English Premiership

Gullit feels sorry for Di Matteo

2012-11-21 16:26
Ruud Gullit (AFP)

London - Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit was among those who expressed their sadness at the European champions' decision to sack Roberto di Matteo as their boss on Wednesday.

Despite overseeing Chelsea's inaugural Champions League triumph - when they became the first London club to win the European Cup - in a penalty shoot-out over Bayern Munich last season and also bringing the FA Cup to Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo was sacked on Wednesday.

Only appointed on a permanent basis in June, Di Matteo was dismissed fewer than 24 hours after Tuesday's 3-0 defeat by Juventus in Turin left Chelsea poised to become the first Champions League winners to be knocked out in the group phase the following season.

Di Matteo, 42, is the seventh coach to have been sacked by owner Roman Abramovich since the Russian billionaire bought the club in 2003.

"If you win something at Chelsea you get sacked," Gullit, Chelsea manager from 1996 to 1998 when Italy midfielder Di Matteo was still a player with the club, told Sky Sports.

"I'm very sad for Robbie," the Dutch great added. "I already had a very good feeling that when Robbie won the Champions League that maybe they (the Chelsea board) already had somebody else in the frame to take over.

"I don't think they took any notice of the fact that Robbie could win it. That was the reason I believe that they took so long to sign Robbie because they were looking for other people.

And Gullit said he felt it was possible former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, once sacked by Abramovich, could yet return to Stamford Bridge, despite currently being in charge of Spanish giants Real Madrid.

"I always had the feeling that Mourinho was in the frame all the time - for the simple reason that he signed just after Chelsea won the Champions League.

"He signed his contract with Real Madrid and for me that is no coincidence."

Meanwhile, Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand accused Chelsea of "madness" in sacking Di Matteo, and contrasted the situation with that at his own club, where Alex Ferguson has been the manager for 26 years.

"Wow, Chelsea have sacked their manager!!," Ferdinand told Twitter.

"I'm a bit late I know but its a madness.

"The stability at our club is something our manager rarely gets praise for...don't under estimate that. LambChopped."

Alan Pardew, manager of Chelsea's English Premier League rivals Newcastle, was equally stunned by Di Matteo's departure.

"I'm astonished, really," said Pardew, who in September was given a new eight-year contract by Newcastle - a remarkably lengthy deal by current standards in English football.

"It just goes to show you how precarious we are as Premier League managers, and you can't take anything for granted.

"He (Di Matteo) should walk straight into another job - probably at someone else's misfortune, unfortunately."

Despite everything, third-placed Chelsea are still only four points adrift of Premier League leaders and reigning champions Manchester City - their next opponents, at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

And beyond the world of soccer, Abramovich's 'hire and fire' approach was criticised by Chris Roebuck, a visiting professor and "leadership expert" at the Cass Business School in London.

"The sacking of Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo demonstrates, not decisive leadership, but knee jerk authoritarianism," Roebuck said.

"This unplanned departure now leaves the club rudderless at a critical time and presents a significant challenge in finding a new successor.

"Who would accept such a role with the chance of being sacked in the middle of the night? This event just goes to confirm the significant dangers of command and control leadership."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
Fixtures
20 December 2014
Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Etihad Stadium 14:45
West Ham United v Leicester City, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Southampton v Everton, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Hull City v Swansea City, The KC Stadium 17:00
Aston Villa v Manchester United, Villa Park 17:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley, White Hart Lane 17:00
21 December 2014
Newcastle United v Sunderland, St. James' Park 15:30
Liverpool v Arsenal, Anfield 18:00
22 December 2014
Stoke City v Chelsea, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.