Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Di Matteo sacking no surprise to Villas-Boas

SoccerNews in English Premier League 21 Nov 2012


Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking at Chelsea boss came as no surprise to him.

Di Matteo was sacked by Roman Abramovich just hours after Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat by Italian giants Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday, despite landing European club football’s most lucrative prize last season.

The Russian owner backed his new man in the off-season, as the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar arrived in the capital with Atletico Madrid’s Colombian superstar Radamel Falcao another potential recruit.

But after suffering a similar fate to the Italian earlier this year, Villas-Boas said the Chelsea managerial job had become a poisoned chalice.

“At Chelsea, another sacking is like any other day in the office – that’s my interpretation,” Villas-Boas said.

“And the only thing I would like to say about the situation is that it’s obviously difficult for Robbie (Di Matteo). I wish him well in his career.

“He has achieved so much in such a short time. His CV is maybe one of the best now in the world – he’s won the European Championship and an FA Cup.”

Di Matteo has been replaced by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, who will take charge until the end of the season as Abramovich searches for a permanent replacement.

The Spaniard is the ninth manager in Abramovich’s tenure, with Pep Guardiola and even Harry Redknapp thought to be among the favourites for the job.

Villas-Boas endured a torrid time at Stamford Bridge and parted company with Chelsea following a league defeat against West Bromwich Albion, but has settled into life well at White Hart Lane.

“I have a personal relationship with Robbie, and when appropriate, we will have a conversation about the situation,” Villas-Boas said.

“But I’m not in a position to advise any friend or anyone regarding their professional life.

“What I would say is that we have to focus on Tottenham’s interests and we have a big game tomorrow to win (against Lazio in the Europa League), which would put us through in the competition. Our focus can’t be turned away from that.”


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