BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 06: Chelsea First Team Coach Roberto Di Matteo looks on prior to the FA Cup Fifth Round Replay match between Birmingham City and Chelsea at St Andrews on March 6, 2012 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Chelsea have won four straight to start Roberto di Matteo's run as first team coach, and although that's under heavy threat thanks to tomorrow's visit to high-flying Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, things are looking good right now. That rather naturally raises the question of why things weren't looking so rosy under Andre Villas-Boas, and that, in some circles, has led to the odd conclusion that di Matteo wasn't trying his best under the former manager, a bizarre accusation to which the Chelsea legend has responded:
I did my best and Andre knows it. I did not conspire against him and all the decisions we took, we took together. I have always behaved with the utmost professionalism and loyalty towards the club, the staff, the team and fans.
-Source: Sky Sports News.
I think that di Matteo reacted to the line questioning in an appropriate and professional manner. Since I am not a football manager and nobody really cares what I have to say, I will not because hoooooly [fun] I can't believe anyone would have the temerity to say something like that to his face.
So, dear whoever asked whether di Matteo stabbed Andre Villas-Boas in the back: How dare you? What makes it reasonable to question a man's integrity on the back of zero evidence whatsoever? Why is it necessary to attack someone's character simply because it fits into your precious little narrative? Di Matteo's Chelsea have won games, and therefore this season's been some sort of long-running practical joke at the previous manager's expense? Good grief.
This is journalism at its very worst. The questioning was both baseless and deeply insulting, and I'm honestly a little bit surprised that di Matteo answered at all. 'Some reports have suggested Di Matteo may have conspired against Villas-Boas'? Some reports, written by me, are currently suggesting that whoever penned those other reports is an incompetent [fun]ing hack who's simply trying to stir up trouble.
Nobody is denying that there's room in the journalistic space for deep analysis and difficult questions. But instead of anything that adds value to the conversation, we get this nonsense. Roberto di Matteo is, by most accounts, a decent person. How about treating him like it rather than as a prop in these asinine conspiracy theories?