Many people, Chelsea supporters and non-Chelsea supporters were left wondering what was taking the club so long to give Roberto Di Matteo a new contract after the sensational turn around last season leading the club to two trophies (Champion’s League being by far the most significant). The club were aware that this was an important time in Chelsea history and in the future of the club.
Roman has been very adamant in his quest for the Champion’s League trophy and the pursuit of beautiful football. With the first part being attained, the immediate goal was the pursuit of beautiful football. Admittedly, that was not what we were displaying last season. I for one am happy that Di Matteo was given the two-year contract. Even though it is only two games into pre-season, there have been some telling signs that this could be a good long run for RDM. Here are the biggest reasons in my opinion:
Chelsea will always have talented individuals. We are now a big club, only getting bigger. Every other transfer rumour is on how “If a club like Chelsea were to ask for me, it would be hard to refuse.” What makes winning sides is the players stepping up on big matches and believing in the club and manager. That was Di Matteo’s forte during last season and I think pre-season is beginning to show that there is a bigger benefit to this trait in the long run.
Lampard mid-season when asked about the rift developing between him and Villas-Boas said (I’m paraphrasing here) that he is not mad that he is not getting the play time he wants but that if he has to sit on the bench, he hopes that it is not in vain and that the team still performs as well or better. The easiest way to turn a player of his quality against you is to not play him and then lose to a mid/lower table team. I believe that for the most part, the players are on board with Di Matteo and that if they were not selected, there was probably a justified reason so they will wish they were playing, but not start going to the tabloids to to turn on the manager.
I believe that whilst we have multiple scandalous players, no neutral has anything against Di Matteo. From my experience talking to people, they show nothing but respect for him as a manager and as an individual. For the new set of youth that are coming in, I think a man like this is crucial to building a new era and squad. So far it seems like the youth are all enjoying this pre-season. Everyone who should, is getting their time to prove themselves. The epitome of this had to be Lucas Piazon’s MOTM performance against PSG last night. To score the equalizer even in a friendly against a strong side like PSG will do wonders for the boy’s confidence and sense of belonging. In my opinion that’s what we want and how we make the best use of players. Though things will change this season, it will pay off in a few seasons when he becomes a star at the club and we can say we raised him.
These to me are the two biggest reasons that I tip Di Matteo for success. We will have to wait at least a season to see if I’m on the right track with this but it seems like it will become a cycle of success because we will get great players who will then pull in other great players (as has been happening with some of the recent Brazilian and Belgian players) and they will all know that they have full suport from a manager who could become one of the greats.
This is all speculation but here’s to hoping!