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Di Matteo’s storm in the offing

25 October 2012, 12:13 Paul Orodi

The Pensioners, as they are informally known, are on a good start to another great season in the English Premier League.

Having played just eight games, they comfortably sit at the top of the table four points clear of their title rivals Manchester United. This is so far one of the best starts to a season campaign by the West London side.

Di Matteo, who has never lost a single game in the league, is now considered the best man to sit at the helm of Stamford Bridge.

However, the Italian has some problem in the offing; outside England, he has not proved himself a man to reckon with. This is after a devastating start to the Champions league season where he was thrashed four goals to one in an encounter that many saw as his proving battle.

Chelsea walked into the UEFA super cup as the better side despite Athletico Madrid having triumphed in the less prestigious, Europa League. The game kicked off and in no time, Falcao was on the score sheet with a brilliant goal formulated from a defense lapse on the Chelsea back line.

This was the start of a humiliating encounter between Di Matteo and his Athletico Madrid counterpart. After 90 minutes, Radamel Falcao had proved why he has a costly price tag; he was man of the match after bagging a hat trick. Chelsea’s consolation came from Cahill, who scored a goal towards the end of the 90 minutes.

This game left a huge dent on Di Matteo’s resume, as he was seen as too weak to lead his charges towards defending the European title. However, a good start to the home league proved his critics wrong as he went game after game winning every match. He managed to bag all the nine points in the English League before facing his first challenge in the Champions league.

Di Matteo has however done a good job all in all. He has managed to field a great side against major teams like Arsenal and Tottenham, leading to his triumph.

With all this good performance, his job might still be on the line. The Russian billionaire wants to retain the European title and this is not going so well for the Italian. He has so far been held to a draw by the Italian champions Juventus in London and further went down to Shakhter Donetsk some days ago.

With this kind of performance, Di Matteo should be on his toes looking for ways to cement his career by winning games in the Champions league. This can best be done by involving one or two experienced players to boost the morale of the team and ensuring his midfield has the ball for the better part of the game. Another must-do for him is strengthening the defence to avoid the major counter attacks and set pieces that are displayed in the prestigious competition. 

All said and done, the Blues are on to a great start. This weekend they face Manchester United, another big test for Di Matteo’s style and philosophy.

Will he triumph over the father of managers and three-time Champions league winner? That is a question we will answer after the heated 90 minutes come Saturday.


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