Di Matteo appointment a Chelsea no brainer

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Football News

After the comparisons and scrutiny that followed Andre Villas-Boas' every move, it appears that as a prerequisite to becoming the new Chelsea manager, comparisons must be made with former manager Jose Mourinho.

'The Special One's' media rants, expensive overcoats and more importantly domestic success has earned him cult status at Stamford Bridge, and since his departure in 2007, every subsequent manager has been compared to him. Few have reached the standards required.

In beating Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first-leg, Roberto Di Matteo has already equalled the amount of semi-final wins Mourinho achieved in his three full seasons at the club.

During the build up to the two-legged tie, the difference between both Mourinho and Di Matteo couldn't have been greater. Mourinho was intent on suggesting referee decisions meant Chelsea couldn't qualify for the final, whilst the Italian was more concerned on respecting his opposition.

For all the success that any manager might bring to a club, the behaviour or actions of someone who acts as a major ambassador oversteps the line, it outweighs any on the pitch triumphs.

If Chelsea fans are intent on seeing Mourinho back in west-London, they have to realise that gone are the days that the Portuguese boss would take pressure off his players by spouting to the media, now he's keen on taking centre-stage no matter whose reputation he's damaging.

Prior to Wednesday evening's game, and perhaps before Sunday's FA Cup semi-final, you'd have classed the possible appointment of Di Matteo as a safe choice, over the hothead Mourinho; a justification that the Blues faithful would require much convincing.

However, now Di Matteo has proven himself to be a manager for the grand occasion, and having steered the club through several of their season's biggest games, he now deserves the opportunity to take them further, regardless of the result in the Nou Camp next week.

The Italian is as close as Mourinho ever got to reaching a Champions League final with Chelsea, and that was with a European Cup already to his name. If he were to reach that elusive European final, you'd question what else he could do to earn a long-term deal.

If Roman Abramovich truly holds the European Cup in high esteem, then any success in it should hold a great deal of gravitas. Di Matteo will hope the attention will finally turn to him.

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