Roberto Di Matteo?

One of the names on the shortlist to be the next Blues manager and one I’d personally like to see is ex-Chelsea player and West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo. I thought that he was harshly treated at West Brom as he had made a good start in the Premier League but the pressure of possible relegation led to the Baggies board going for the safe option and bringing in Roy Hodgson. The attacking intent and football played during his time at The Hawthorns was far superior to anything served up at St Andrews. Young managers (He’s just turned 41) need to be given time and a full Championship season would allow him to develop and improve on the promise he has shown so far.

Di Matteo first came to our attention when he joined Chelsea from Lazio in the late nineties. He was part of the Italian influx that also included Gianfranco Zola and formed a key part of a stylish Chelsea team. He won the FA Cup with them in 2000 scoring the first goal in what was then a record 42 seconds. He went on to make 119 appearances for them until he was forced to retire after suffering a triple leg break in a UEFA cup tie. He was only 31. He was capped 34 times for Italy and played in the 1998 World Cup.

After a long break from football he returned to England to become manager of MK Dons in 2008. He did well there winning around 50% of his games. This success brought him to the attention of West Brom who he joined the following year and led them to 2nd place in the Championship and automatic qualification to the Premier League. His good start to the season included a 3-1 win over us and a 3-2 win at Arsenal.  He was named manager of the month for September. Unfortunately for Roberto performances started to falter and a run of one win in ten through November to January led to his sacking at the start of February.

I’d like us to give a younger manager a go rather than go back to the old safe choices such as Billy Davies or Alan Curbishley and Roberto Di Matteo fits the bill. His experience in Italy allows him to bring a different view but he still has plenty of experience in the English game. I also think he would be somebody that people would want to play for so he could attract decent new signings to the club. Maybe he could use his Italian connections to bring in a few from overseas. As he still lives in Leamington Spa he wouldn’t have to move house either.

So for your consideration I give you Roberto Di Matteo.

If you haven’t already read it you can read Kev’s case for Chris Hughton here

Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.

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11 Comments on Roberto Di Matteo?

  1. Agreed, and my hope is that the usual manager merry-go-round faces that are linked to most jobs that come available such as Cotterill, Davies, Jones, Grant, Brown etc won’t particularly be on Carson’s radar.

    I’m hoping he will go for someone such as Di Matteo. I would also be keen on Zola, although he does lack experience, and Hughton would be a better option than many too.

    One of the latter three would be a positive step, any of the former and we may as well call ourselves Coventry because that’s the standard we would be heading towards.

  2. Very much hope Di Matteo is given the chance to return to management at a good club like Blues. Di Matteo prefers a 451 formation with an attacking edge..5 defend, 5 attack. (Mcgelish seemed to prefer to use 451 to its defensive maximum!). For the majority of his reign at WBA, Di Matteo could do no wrong – sensible formations, good substitutions and a fair judge of a player.

    I think the step to the premiership came to soon. We were off to a flyer but when things got tough – he didnt have the required experience to organise the defensive unit and steady the ship. IMO, if DI Matteo can become more proffesional in his defensive duties on the training ground he has the potential to become a very rounded manager.

    Di Matteo will bring likability to the club and simple, modern tactics that produce results.

    Apparently there were issues over his commitment to the position – watching teams / taking training. Hopefully he will have sorted this. You will also get Eddie Newton – seemed a likable guy that the playing staff related to.

    Wether he gets you back up is another question. His Championship squad last time included Graham Dorrans and Youseff Mulumbu. In fairness he did spot the potential Mulumbu had and was responsible for giving him his chance.

    I for one will be wishing him well.

  3. Firstly, let’s hope you boys are back in the prem soon.

    On the subject of RDM, I think he’ll be an ideal candidate for the Blues. The big thing he brought to our team was pace. Under Mowbray we were very slow in moving out of defence preferring pretty triangle passing.

    Was fortunate enough to meet RDM two or three times through my work. He told me that the first thing he noticed was lack of pace in the team. He brought in Jerome Thomas in his first season and the likes of Odemwingie last year and it was pretty remarkable the change in our team, to see how quick we were to attack/counter attack teams. In Eddie Newton you will get an amiable well respected coach and Ade Mafe really seemed to bring on the players in terms of fitness.

    Hopefully he’s learned from his first premier season and he’ll have one year in the championship to prepare for the next step back into the premier league. Make no mistake RDM has a lot to prove, he inherited a very good championship squad from Mowbray. The Blues job will be one of rebuilding and if he succeeds in that, I’m sure he will be more than ready to take a stab at the premier leage again.

    Good luck and SOTV

  4. The Villa fans say McLeish isn’t good enough well Roberto di Matteo’s not good enough for Blues. Blues are the biggest club in the Championship and it would be farcical if we brought in Roberto di Matteo when so many other great managers like Alan Curbishley want the job. I don’t understand how you can suggest this man for the Blues job. A joke!

  5. i don’t think we should get carried away about Blues being the biggest club in the Championship – i reckon most people inthe football world would regard West Ham as much bigger, in several senses, for example. RDM would do me just fine. So would Hughton – or even Davies. As for Eck, i look foward to seeing him defend the Vile Villa into oblivion.

  6. HellNo! you are living in the past. We need to start looking forward. Curbishley is not the answer.

  7. HellNo! We’re only the biggest in the Championship if you discount West Ham (that’s been said by KiwiBlue.) Fact is we’re on a level playing field with many Championship sides, having released so many players. Teams like Forest, Blackpool, Cardiff etc will have more of a ‘core’ of experienced players who will remain at the club. We’re a club in flux, even if only because we’ve lost our manager. Though, to be fair, so have Cardiff, Forest…

  8. Absolutely my first choice and I’m praying that RDM is selected as our next manager and I agree totally with Great Barr Baggie’s comments about pace which I have been stating for the longest time as THE thing that needs addressing. That way we might just see some entertainment at games instead of the gut wrenching ordeal we’ve had to endure over the last n seasons where n is a far too big a number. Hellno Alan Curbishley is happy as a pundit I suspect and doesn’t have to risk his health taking on a team like us. As for size I don’t think we’re as big as many would like to think we are.

    KRO SOTV

  9. Alan Curbishley is a better manager than Roberto di Matteo though. That’s a fact not opinion.

  10. How is that a fact? Sounds like an opinion. If you were to look at win ratios and statistics over their managerial careers I would strongly suspect that RDM has already accumilated a better wins record than Curbs percentage wise?

    Im albion and hope to see the blues back in the prem next year, if thats to happen I would imagine curbs isn’t the man for the job. Do something exciting, not just bringing in an old gaffer than ‘knows the league’, how often does that really work?

    Swansea promoted with brendan rodgers, he’s not a highly experienced first team manager. Norwich gaffer did it first time round, where Billy D, Dave J and even Phil Brown did bugger all, these are so called ‘good’ and ‘experienced’ managers, they know the league do they? RDM did it on his first try. Give RDM a chance, do what baggies did and give him a one year deal, you’ve got nothing to lose, you never know, you might start enjoying watching blues again!

    Best of luck this year.

  11. When you make that point there is a case I think for Peter Grant to get the job. Everyone said what really helped Chris Hughton was that he knew the players really well beforehand. We also wouldn’t have to tear up our transfer target list and it would keep stability at the club. I’d be in favour of this.

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