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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Method to Abramovich’s madness as Di Matteo sacked

Trigger-happy Roman Abramovich switched the safety catch off and fired his Kalashnikov as Chelsea’s Champions League survival hangs desperately in the balance.

It was ironic that Roberto Di Matteo should be hit by friendly fire, just six months after landing the coveted European trophy the Russian owner craved.

That joyous night in Germany saw Chelsea end a mission they had tried over and over to complete, but in Turin on Tuesday they fell a long way short of the high expectations demanded.

Abramovich’s kamikaze approach to hiring and firing has seen him loathed by many, but maybe there’s method in the madness.

Chelsea are now hunting the ninth manager in as many seasons, but Di Matteo’s reign heralded the 10th major success during that same period.

But that counts for nothing when Abramovich is locked and loaded.

How many have Arsenal won during that same period?

The only major surprise about Di Matteo’s sacking is that people are still surprised.

His replacement Rafa Benitez is only a short-term fix, but undoubtedly a shrewd move.

As a side point, it would be interesting to see if his arrival has any affect on Fernando Torres, a striker he enjoyed a great relationship with at Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola is the man Abramovich is desperate to succeed Di Matteo in the longer-term, but while on a break from the game, Chelsea will utilise Benitez’s experience to steady the ship before making the massive appointment next summer.

 

Arsene Wenger has learned absolutely nothing over the last 12 months.

Supposedly a clever man, Wenger is again linked with a loan move for Thierry Henry.

How desperate can you get?

There’s no doubting that Henry was a top player, but those days are long gone.

With the money at his disposal, Wenger should be challenging for the signature of Colombian sensation Radamel Falcao, not a 35-year-old has-been.

He already has Theo Walcott who, when played through the middle, has proved he can be the next Henry anyway.

Wenger should sack Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh – these two have been a waste of money – and spend big, so that rumours like Henry returning are a thing of the past.

 

Manchester City finally proved they can mix it with Europe’s elite.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late as they crashed out of the Champions League.

Against Real Madrid on Wednesday they started slowly but a stirring second-half fightback had Jose Mourinho’s men praying for the final whistle.

Failure now to lift the Premier League, and Roberto Mancini must go.

 

Will Vaulks’s full-time arrival at Workington Reds is fantastic news.

The 19-year-old has been the driving force this season, and without question, Reds’ best player.

Vaulks has only agreed to stay until the end of 2012, but that extra month could help Workington assert themselves even further up the league.

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