Another Chelsea manager bites the dust

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is thrown in the air as Chelsea celebrate victory in the FA Cup. Photo dated 05/05/2012.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is thrown in the air as Chelsea celebrate victory in the FA Cup. Photo dated 05/05/2012. Photo: PA

Of all Roman Abramovich's brutal sackings, this one has to be the harshest.

After 262 days as manager Roberto Di Matteo has left Chelsea. Just six months ago he won the double, including the FA Cup and the biggest prize in football - the Champions League.

Once again Chelsea are suffering from their annual November wobble. They've failed to win their last four Premier League games and last night's 3-0 loss to Juventus in Europe was Di Matteo's last act.

The team's recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner felt a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction.

– Chelsea FC statement

As well as bringing in the trophies, Di Matteo's record in the Premier League was better than his predecessor, winning 52.1% of games compared to the 48.1% Andre Villas-Boas achieved.

But in truth RDM was always considered a stand-in manager. Even after winning the Champions League as caretaker, Abramovich was slow to appoint him to the job full-time.

Di Matteo's successor will be the club's ninth manager in as many years.

Pep Guardiola would be the dream replacement. As well as being popular with fans he was the architect of the Catalan club's success, often called the best team in the world.

Abramovich is obsessed with Barca, admiring their style of football and trophies. But Guardiola is taking a break from football and apparently not available.

Despite Harry Redknapp and Avram Grant also being talked about, the only choice is Rafa Benitez.

He won't be popular with fans and might only be temporary till Guardiola decides to return to football.

But Chelsea's last caretaker manager did alright last season.

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