TSF: Making No Sense Of Di Matteo

The Secret Footballer was so confused by Chelsea's actions that he rung one of his old owners. "It's crazy, isn't it?" was the answer from a man who counted the cost...

Last Updated: 22/11/12 at 17:10 Post Comment

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So, it wasn't all about winning the Champions League for Chelsea's billionaire owner, then? It must be something else that he craves, although in the wake of Roberto Di Matteo's sacking, I'll admit I have no idea what that could be.

The best thing and the worst thing about football is that everyone has an opinion. And anybody can hold any other person to a conversation about football because it's a universal topic. It's what you talk about that determines how long that conversation lasts.

For some reason, the owners of the clubs I have played for have tended to make time for me; probably because I'm the only player who has never said to them: "How much money do you really have?"

Instead, I have always been interested by the things that go on behind the scenes, which probably goes a fair way to answering why I began writing 'The Secret Footballer' columns. Things like "How do you actually interview a prospective manager? What do you ask him? How does the board agree on the best man for the job?"

Fortunately, I have stayed in touch with many of my old chairmen and owners. I've also met some new ones by sheer coincidence. But there is one owner, in particular, who has always remained 'close', to the point where I can pick up the phone and ask him how things really work at boardroom level. The obvious starting point was Di Matteo.

"It's crazy, isn't it?" the owner told me. "Nothing surprises me down there any more. They had the most successful manager in their history and sacked him (Jose Mourinho), a World Cup winner (Luiz Felipe Scolari) and sacked him, a Champions League winner (Carlo Ancelotti) and one of their own, who actually wins them this bloody trophy they've all been after...and lo and behold, he (Di Matteo) gets the boot, too.

"Hiring managers on long-term, well-paid contracts, and then firing them six months or a year into the deal, achieves only one thing - a heavy loss on the club's balance sheet. Why on earth would I want that?"

Why, indeed? Perhaps Roman Abramovich has the answer.

Read the rest of TSF's thoughts only on www.thesecretfootballer.com.

You can follow The Secret Footballer on Twitter here, or buy his book here, which we reviewed here

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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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