victory on penalties against Bayern Munich.

Apart from congratulating his players and hoping for further successes, Abramovich gave little of his emotions away and the greatest interim manager of all time, Roberto Di Matteo, flatly declined to discuss what message the man he calls "The Boss" had given him after the game.

Drogba & Matteo

The future of Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (left) and striker Didier Drogba is still uncertain despite their success in the FA Cup and the Champions League. Photo: Getty 

As ever, Abramovich refused even a few words and the impassive expression was as fixed as ever. Behind the mask, however, the successful conclusion to Chelsea's almost surreal Champions League campaign suddenly left him with plenty of thinking to do.

And the men who might just - and it is only just because the suspicion always remains that Abramovich makes decisions that usually remain final - get him thinking are Di Matteo and Didier Drogba.

When the celebrations are concluded and Chelsea are somehow dragged back to reality after the dream sequences played out in Barcelona and Bavaria - sequences in which the English even beat the Germans on penalties - Abramovich must decide on their futures.

When Abramovich sacked his personal managerial pet project Andre Villas-Boas and put his assistant Di Matteo in charge for the last three months of the season, the notion that the campaign would end with Chelsea winning the FA Cup and the Champions League was fanciful at best.

And yet Chelsea can now parade both - and Abramovich must surely have spent the early hours of Sunday contemplating his next move. How can he say "thank you and goodbye" to a manager and player who proved in Munich what they can deliver for him?

Has winning the Champions League burnished Di Matteo enough of the gloss of glamour to be given the job permanently? Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, gracious in defeat, immediately handed the Italian an imaginary three-year contract. Abramovich appears more reluctant to take the plunge.

Chelsea's disappointing Premier League placing of sixth meant their immediate Champions League future rode on Saturday night in Munich. With the greatest victory in Chelsea's history secured, can Abramovich seriously deny Di Matteo his opportunity?

History tells us he can. It tells us Abramovich does not do sentiment when it comes to Chelsea business and he may deliver the greatest example of all to prove his single-mindedness.

Di Matteo, who even let his own stone-faced mask slip as he spoke in the early hours of Sunday morning, has presented a compelling case. He has renewed fractured team spirit, revived players routinely referred to as Chelsea's "old guard" and produced two clear, and more importantly successful, strategies against Barcelona and Bayern. Of course good fortune was involved but it invariably is and the prizes were handed out for victory, not artistic merit.

It is hard to see how Di Matteo could have done more. If he is not appointed Chelsea's permanent manager now, then it is hard to see when he ever will be.

And what of the great drama queen and talisman Drogba? The serial scorer in cup finals fully redeemed himself after his sending off in the 2008 Champions League final defeat by Manchester United in Moscow with Chelsea's late equaliser in Munich, and then the ice-cold dispatch of the decisive penalty?

Drogba happily laughed off Heynckes's suggestion that he is a great actor - but in Munich he played the part of hero, villain and then superhero again and has been the central figure in Chelsea's Champions League storyline.

Chelsea are refusing to agree to his demands for a two-year contract so there is every chance that the final penalty could be his farewell. What a way to go and what a way to demonstrate on the biggest stage that he is a talent they only consider losing after a great deal of consideration.

Abramovich and his cohorts may look to 34-year-old Drogba's age, his patchy Premier League form and a desire to move towards a new, hungrier young team - but the Champions League has been the Ivorian's proving ground and was once more in the Allianz Arena.

He was the scorer of that crucial lone goal against Barcelona in the semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge and the man Frank Lampard calls "my hero" was at it again with a thunderous late header to level Thomas Mueller's header for Bayern.

And then, with a script written for the final, he stepped forward to score the penalty that made Chelsea champions of Europe. Drogba also provided the winning goal against Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley for good measure.

He followed this moment of glory with something that was almost Didier Drogba in microcosm. As he waved his Chelsea shirt above his head and took the adulation in front of their supporters, he overdid it - or overdidn't depending on your point of view - and ended up stumbling away as if carrying an injury.

Drogba may play to the gallery but what cannot be denied is that he still shapes the big games. It is a priceless commodity and one that surely cannot be cast aside lightly, even by someone with a decision-making process as cold-blooded as Abramovich's.

He has been linked with a move to China and publicly denied an association with Barcelona, although it is easy to see him as a potent "Plan B" among the Catalan's passing beauty. He will have alerted more suitors on Saturday and this is a decision Chelsea must weigh up, or even revisit, in coming days.

Chelsea will rightly celebrate a magnificent victory, a Champions League win that can expunge bitter memories. They can finally move on from Luis Garcia's "ghost goal" in the semi-final at Liverpool in 2005, John Terry's slip as he took his penalty in Moscow three years later and the fury of semi-final exit against Barcelona in 2009 after Andres Iniesta's injury-time goal at Stamford Bridge was followed by bitter recriminations about the refereeing prowess of Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo.

There was no need for hard luck stories as Chelsea left Germany to continue the celebrations in London. Now the waiting begins for Abramovich to reveal whether Di Matteo and Drogba will be on the next leg of the journey.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I really think that Abramovic should keep them and recruit youngsters for the heroes to train them, but if the owner turns a deaf ear on their demand then they'll definitely leave and that'll be the downfall of Chelsea forever and ever.

  • Comment number 2.

    i think he should keep them both..tbh i think drogba still has a few years and if di matteo is staying i think they will win it again next year..i think theyll win the treble at the very least

  • Comment number 3.

    No.1 People have been predicting Chelsea's downfall forever and ever for many years now. The Blues can and wuill attract some of the biggest and brightest stars in future times. They won't be vanishing for many a year. Do you think many European stars will pass up the opportunity to play for a club that always gets beyond the group stages of the Champions League unlike the two Manchester muppets. The future is bright. The future is blue.

  • Comment number 4.

    If they keep RDM on will he start to bring in new young players and slowly get rid of the old guard? Or will he just stick with Lampard, Terry, Drogba and co.?

    The reality is Chelsea need to freshen up their team, sure the old guard did the business this year, but i can guarantee you that they won't win the champions league next year and there is the danger that they won't finish inside the top 4 again.

  • Comment number 5.

    Drogba is a legend and deserves all the credit he has got throughout his Chelsea career. But he is 34 years old and, big games aside, has not been a consistent performer for us this season.

    It is finally time for us to fully commit to the rejuvenation project we so desperately need. Let Drogba go out on this unbeatable high, still adored by the fans. Now is the time for us to build around £50M Torres, who has been a great performer recently despite playing in a team set up for long balls to the Drog.

    With players coming in like Marin, De Bruyne (and hopefully Hazard), Torres will flourish with their dynamism, counter-attacking pace and service on the floor. Drogba will not. Furthermore, with Drogba gone, Torres can rest assure his position in the club, feel confident and improve during what should be his peak years.

    Drogba, thanks for the great service, but Torres is the future. He'll undoubtedly go down as a club legend, but now is the time to fully commit to the 'project' AVB couldn't quite get started.

  • Comment number 6.

    No doubt, Chelsea's win is a tribute to the character, determination, skill and sheer will-to-win of the players, not to mention the coaching acumen of Di Matteo, but to my mind the biggest factor, in their success, by some margin, was (sheer good) LUCK!

  • Comment number 7.

    Di Matteo probably deserves the opportunity given the outstanding 4-month spell he's had, but I can't help feeling the "rebuilding" job would be one for a more experienced manager. RDM has close attachments to many players, which may compromise any long-term plan he would be given. On the contrary, AVB went too fast, too soon in freezing out the "old guard" immediately.

    Ideally, they would probably like a happy medium between AVB and RDM.

  • Comment number 8.

    No 5. Spot on, couldn't have put it better myself!

    This team should move forward as Torres' team. For Drogba it is the perfect time to go, I don't see him having the character to sit on the bench and wind down his career, he wants to perform all the time, I think with the additions of De Bruyne and Marin aswell as Mata last summer, the team is building to be a Torres based team.

    RdM in my opinion is a no brainier. Think he sat back too much last night, tactics were right in the first half but felt if Chelsea pressured that Bayern defence more there was goals there, but hey, one minor criticism over 3 months, and it didn't lose them the final anyway! He is a perfect fit! Thought the baggies were mad to sack him anyway! Let him run with it, see it as a far more successful 'project' than AVB

  • Comment number 9.

    I don't personally think that Di Matteo is the man to take Chelsea forward but I can see him being given the job.

    I think that some of the old guard will stay but some will go. I think Drogba, Kalou, Malouda, Essien, Bosingwa and possibly Mikel will go.

    With a new team being built around Torres. I can see a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lampard playing a deeper role alongside a more defensive midfield partner. Ramires and Marin out wide with Torres as the focal point and Mata (or similar) in behind him.

    I can see Terry becoming a squad player next season as well. i think Cahill and Luiz will cement their positions in defence with Terry acting as cover or maybe assistant manager to Di Matteo!

  • Comment number 10.

    Well done Chelsea, a great win. They've been a good cup team this season. Drogba would be a great weapon to have on the bench, but that's probably not what he's looking for next season. Can RDM build a team to win the league, or at least stay in the top 3/4, because that's what he needs to do to have the chance to win the European cup again.

  • Comment number 11.

    #10...yes I know they'll play in the comp next season as holders, I'm talking long term.

  • Comment number 12.

    would love a penny for AVB's thoughts at the moment...

  • Comment number 13.

    As a Man Utd fan it doesn't cause me a problem to congratulate Chelsea on their success. We had a bit of a shocker against them in 1999 and then turned them over in the final minutes. I would imagine Munich never want to meet an English team again in the final.
    It would be nice to carry some of this good fortune and spirit through to the Euros this summer.....however John some humility!!!
    He should have took a step back and then joined the team after the presentation. It might have improved his image in many peoples eyes but no he just ploughed on as usual in JT's world!!! Sorry but his respect rating amongst his England colleagues???? I hope Roy Hodgson got it right!!

  • Comment number 14.

    The question about what to do about Di Matteo and Drogba rather depends on what this win means to RA. Maybe having achieved his ambition that willingness to pump more money into the Chelsea team will lessen and his interest wane. Or it could drive him on to challenge Man City. That's where the interesting questions for the coming seasons lay.

    Ferguson must be hoping for the former. If its the latter, and with the Battersea project in the pipeline, I think it will be, I can see his retirement coming shortly. His admission that Man U can't compete financially with the Blue side of the city means a concerted drive by Chelsea would see the Reds as also rans. The signs, despite only losing the PL on goal difference have been there for all to see for a while now. I don't think Fergie's pride could accept that position.

    With a bigger stadium down the line, and the bigger exposure this win will have around the globe, Chelsea (and Man City with their Emirate backing) are a serious threat to Fergie's dominance. Its a distinct possibility that Man U could undergo a downturn not unlike the mid-70's, after Matt Busby's retirement, although relegation is out of the question. The trauma of not even being the best in their city, let alone the country, will be hard to take if it continues for any length of time.

    Arsenal are in a better position, thanks mainly to the manager they have in place. He is is exceptional. I think if he were given 11 strangers off the street he'd somehow manage to get them the 3rd spot.

    The rest will have to hang on for all they are worth to vie for that coveted last CL spot. Tottenham seem to be on the up and Liverpool unless they get it right this season will be condemned to dreaming about past glories for a very long time to come.

    2012/13 is going to be a very interesting season with big money and even bigger ego's on the line.

  • Comment number 15.

    After the way Abramovich has treated previous managers (including recent Champions League and World Cup winners), RDM should say thanks but no thanks. Things will only go downhill from here for him at Chelsea. He now has a CV the envy of any club in Europe, and should go to a club where managers are treated with loyalty and respect, not where the whimsy of the owner could mean the illogical and unjustifiable sacking of the manager!!

  • Comment number 16.

    I personally would love to see a happy Stamford Bridge with both Torres and Drogba still at the club next year, but Torres is not a happy man having to play second fiddle to Drogba, and he has said as much in an interview released today through the Spanish media. I think Drogba will go unless he's prepared to except the 1 year contract he was offered last October (Unlikely?). He will be able to play regular in China for two or three times the money he'd be on at Chelsea, and despite all the raw emotions attached to the situation being so close to having just won the Champions League, I think the realistically for both club and Drogba, it is time to place him in the pantheon of Chelsea greats and move on.

    As for RDM, they have to give him a 'proper' contract, otherwise they undermine his position from the out-set, and there in lies the nub of the matter, will they bite the bullet and offer RDM a 3 year deal, on decent money, or, do they look elsewhere with the same money and try and recruit a 'big name'? As sure as eggs are eggs, if it hasn't worked by the end of the 2012/13 season - if not sooner - they'll boot him out the door anyway! I'm sure a 3 year deal could be struck with buy out clauses should it go pear-shaped?

    The worrying aspect for RDM, is that I'm pretty darn sure the directors have already been networking for other managers, and I would suggest it rests on who else may be interested...

  • Comment number 17.

    Yesterday may well prove to be the day Champions League football jumped the shark. I cannot recall a less anticipated final in recent times, and the football did not 'disappoint'. And when Chelsea ended up winning we saw a first in title-winning celebrations: a dispersed celebration. Teams usually pile up into one huge mountain; the Chelsea players celebrated individually. Not really surprising - this is what the senseless pumping of money into the game brings you.

    Bring on a European Super League. If it has to be about the money, then at least we get to see stellar football weekly.

  • Comment number 18.

    Re 14. Interesting that people once again write off SAF. It is challenges like this that inspire him rather than encourage him to take a back seat.

    Chelsea will certainly be buoyed by their success in the Champions League however they do need some serious team building. There is the money clearly to do this however as we know it is how well it is spent that matters and the managerial appointment in this respect is crucial. Do not forget how far Chelsea finished behind the Manchester clubs in the league and if "the signs" that Man Utd are on the decline then where does that leave the likes of Chelsea.

    A title win for United this season would maybe have glossed over what is certainly not one of their strongest teams however by the same token Chelsea's triumph in the Champions League should not be allowed to do the same.

    A strong Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal along with the likes of Tottenham and Newcastle make the Premiership the league it is however if Man City continue to strengthen in the summer they may win it again. However as Chelsea fans will agree, the wealth of your owner does not always mean continued success and sometimes the cultivation of youth and team ethics can be just as strong. Di Matteo might just bring those strengths however could he be trusted with the purse strings? A difficult choice but I would take a chance on him!

    In terms of SAF retiring soon....I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. I can see him relishing the challenge the money of City and Chelsea bring....and when he mentions he can't compete with the spending power of City just ask yourself why does he admit this... everybody else struggles to compete with his footballing "mind games".

    Bring on 2012/13 and good luck to all!

  • Comment number 19.

    Next season will be a treat. I don't particularly want to see the Drog go, but having heard the Torres interview(to see the quotes see McNulty's twitter) I think it must happen. He cannot stay here because he has a lasting effect on the other players which, especially to Fernando, is detrimental.

    He will always be a legend at Stamford Bridge regardless of what happens.
    By the way what a team next year with Marin, De Bruyne, Mata, Sturridge, Kalou, etc. playing behind Torres/Drogba.

    We need a right back. Seeing as we stole Kyle Walker's space in CL maybe he's interested? Others could be Santon or Simpson from Newc or Van der Wiel.

  • Comment number 20.

    Di Matteo just won the Champions league...I'm sorry I'll just repeat that...'won the Champions fact, I'll repeat it again....'won the Champions league!!'. I think it may have been Bill Shankly who said: 'In this business, you get paid for results, not for effort'. And there can be no greater result. Look at England rugby...Stuart Lancaster came from nowhere, and instantly got results; he wasn't trendy or glamorous, but he won matches...and that's what it's all about!! You don't accidentally win the CL. And they didn't beat anyone worthwhile...only Barcelona and Bayern Munich!! The results do; should; and must; speak for themselves.

  • Comment number 21.

    RDM deserves the job on what he has done no doubt however if Chelsea are to continue the Abramovich "project" then a more experienced head should be brought in maybe as a director of football type character. Saying that though I'm sure RDM will have enough contacts and a sensible enough head on him to know what type of player he wants to bring in. I personally haven't made up my mind if RDM is a great manager or not. I don't think he is a poor one i just amn't sure if he has got lucky a little too often however can't take anything away from his results. If he doesn't get it then who will because Guardiola isn't interested it seems?

    Drogba on the other hand. I think it's the end of the road for the great entertainer at Chelsea. Last night he was superb but to think he could do it consistently for another full season would be foolish. Time to look at the future. Give Torres and Sturridge a chance. I personally don't think the Chelsea squad is anywhere near as strong as it was under Mourinho and i think this is a big Summer in terms of the future of the club. If they don't considerably strengthen and bring in the right players this Summer there could be a big slide in future years as it will be a struggle to attract big names if theres no Champs League football. With Spurs, Arsenal and the Manchester 2 all there or there abouts and all i presume will strengthen this Summer, Chelsea have to do enough to match them in terms of quality. Whether Newcastle can emulate this season or there are signs of a Liverpool revival remain to be seen. United and Chelsea though are the 2 teams i am most looking forward to seeing what happens in the transfer market this Summer and you have to wonder if Chelseas stock in terms of who they could attract has ever been higher so make the most of it.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hmm seems I'm in a minority thinking that di Matteo shouldn't stay on. The reasons are simple:

    1) Chelsea's turn around in fortunes has been just that - built on good fortune/luck rather than actual convincing performances. In very few games have Chelsea looked the better side.
    2) Chelsea need to move on all these older players. By doing this, it means Chelsea cannot play the way they have recently - which means that di Matteo hasn't really proven anything in terms of how Chelsea will have to play in future. Others will say give him a chance, but his previous experience is MK Dons and West Brom, so I don't think he has the experience to re-shape a team successfully. All he has done is get the team playing with a good defence and hoping to score the odd clinical goal - which is something Chelsea have always had since Mourinho. They've never created as many chances as other opponents but they create better chances.

    I don't feel di Matteo has really done much out of the ordinary. The owners wish isn't for Chelsea to play in the manner they have recently - yes they won it but they were incredibly lucky. That was 8 years of bad luck in the Champions League merged into one campaign. No way will they be so fortunate in future years when it's obvious that Real Madrid will dominate. Better enjoy it while we can!

  • Comment number 23.

    #18. I suppose I was writing SAF off a bit. Age is the main factor I had in mind before his comments at the end of the season. Its obvious to everyone that the money in the game is astronomical, but was to my mind not in character for him to admit that Man U are no longer in that league. Mind games maybe, but Man U folded when they had it in the bag, and that's not happened before. Something makes me feel there's a change in the wind.

    As for Chelsea, I definitely wouldn't say this win changed everything, but it does mark a new stage for the club and could go either way depending on RA's drive to improve the playing staff. He may be prepared to think and act more long term now the big one is in the bag. That's why I think RDM won't get the job and perhaps its for the best he doesn't.

    One thing I do disagree with and its to the detriment of the game, is money. At the level the Chelsea and the Manchester clubs spend, even if a fair amount is frittered away, it almost guarantees a certain amount of success. Its the next tier of clubs, when whether its spent wisely or not has the greatest consequence. In the end they almost have to get things 100% right immediately to even make a dent in the prospects of Man U, Man C, Chelsea. The only exception appears to be at Arsenal and I applaud them for it.

  • Comment number 24.

    Congratulations Didier Drogba, you deserve it after all your hard work.

    On the other hand, how many millions of pounds has Abramovich spent in compensating dismissed coaches in his quest for trophies? It is his money alright to spend as he pleases, but the question must continue to be asked about the morality of this way of doing things and the long-term effect to society.

    Will ManCity win it next year or maybe in 2014 given their endless wealth from a source that is accountable to no one. The money that is now involved in European football is too much, it is time for salary caps and expenditure caps to be introduced. The health of society is at stake...

  • Comment number 25.

    Credit where credit is due....even the Special One couldn't deliver the Champions League for all the bluster, bragging and money at the time. You don't have to be high profile to be a genius....and I'm not even a Chelsea fan. Re DavidBackhim 23:59 comment about Manchester muppets those muppets finished just the 25 points ahead of Chelsea in the premiership, and one of them has won the Champions league 3 times not to mention 11 FA cups. I'm quite sure Abramovich has often quietly rued the fact he got Chelsea whilst the Glaziers got Man United.

  • Comment number 26.

    di Matteo tells your boss, I am leaving now, don't wait. You are a capable, skillful manager. You can go anywhere, any club with the Champion League pass. If you stay and cannot win any trophies next summer with the same squad, then you'll be sacked. You are now a hero now but next summer a villain, so cruel. Brilliant as Mor. and An. with two trophies but none next year, then fired.

  • Comment number 27.

    What we are completely forgetting is that Cech/Turnbull/Cole/Terry/Lampard/Sturridge/Malouda's contracts are all expiring next Summer (2013).

    While it is important to retain RDM/DD/Kalou, it is also important to sort out others future as well. Busy summer for Chelsea for sure.

    I'd also like Thibaut Courtois to be loaned to a PL club for next season - West Brom may be.

  • Comment number 28.

    As a Chelsea fan, it'd be the most painful feeling to see Didier go, as painful as it was to see Jose leave. He has been a legend in every sense of the word at the Bridge. There's no way Torres will ever measure up to the service The Drog has provided since his arrival here. Arsenal fans might get this better, Drogba leaving would be like Henry moving away for Chelsea fans.

    Though I think in the longer scheme of things, it is better if Drogba moves on to greener pastures and retire peacefully playing in the States or China, as most reports suggest. However with Lukaku going on a loan next season to Werder, it'd be wiser to keep Didier here for another couple of years. Without Didier and Anelka, Chelsea attack will be very one dimensional with Torres spearheading it. Sturridge is not good enough yet to take over the mantle of lead attacker.

    As for RDM, incredible job, but he'd be better off going back to the assistant role for another couple of years before getting more experience for the job and also, hopefully, a fresher team. There's nothing anybody can do to replicate what Robbie has done for the club, but I guess even he'd agree that he has more to learn before taking the Boss' job at Chelsea.

  • Comment number 29.

    The fact that we are debating whether DD and RDM will stay or go means that RA has not got his head screwed on right.
    These guys just delivered the highest trophy a club can win in Europe and most coveted it is indeed!
    They should be given a pay rise and told to enjoy themselves instead of fussing about where their next job will be.

  • Comment number 30.

    Keep them at least for a couple of years. Good for the morale of the players.
    p.s. There are 3 players that created the equalizing goal.
    1. Torres made the corner possible.
    2. Mata's corner kick
    and 3. Drogba's header.

  • Comment number 31.

    It's a tough situation. Drogba deserves what he wants, a 2 year extension based on his performance. RDM deserves to stay on as a full time appointee. The problem is not Drogba's age but the the change in style of play that 'The Boss' wants. That cannot be achieved with Drogba, Lamard and co. RDM's appointment is frought with the risk of maintenance of the status quo and not enough change in style of play or turnover of the squad. However, with his unprecedented success and huge support from the fan base, it's a poisoned chalice for anyone else to take up the job. However rich, powerful and cold blooded the 'Boss' is, the management must not make the fatal mistake of alienating the fan base. I think it will be RDM, and I hope Drogba accepts a contract that allows the club to rebuild.

  • Comment number 32.

    Whatever the right thing to do, you can be sure that RA will chose the opposite. Let's face it, the man's ludicrous handling of the managerial position has probably cost Chelsea several trophies, and the lack of continuity now means that an aging team now needs serious upgrading.

    I've nothing against RDM but he has no pedigree for the job. And please....spare me the 'look what he's done this season' argument. The fact is that Chelsea have been very poor under RDM (but better than under AVB, which is not hard). They got incredibly lucky in the CL and if you chose that to judge the credentials of a manager who could be vital to Chelsea's future then I think you're being foolish.

    As for Drogba, 25 goals in 77 appearances for Chelsea in the past 2 seasons. That's worse than 1 in 3 and illustrates the decline that Drogba has undergone (understandable at his age). Yes, he's done brilliantly and scored some big goals but he's the past not the future.

  • Comment number 33.

    I think that a lot of the negative comments made about CFC are just pure envy, especially from the Arsenal lot. You are now officially London's 2nd team. Everyone likes their cities bragging rights and now we have it in spades.

    Abramovich would be mad not to keep RDM. Around Europe players will notice this. Top players will look at CFC and think that it must be a nut house if they win the CL then let go of the manager. I think the fans have often been uncomfortable with the sacking policy of Abramovich and if he lets RDM go and the new man struggles he could find it finding real voice. If he must then get in a technical director of football. If might even work that Capello could be interested. That would leave RDM in place with someone to steady RA's trigger finger.

    As for Drogba my heart says give him two more years but my head says this is his time. He is a legend. Think of Osgood and then some and you get a bit near to it. I worry that his presence will hold back Torres and CFC must commit to this man as he is a great player. Lampard should have at least two more years, Cole 4, JT 3, Petr the great at least 5 and JO Mikel has time to develop into something like a Claude Makalele. Straight off you have the spine of a team. Add around 4 well chosen signings (I think Glen Johnson should be one of them) and this can be a team that challenges on all fronts.

  • Comment number 34.

    lets be real chelsea had the most incrediable amount of luck to beat barca over 2 legs.the chances they missed,hit the post 4 times.barca will will never play so badly again in the forseeable.also the managed to beat bayern even though it was more balanced(bayern dominated but not as vice grip as barca,that was relentless,drogba deserved the medel for his defending during those 2 legs) and some choking/pathetic finishing from gomez and robben

    are chelsea the best team in europe,a resounding no like every chelsea fan will agree with,but my lord they earned it and deserved i would have rather a attacking,aggressive team win where the match in their hands and they want to win but defending that isnt easy to say the the least so as a gunner i would like to say congrats to chelsea the first london club to win the Cl.the sweetest thing spuds can dream about of 5-2 years and counting without a important trophy and their best players leaving them because of no

    their run reminded me so much of inter milans run a couple years back,scraping past barca, and then beating bayern in th final.all with lets be honest overachieving veterans like milan although there was absolutely no pressure on chelsea to win,they had nothing to lose whereas barca and bayern had everything to lose.the same applied to the inter team where they hired the special one to win the CL and he did.

    can they double up next season,no but if they keep di matteo,give him a chance(unlike avb,that was disgracefull and the players should be ashamed,they didnt bother trying or caring.that is why most people dont like chelsea) and clear out in the summer and buy exciting,fresh players to freshen the club up because players like lampard and terry,drogba are way to comfortable their and feel like they call the shots,plus they wont win anything again when the manchester teams(blue half anyway) spend as much cash as a government trying to bail out a bank.

    i hope the gunners and wenger grow a pair spend some money to compete we are the 3rd biggest team in the league yet we are dropping so fast it isnt funny.get the russian usmanov in and get the stupid yank out.

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 33

    I disagree that Arsenal are the "London's 2nd team". At the end of the day they finished above you in the league and took 4 points off you this season alone.

    Even Tottenham finished above you so this season, in the league Chelsea are London's 3rd team!

    they have had a good couple of cup runs but if it weren't for a lot of luck and poor finishing then Chelsea wouldn't have even made it to the Nou Camp.

    I think these wins paper over the cracks of the quality of the players in the Chelsea squad.

  • Comment number 36.

    Congratulations to Chelsea, you are now as big as Villa, Forest still a distant dream!
    Firstly, Cech was the lynchpin that won the double for Chelsea. Schweinsteiger's penalty (save not miss!) was millimetre perfect until Cech touched it onto the post. Drogba should retire from Chelsea on this high.
    RA is perhaps hoping Mourinho might be persuaded, but JM has unfinished business, Cup number 10 for Real. There is a danger that Chelsea could follow the pattern of Liverpool under Dalglish with Di Matteo. Credit to AVB for the players he brought in, but the old guard would not play for him and his assistant. RA is here to stay, would you rather be in Moscow or London? 6th is not good enough, Chelsea were lucky but somehow Di Matteo got the team past Napoli, Benfica, Barca and Bayern. Not since Clough have we seen such a feat!

  • Comment number 37.

    I've a funny feeling Abrav will do the unexpected. Di Matteo has been superb but is he who the Boss wants. He wants Guardiola, he wants Chelsea playing flowing foorball a la the Dutch of old. He wants his cake and eat it. Can di Matteo deliver the style he wants? Is Drogba part of that style. are they he future the Boss envisages?

  • Comment number 38.

    This is a tough call, but one that must be made. RDM should be given at least a full season to show us what he can do. But I fear he'd be nothing more than a stopgap until one of our preferred choices becomes available in a years time.

    Drogba is immense. But either he has to accept a secondary role - giving over the primary to Torres - or he must go. Not for any other reason than time waits for no man. He'll always be a legend, but Chelsea have to make the break some time. We have Torres, we have Sturridge, and it's time to give them their wings as the primary Chelsea attacking force.

    Drogba couldn't go out in higher standing, and I have no doubt he has two years left in him. But now, sadly, is the time for him to go.

  • Comment number 39.

    If Chelsea decides not to make RdM their manager, I wonder if Barcelona could be an option for him...

  • Comment number 40.

    People are mostly saying sensible things today - must be the sunshine! ;)

    The key to this is that RA has always wanted Chelsea to play in an attractive (as well as effective) style - he wants them to be more like MCity and Barcelona. Now the CL is won, he will want a manager who can implement this. For all RdM's heroics, I don't think he's the man for that project.

  • Comment number 41.

    In a normal world Di Matteo has done everything that's been required of him to get the job. However in the world of successful business sentiment doesn't come into the equation and Abramovich is not a sentimentalist.

    There is no doubt Di Matteo is a good manager and very tactically astute, but I don't think this is enough for Abramovich, he is still looking for the beauty and brand of football that Chelsea haven't provided under any of their managers including Di Matteo.

    Abramovich craves a team that is like the current Barcelona and a manager that can produce it. This is why Chelsea will shortly have a new manager and it won't be Di Matteo, I just hope I'm wrong.

  • Comment number 42.

    To attract top class players to the club it is good to give one year chance for the two heros as a security for stars in the future!

  • Comment number 43.

    Mancini was assured that he would keep his job after the defeat to Arsenal and produced the most extraordinary run-in with his team over the next six matches.

    Dalglish was cruelly ambushed - surely another twelve months would have been best for the club?

    Abramovich sacks his personal favourite AVB after a few months with no sentiment or scruples whatsovever. He must have thought that Di Matteo could get the team into the CL next year but probably had no hopes beyond that.
    Even though Di Matteo has exceeded the most far fetched expectations (albeit with some astonishing good fortune), Abramovich will not be deflected from his (unknown) path.
    The PL table doesn't lie - Chelsea are in sixth place, an incredible 25 points behind City and United! It's hard to unravel the specific reasons for this but Abramovich can't let it happen again.

    Torres has chosen the timing of his complaints perfectly. He surely knows that Abramovich has long had a Plan A and that Di Matteo, sadly for most Chelsea fans and players it seems, is not the leading light in it. Did I read somewhere that Abramovich hasn't even spoken to him for weeks?

    He could surprise us and take the right course, giving merit where it's due, but I somehow doubt it. As we know, he can disguise his impetuosity with the veneer of reason - AVB enjoyed one glittering season but his preceding career was mediocre at best. Nobody dares to question the autocrat, I fear.

  • Comment number 44.

    Now that Abramovich has won the prize he was most after who is to say he won't sell the club and move onto a different hobby?

  • Comment number 45.

    Phil, Mr. Abrahamovic may appear cold-blooded in his decision making process, but I can bet this is one of the toughest decisions he'll ever have to make. In this game, memories are a quicksand. After one of two disappointing results everyone including 'the boss' will forget Di-Matteo's sterling achievements in the interim and call for his head. That's why the owner has to think deep before handing him the job on a permanent basis. As for Drogba, it's a tough call but it's best to let him go. His ego won't let other strikers thrive and that's could be detrimental for the club. Even when he isn't playing well, it's hard for any coach to put him on the bench. So let Drogba go for the good of the club.

  • Comment number 46.

    Again we see the Man Utd fans moaning about how "poor" Man Utd are...First it was Man City that bought the PL title and now it's Chelsea who have bought the CL title. All of this bitterness is a very poor show indeed. If we were all honest, it is only what Man Utd have been doing for decades, using their financial power to buy all the best players and even poach players from other clubs, as Fergusson and his big budget did when they took Rooney from Newcastle....and paid out a then recrod transfer fee for a defender in Ferdinand, the list goes on.
    Man Utd ahve always spent big and now over the previous year or so other clubs have come in and done the same, Fergie, Utd and all the fans don't like it....Finally let us not forget the Deloitte Footbal League table which have seen them in the top 3 money lsit for many years....

  • Comment number 47.

    14: Busby retired in ’69 and Manu’s “resurgence” had already commenced by the mid 70’s (they won divi 2 in 1975 and started to challenge for things from then on even though they did not win the league). The big issue next season will be MCFC v CFC in whatever competition they meet. Other tussles pale into insignificance as the other “big” teams fight over the scraps.

  • Comment number 48.

    Wow, another great sporting weekend. I couldn't be happier. Even had some cash on Drogba anytime scorer at 11/4. What makes it even sweeter is that Spurs are now in the Europa League instead of the CL. Chelsea defo had their name on the cup since beating Napoli at home. Whilst I'm not 100% convinced with RDM he is Chelsea through and through. He's got done his leg work at the likes of MK Dons and WBA. Se he certainly deserves a crack. Lets face it, RA will mostly likely sack him if Chelsea aren't top by xmas anyway.

  • Comment number 49.

    We have seen over the last few years that fans and players should never have any say in who is manager. Keegan at Newcastle and Dalglish at Liverpool were fans and media choices and were both a disaster. Roman Abramovich is far to ruthless to be swayed by fans and media. it would a fine reward for Di-matteo but Roman Abramovich will make the decision not the fans and the media he's the owner.

  • Comment number 50.

    di Matteo has played a blinder since his appointment but any Chelsea fan who thinks he was solely behind the success is kidding themselves.

    IF he gets the job, how long before he has to make tough decisions on Drogba, Terry, Lampard and the rest of the old guard who he quite obviously had to 'get into bed with' to succeed in the job?

    Abramovich has his prize but will know that this was a streaky win at best and he won't be satisfied with that so expect another 'project' and a huge spending spree and once again the endless cycle of spend and sack will continue

    Congratualtions to Chelsea but I fear the 'dominance' the fans speak of is still but a distant dream

  • Comment number 51.

    Do not mistake these two topics into one. They're categorically different. It's not a defining problem that Didier is 34-yr old. The problem is that his playing style dictates that other plays like Torres or new arrival may find it hard to fit into being his partner. Pls refer to the comments of Ancelotti, "Didier reminds me of Pippo, he always overwhelms his partner in pair upfront. He wrecks and ruins the other by means of power, greed and aura. Comparing T9 and Shevechenko, do you think they can survive even for another year? I seriously doubt it and in sense of that, the existence of Didier is detrimental to the growth of the club.

    RDM, still surrounded by glory and credit, may be still steps away from sublime. However, you cannot deny his magic only supposing that he's not so convincing as "the special one" or Pep. However, if the executives place their aspiration realistically in next a few years, i'm of the opinion that he may grow into the co., just as the club can go as a whole.

  • Comment number 52.

    ".At 08:21 21st May 2012, Shimecon wrote:
    To attract top class players to the club it is good to give one year chance for the two heros as a security for stars in the future!"

    Sentiment wins you nothing.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a night, a fantastic result for Chelsea. Yes we were lucky at times in the competition but surely even the haters have to agree that the best team wins in the end. Personally I think RDM should get the job, we'll be a laughing stock if he wins the CL and then gets the sack, why would top players or managers then take the risk of working for RA? As for Drogba, that is simple. The man is a legend. He dives too often yes, but his performance in big games has been the making of the team and he should be given the contract he wants, he's earned it! Even if he doesn't get picked so much in the next two seasons, (if sturridge and torres can eventually prove they are better than him - doubtful), he's won us the FA and CL cup and deserves to be offered the chance to stay.

  • Comment number 54.

    Firstly well done to Chelsea, yes rode their luck but a organised and disciplined effort was rewarded, if we won a WC that way it would be the way forward!!! :-)
    This is a tough one, Abramovich has got what he really wanted, a CL title, will he move on to another project?
    The mourinho team has really run its course (& it is STILL his team with minor tweaks) an aging but serviceable spine, that will need carefully and expensive replacement. The puppets that have been put in place since the special one have not had he's support (and been give a few pups to deal with too)
    If he is a 'business' man he could decide he has put enough in as the reinvestment could be just as high to get to another CL final and obviously not playing in the style he seemed to once demand!
    Unfortunatly its not just the buying of players now but the wages with UEFA fair play rules kicking in I can't see how half a dozen of the top european teams will be allowed to trade?
    Who are the options? Capello please no! Give DiMatteo a chance he has earned it and the players are playing for him (poor AVB must have kicked some black cats) but it is a big rebuilding exercise while still winning games
    Good luck to whoever takes the job forward

  • Comment number 55.

    What people haven't considered is the effect this win will have on the 'old guard'. Yes, they behaved disgracefully towards AVB, but I wonder if now that they have finally won the Champions League they'll be more accepting of being phased out? Unlikely for Terry I know, but I can certainly see Lampard being more willing. There is nothing more these players can win.

    I would give Di Matteo the job on the basis of a lack of quality alternatives. Guardiola is insistent on a year out, Mourinho won't leave Madrid because he knows he will never get a squad as good as that again and Capello is too old to start a long-term project like this. Jurgen Klopp would be ideal, what he has achieved at Dortmund is nothing short of incredible, but I can see him wanting another go at the Champions League with them before he moves on.

  • Comment number 56.

    " What now for Chelsea heroes? "

    Like all T-Shirts of the Week, forgotten about very quickly.


  • Comment number 57.

    Be prepared today for countless comments starting along these lines...

    "I'm a Man Utd fan and while I begrudgingly congratulate Chelsea, I must however..."

    Then choose one or all of the following

    "The bought it"

    "They were lucky" (the same things they spouted about City last week)

    "Bayern lost it rather than Chelsea won it"

    "Old Guard won't be there next season"

    "United finished so far ahead of them"


    Well done Chelsea. One of the most unlikley victories ever in the CL. Guts, determination, organisation and experience go a long way.

    Champions of Europe

  • Comment number 58.

    Well done to Chelsea, but they need to start easing the old guard out now i would have thought. Drogba couldnt have a better time to make way. Hes done the lot. I cant really see de Matteo getting the job. RA will want a high profile coach and perhaps sees De Matteo as too close to the players. What a great job he has done though and i reckon there are some top jobs out there for him now.

  • Comment number 59.

    Abramovich's goal was to win the Champions League. He employed a number of very good managers in order to attain that goal. Di Matteo has done what Abramovich desired most but probably didn't expect (this season).

    What next for Chelsea? The question is going to be whether Abramovich's heart is still in it. For me Chelsea have to look at building a side that will dominate year on year and build a legacy to stand the test of time. Under Ferguson, Man Utd had the ability to focus on today while building for tomorrow. Chelsea do not seem to have that as the core of the side has not changed much over the last 10 years. Who is the next Lampard/Terry/Cole/Drogba in the same way as Ronaldo replaced Beckham or Van Der Saar replaced Schmiechel.

    This is a big job and one that may be beyond Di Matteo.

  • Comment number 60.

    We need to bring in our young players next season, like Lukaku, Hutchinson, Kakuta, Romeu, just while our other players are hitting their days at the club.

    No doubt winning the double after the first 6 months we had was remarkable, considering beating Spurs, Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich over just over two months. Roberto DiMatteo needs to stay, his Chelsea says have massively rubbed off onto the players and that worked, clearly.

    I hope Drogba, Lampard and Torres don't leave, they are the assets of the club, well, Torres in his own way!

    The only thing that concerns me is that we aren't playing Turnbull enough, and he got sent off twice when he played, which puts Cech's position in the team into perspective.

    I think we may also need to spend a bit over Summer, but not tons, just some mid-20's players from Italy, Spain and lower league English teams.

    Next season will be brilliant.

  • Comment number 61.

    Di Matteo has done brilliantly to get this group of players one set of winners medals let alone two but I think they will be the final ones at Chelsea for a lot of them, including the manager. From what happened with AVB I think Abramovitch knows he has to start phasing out the older players but he obviously also wants to remain competitive while doing so and this means he may have to dip well into his pocket again.

  • Comment number 62.

    Well done to Chelsea in winning the Champions league. BUT, don't get carried away Chelsea fans. You never know what next season holds but as it stands many of the claims that Chelsea will run away with the league, FA Cup and Champions League next season seem far stretched to say the least. This Bayern is a team that lost their own cup final 5-2 and finished runners up in the league, yet they dominated from start to finish, with 34 shots at goal. On any other day Chelsea would have been humiliated.

    Under RDM Chelsea have become one dimensional with their long ball, and although that often wins games I'm sure the European elite will be scoffing at the manner in which they won. Can't see RA being too happy considering it seems as though he wants his team to be winning by playing attractive football.

  • Comment number 63.

    Di Matteo for Liverpool manager!!

  • Comment number 64.

    Drogba is the ultimate big game player and is priceless. He is solely responsible for Chelsea's successes over the years. He won't however win them the PL. The future is Torres but whether he can be what RVP is to Arsenal or Rooney to Utd is debateable. I don't think Chelsea can rely on winning the CL to qualify for it. They have to finish in the top 4 and with City, Utd, Spurs and Arsenal, its tough call for them. Regarding RdM, he should get the job but if he doesn't, can you imagine the pressure on his successor to deliver??

  • Comment number 65.

    I suppose many United and Arsenal fans will be sour and play Saturday and Chelsea's past 3 months down, all because United haven't won anything this season, after their 60 second title shamble. Mind you, their top scorer Howard Webb wasn't on-the-ball this season, and so their last minute title winning games weren't recognised by the Londoners.

    Arsenal fans just need to remember that the past 7 seasons have been a part of the Bill Murray classic `Groundhog Day`. They need another Midfielder, some who isn't injured and will be loyal, like Lampard or Xavi.

    Chelsea always keep their heads up and they deserved Saturday's micmacs.

  • Comment number 66.

    In the year 2003/4 Londons Finest Club achieved Invincible Status.

    In the year 2012 and beyond it is still spoken about and remembered ( see below for evidence )

    In the year 2012 chelsea ( note small c ) managed to finally win a penalty shoot out
    to become the new chumps of europe.

    Within a week it will be forgotten

    T-Shirts of The Week, nothing more nothing less.


  • Comment number 67.


  • Comment number 68.


    "In the year 2012 chelsea ( note small c )"

    Grammatically really are an Arsenal fan


  • Comment number 69.

    Firstly, WOW, what a feeling Saturday night. Absolutely unforgettable!

    There is much to consider though.

    In Di Matteo, there is someone that I think should be given the job full time. However, it must be remembered that the task he was given in March is different to the task he might be given now.

    He was expected to be pragmatic and make the best of a bad situation. Boy has he done that.

    Going forward, there is a squad to sort out a bit but I think that task may not be as big as some might imagine. You could list about 20 players in the squad that are in their 20's and that can play for the club for sometime to come. Then there are a number of players that will leave for contractual reasons, or because they are now of limited use (hey, this is reality we're talking about). People focus too much on just a few older players but those older players still perform when the time comes.

    A couple of additions will be needed and they will be important.

    As for Drogba, if he wants to stay, he should accept something like a one year rolling contract. Does he really fancy life in China (though there's nothing wrong with that) than an important part in Chelsea going forward? Up to him that one, rather than Chelsea.

  • Comment number 70.

    It's funny, who will Chelsea have next as their manager? And will Drogba / Lampard / Terry stay??

    Well based on the history of RA and Chelsea, it's a sure bet that RDM will go ... They will have perhaps one or two more managers this season coming; and Drogba/Lamps/Terry will still be there at the end of the season.

    More than likely they will do the same things they have been doing for years, winning the Champions League will just make RA think all his decisions were correct.

  • Comment number 71.

    Congratulations to Chelsea for winning it. After the 'ghost goal' at Anfield and the stitch-up against Barca at the Bridge, it's hard to argue that they didn't deserve the luck that they've had during this run.

    If Di Matteo has anything about him, he might actually want to consider walking away now though. I'm not sure how much this Chelsea team has left, they could have easily crashed out in every round and whilst playing well in spells, have had to rely on the opposition having shockers as well. Di Matteo is the king of Chelsea at the moment but if he stays and Chelsea have a similar league campaign (which could easily happen) and don't win the Champions League again (which again is fairly likely) then the only way is down.

  • Comment number 72.

    Re 18: yet Mancini's mind-games this season may well have contributed to MUFC's undoing

  • Comment number 73.

    Wasn't Tony Barton when winning Aston Villa the European Cup (far harder to win than the Champions League) an interim manager?

  • Comment number 74.

    It is fair to say Chelsea rode their luck, but also quite right to say their luck on previous years had been woeful - so karma has been restored !!

    The squad really does need an overhaul and I would only keep Lampard and Terry out of the old guard - Lampard will need to play deeper in the future !!

    RDM proved a successful cup manager but the League was less impressive - Having said that I think he deserves his chance.

    Torres moaning was so mis-timed he could have been one of his shots !!

  • Comment number 75.

    @69 Mr BlueBurns

    Hope you enjoyed the evening! Congratulations to Chelsea, on the night my patriotism overcame my jealousy and I really wanted them to win it.

    However, I think that Di Matteo, while he has worked miracles, is not right for the job long term. His success has been in getting the big players playing again, but he can't do that if given the job on a full time basis. Chelsea need to start phasing out the old guard; Drogba should be allowed to leave on a massive high as he is becoming inconsistent, and has earned a final pay day in sunnier climates. Lampard and Terry should stay on but the next manager should use them similarly to how Scholes and Giggs are used at United: sparingly and as much there for the experience they provide for the younger players as anything else.

    Luck was really on Chelsea's side these past few weeks; one could certainly argue they were due some in Europe. However, playing 10 men behind the ball and hoping to strike it lucky isn't a long term strategy. I don't think RDM has the managerial accumen to oversee a total reshaping of the Chelsea team, and after his success this year it will be even harder for him to start phasing out Lampard and Terry.

    On the bright side, I think there is already a good future team shaping up at Chelsea. Luiz and Cahill look a solid defensive partnership, Ramires has been quality all season, Mikel has vastly improved and Torres is starting to show flashes of the form he had in his time at Liverpool. Along with the young players coming through like Sturridge, Bertrand and McEachran and the signings of Marin, de Bruyne, Lukaku and Courtois, Chelsea have good foundations in place for their next great team. The question for me is who will be the man to mould that team, and the only answer I can think of is 'not Di Matteo'.

  • Comment number 76.

    I think the more appropriate question would be what next for Chelsea to go from big club to bigger club. They are still some way off from being the best in London. Yes, they have won more trophies than us in recent history but I would like to see if they remain competent at the same level when they
    1) build a new stadium
    2) produce more Ryan Bertrands and give them chance to play regular football in PL.

  • Comment number 77.

    69.At 09:40 21st May 2012, MrBlueBurns wrote:
    As for Drogba, if he wants to stay, he should accept something like a one year rolling contract

    If Drogba does go I would not be surprised to see him join Mourinho at Real Madrid.
    They do not have any striker like Drogba and he would give them more options than they have now.

    By the way , a swap between Torres and Falcão would be nice , Torres can go home and be happy , Falcão would probably get a nice pay rise.

  • Comment number 78.

    As mentioned in a previous Blog the only positives to be drawn from what unfolded on a calm mild night in Germany

    1 The Standard of Refereeing
    2 " Repo " won £300

    as for the negatives ?

    Far to many to List unfortunately.

  • Comment number 79.

    #71 Weallfollowunited

    If Di Matteo has anything about him, he might actually want to consider walking away now though.
    I can see what you're saying, but I wouldn't do that.

    I've always said that AVB going didn't change the job in hand this summer. Di Matteo has the same job in terms of changes to the squad, but he has authority and capital with the fans that other people simply won't have.

    Also, if he makes progress next season in terms of changing the squad, playing better football and getting higher up the league as well as doing well in the Champions League, I would think that he would get another season as well.

  • Comment number 80.

    8.At 09:53 21st May 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:
    As mentioned in a previous Blog the only positives to be drawn from what unfolded on a calm mild night in Germany

    1 The Standard of Refereeing
    2 " Repo " won £300

    :) :) :)

  • Comment number 81.

    I Am told that Abramovich wants to win things playing like Man C or Man U.
    The most used phrase for Saturdays victory was "parking the team bus" and
    it certainly made for desperately poor viewing for neutrals. He also wants an authoratitive figure like Mourinho or Capello that would rebuild the team, spending money yes but spending it wisely. The problem is that he would be seen as ultra mean if he doesn't give the job to Matteo and of course he would walk into a job the next morning. Since when tho does Abramovich tell anyone what is thinking and much less care what anyone says about the way he runs his train set.

  • Comment number 82.

    Well Done Chelsea, you have now won as many European cups as Aston Villa, and now you are just ONE behind Notts Forest. A proud proud day for you all ;-)

  • Comment number 83.


    Where is the CL Cup at this present time.

    Sitting in Chelsea's trophy cabinet I think

  • Comment number 84.

    Ask yourself this Mr McNulty- would Avram Grant have been confirmed Chelsea mgr had John Terry scored his penalty in 2008?

    Sentiment doesnt enter the head of Abramovich. In my view he got rid of a first class mgr in Ancelotti after he'd won the double. Just because DiMatteo has won the CL wont cut any ice with RA. Yes its the holy grail for RA but its telling he spoke about 4 CL titles-is RDM really the one to get him those.
    Also arguably RDM is a little too close to the players-yes they delivered on sat but where did they finish in the lge and more importantly is RDM the one to overhaul the squad-I think not. There will be an Italian in charge at Stamford Bridge next season but it wont be DiMatteo.

  • Comment number 85.

    #75 The awkward facial hair of David De Gea

    My recollection of Di Matteo's time at MK Dons and West Brom is that his ethos was for more expansive football.

    As I said earlier, this last three months have been very much pragmatic. I think he is in a position to tell the team what to do next season and for them to follow those instructions.

    A starting 11 next season could easily be:-

    ? (Or Hutchinson) - Luiz - Cahill - Bertrand
    Ramires - Mceachran
    Sturridge - Torres - Mata

    I'm not saying that it will be, I'm saying that it could be. And Cech would be the oldest at 30. (And we all know that is no age for a 'keeper.)

  • Comment number 86.

    I should have added at @78

    With respect to " repo's " good fortune rumour has it his wallet has been granted
    SSSI Status and has become a National Nature Reserve as its the last refuge of many a species of rare Moth.

    I am in no way suggesting he's tight.

  • Comment number 87.

    81-No RA doesnt tell anyone (in English) what he's thinking. Cos he cant spk English. Govt is exorting immigrants to learn English yet this man is allowed to own one of our PL teams without speaking a word. And he's a little too close to Putin for my liking.

  • Comment number 88.

    #77 repo


    #76 SS11

    1) I think the stadium plans are already afoot aren't they? Nothing is signed yet but the recent interest in Battersea/Nine Elms shows you the appetite.
    2) I agree. Mceachran and Hutchinson should be given those chances next season.

    You know, if anything, Chelsea have underused resources in recent years. For the second time in three years they have won the FA Youth Cup. Now, we all know that this doesn't mean THAT much but it is a very good pointer. The young players are there, it's just giving them the chance, that is all.

  • Comment number 89.

    #87 Redfootball

    How do you know he never tells anyone anything? How do you know he can't speak English? Just because he doesn't speak to the media? Good for him I say.

    I believe his recent UK court appearance was made in Russian for effect.

  • Comment number 90.

    I hope Di Matteo wants the job long term and hope the hierarchy have the good sense to offer it to him. He is young. He knows the club. He knows the players. He clearly inspires confidence. He gets results. How many managers would have had the foresight to leave Torres on the bench? How many managers would have had the nerve to start with Bertrand? How many managers would have found a way to see off Barcelona? On recent evidence, not many! I agree with the majority of the posts concerning Drogba. His last contribution could not be bettered but to give a two year contract to a 34 year old striker whose bad games now outweigh his good ones would be folly. Also, I sense with Drogba that he doesn't really want to become a glorified squad player so a move abroad now would be the best for all concerned. Persisting with players over a certain age is the domain of the heart, not the head, and seldom reaps rewards as evidenced by the decisions of other clubs this season. As the European Championships move closer, I can almost hear the sound of cheque books from Chelsea and Manchester City. One final point I would make is that West Brom must be a very proud club at the moment having supplied the new England manager and the Chelsea manager who set Chelsea off on their Champions League assault. It was interesting to note that the Chelsea owner stated his desire to win the Champions League four times. This of course would usurp the number being held in Manchester and move them up the pecking order behind the club they beat in the FA Cup final. I think he means business and predict a top three in the Premier League of Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea next year with the likes Tottenham and Manchester United not too far behind.

  • Comment number 91.

    @erumaegil, Bayern's current manager was sacked by Real Madrid in 1998 after winning the Champions' League. Thing is, Real went on to win two more titles in four years after this.

  • Comment number 92.

    Chelsea do need major work done

    this is the end of a cycle and it has been very succesful

    the ability to regenerate is what has kept Fergie (and to a certain extent Wenger) at the top for so long. Poor regenartion mangement can set a club back, e.g the AC Milan side which won 2 champs leagues was allowed to get old and they have almost had to start again from scratch.

  • Comment number 93.

    86.At 10:01 21st May 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:

    Unfortunately the wife is in charge of the treasury, I am just the chairmen of the fund raising committee.

  • Comment number 94.

    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't either but I wouldn't blame him if he did. Whilst this season will go down in Chelsea history, there's still a massive, massive job to do there. Everyone knows the squad is ageing and over the next two years it'll need a big overhaul. I just wonder how the older players will play from here on in, I've thought that attempting to win the Champions League was the one thing keeping them motivated. There's also the 'player power' factor, Di Matteo has played all the old guard that AVB had the nerve to drop and they've reacted positively to that. Would he though HAVE to keep picking them to keep them onside?

    One thing Mourinho has always done in his career (apart from Chelsea) is know when to leave, usually when the only way is down.

  • Comment number 95.

    Lets be fair, RA bottled it half way through the season. Chelsea are a squad in transition and yes they roused themselves for a memorable win but the facts are play that side week in week out Chelsea will finish outside the top four.

    So does it matter who gets the job? RDM still has to move players on, possibly the best time is now in the after glow of the win, is RDM the man to push friends and former colleagues out the door?

    Drogba will go, so torres might calm down and belive again
    Lampard, go back to Wham and enjoy a different type of football
    The rest sub standard crew; Kalou Maloud etc, sell sell sell Aston Villa and Sunderland will queue up to buy rejects from top 4 clubs....

  • Comment number 96.

    #92 averageBBC_journalist

    Chelsea do need major work done

    this is the end of a cycle and it has been very succesful
    See post #85.

  • Comment number 97.

    Again Chelsea beat the odds. well done and great to see the underdogs come out on top. there are just too many people trying to rain on chelsea's parade, i say well done!! i may not agree on how they achieved this (spending 1 billion) but at the end of the day they are champions of europe, 6 th in their own country but champions of europe.... enjoy ;)

    im sure there are a few spurs and arsenal fans feeling sick over this, feel for the spurs fans but at least the arsenal fans wont miss out on CL next season!

    Also heard alot of spurs fans asking for Harry's head! because of a result he had no control over#1 mental

  • Comment number 98.


    As your obviously tired or perhaps bored have a quick peep at ;

    1 :

    followed by

    2 :

    after which reluctantly accept Arsenal are London's Top Club

    any other deluded chelsea supporter with a lot time to spare is advised to do like wise

    a dose of real perspective is more than required.

  • Comment number 99.

    57.At 09:19 21st May 2012, derwaldmann - 22-01-2011 wrote:
    Be prepared today for countless comments starting along these lines...

    "I'm a Man Utd fan and while I begrudgingly congratulate Chelsea, I must however..."

    Have you ever heard of learnt behaviour? There were many fans on here in the past few days congratulating Chelsea, fans of many other teams including the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

    The accolades were well meaning and mentioned (variously) a great defensive display, the win being well deserved and (English) people expressing their delight that the English team won. All very admirable.

    Now ask yourself this and try to come-up with an honest answer. If that was Utd who had just won the CL in the very same fashion as Chelsea how do you think yesterday's and today's blog be reading.

    Yes indeed, I rest my case!

  • Comment number 100.


    "Now ask yourself this and try to come-up with an honest answer. If that was Utd who had just won the CL in the very same fashion as Chelsea how do you think yesterday's and today's blog be reading.

    Yes indeed, I rest my case!"

    Sorry, I thought you wanted my response before you closed your case.

    If United had won it there would be undiluted praise from all quarters, and you know it

    Yes indeed, I rest my case.



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