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Di Matteo’s The Unforgivable Error Of Judgement

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Chelsea began Tuesday’s game against Liverpool knowing that they could still have a slight outside chance of finishing in a coveted Champions League spot. The build-up to the game centered around this pursuit of 4th place, with Juan Mata saying that Chelsea still ‘believed’ that they could achieve their goal, and manager Roberto Di Matteo seeming to suggest his team selection would suggest this belief. A few thousand fans travelled up to Anfield – a good effort given two recent trips to Wembley wouldn’t have been cheap and a journey to Munich will certainly cost them dearly. Yet, Chelsea were beaten embarrassing 4-1 by a rampant Liverpool side, and put out a markedly weakened side. With 11 days to the Champions League final, there seemed no logical reasoning behind this. Is this pitiful display of ‘white-flag’ waving acceptable in the modern game?

Chelsea crumbled to an early 3-0 deficit, but did manage to pull one back and there was faint hope of salvaging some pride. With Lampard, Mata and Kalou all available on the substitutes bench, fans could be forgiven for expecting to see some kind of response. The only sub used was Romelu Lukaku, the 18 year old who continues to look hopelessly out of his depth at this level. He may only be young and can still have a great career ahead of him, but this is no scenario for him whatsoever. It could be argued that Chelsea still had a decent side out there, with Torres deployed as a lone striker (some second string, costing £50 million) but this arguement is quickly evaporated when his service is considered.

Oriol Romeu gave one of the worst individual performances since Ali Dia’s cameo for Southampton all those years ago, and Michael Essien went even better and was ten fold worse. There is simply no debate against it – Roberto Di Matteo selected this side with the knowledge that he had no intention of getting a result here. Any success would have been a bonus, but he wasn’t truly aiming for it. He’s conned the fans here, and surely this has some answering to.

And for what? With a week and a half until Munich and their date of destiny, Chelsea will know go into that tie in poor form and with morale at rock bottom. A defeat to Liverpool is bad enough, but this was an embarrassment. Under Di Matteo, Chelsea have now lost 3 times in the Premiership, and drawn with three London rivals. The only wins came narrowly against 10 men Stoke, and against two of the League’s woefully out of form sides in QPR (home) and Aston Villa (away). Whatever people say about the job Di Matteo has done, this is not good enough.  He leaves the side further away from the top four than when he took over – thus failing his job description. Chelsea were 5th, 3 points behind 4th placed Arsenal when Villas Boas was sacked, and now they lie 6th and 5 points behind the Champions League qualification. Resurgence?

Yes, Chelsea may go on to win the Champions League. That would be a truly fantastic achievement, without doubt. But this result here has some serious explaining to do, and the ramifications of it may be felt beyond Munich.

What do you think of Di Matteo’s selection? Think Chelsea can win in Munich? Get in touch, find me on Twitter @aitkenheadhj

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4 comments
  • Lfc4lifer says:

    I’m a hardcore LFC man And my brother is a Crazy Chelsea fan…
    When seeing the Chelsea team sheet I was shocked that with only 3 games to go Robbie would not go all out on both fronts.
    Now if he wins the CL final then that’s fair enough and all will be forgotten by Chelsea I’m sure and he will be a hero. But if he chelsea which is probable because of the home advantage and banned players(even Barcalona at there best would struggle)… This decision to take the Liverpool game lightly will look like one of the worst decisions in PL history IMO.

    But you Chelsea fans must be confident of winning that final, because my brother didn’t think nothing of playing a weakened team and maybe most Cfc didnt think nothing of it….

    Just remember If your not in the CL you are nothing…. We know!

    • Harry Aitkenhead says:

      Completely agre, mate. Still in with a chance of 3rd before kick-off it’s surely the end for Di Matteo’s permanent hopes unless he wins the CL.

  • Red says:

    Chelsea fans…..stop deluding youselves…..

    You made 8 changes to Liverpool’s 4, so replacing your players with the likes of Torres, Essen etc is weakining the team?, you were beaten out of site, by a the better team.

    If DM have fielded the same players as the FA cup, we would have run you rugged, I’d say 8-1…..now just accept it, you were very lucky in the FA cup, and hammered at ANFIELD!!!

  • Tony says:

    I think a certain Russian gangster had a strong influence over team selection the other night,his eyes are firmly on the one trophy he really wants before his pisses off back to Russia.Remember Di Matteo is only caretaker manager and will probably be replaced next season anyway.

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