Di Matteo lurks.
As you're probably aware, Chelsea have sacked Andre Villas-Boas this morning. The club have issued a statement regarding the 33-year-old's sacking, and they've indicated that nobody will be brought in to replace him:
Andre Villas-Boas has parted company with Chelsea Football Club today.The board would like to record our gratitude for his work and express our disappointment that the relationship has ended so early.
Unfortunately the results and performances of the team have not been good enough and were showing no signs of improving at a key time in the season. The club is still competing in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, as well as challenging for a top-four spot in the Premier League, and we aim to remain as competitive as possible on all fronts.
With that in mind we felt our only option was to make a change at this time. With immediate effect Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed first-team coach on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Interim manager time! I wonder if the fans will abuse di Matteo as well should things go wrong. Anyway, I wasn't particularly impressed by di Matteo's tenure at West Bromwich Albion (remember them?), and I don't think he'll be ready to step into the position on a permanent basis anytime soon.
Di Matteo's appointment is a strong indication that the board is laying the blame at Villas-Boas' feet. There was no better option available after Guus Hiddink took the helm at Anzhi Makchachkala, so this is about getting rid of the manager than appointing a superior one. Essentially - and this isn't really very kind to di Matteo - Chelsea won't have a real manager until summer.
Will the team play well now? There'll probably be some kind of effect, of course - you don't see your immediate boss thrown out without doing something different - but I'm not entirely sure what it is tactically that needs to improve. What do we all think?