|Roberto di Matteo|
Gianfranco Zola came up with a statement soon in support of his previous team mate at Chelsea saying his stubborn attitude was going to bring him success at Chelsea. But he was quick to add that he would most certainly not like to join the coaching staff at the club, where he is the undisputed legend.
It was against Birmingham, his first day out with the boys. An FA Cup rematch against the Championship team, a win was needed badly to boost the dying spirits of the players. It was a hard earned victory, but a victory nonetheless, as the man with the round yet fierce face, focused eyes, looked on. The most eventful point was when Fernando Torres refused to take a penalty that Juan Mata had offered him, in spite of the fact that the scorers had eluded him for over five months. The biggest task ahead of di Matteo was to change the under-confident El Niño to the lightning quick forward who was, once upon a time, feared by defences all around the globe.
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|After the win against Napoli|
The next match was perhaps equally important as it saw the man with the £ 50 million price tag get a brace, even though it was against a team from a lower division. Something which must have been an important factor in firing the two previous managers of Chelsea. This was followed by a defeat to Manchester City (owing to a questionable refereeing decision) and a draw against Tottenham, where each team matched the other in every possible department.
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Another milestone was the goal scored by Fernando Torres in the following match against a depleted Aston Villa without captain Petrov battling leukemia. The coolly taken finish brought back memories of the lanky forward who scored the winner for Spain against Germany in the 2008 Euro Cup final. It is still early days to comment on Torres' form, but it certainly looks good.
The new manager has, in a short span of a month, been not only able to gain the respect of the entire squad, but perhaps the owner as well. However, the performance of Chelsea in the Champions league is gonna be extremely crucial for di Matteo, if he dreams of getting the permanent job.
Last time Chelsea were under a caretaker manager (Hiddink, 08-09 season), Chelsea showed a steep rise in form, motivation and commitment. You may call this luck as this is history repeating itself, or maybe it is just that di Matteo might just click for the club who has struggled to find someone since the Special One. Had someone asked me this last month, I would have denied this but I do feel that Chelsea may be in the market this summer for a new manager, with the UEFA fair play regulations kicking in soon, hanging on to di Matteo might just not be a bad idea.