Gus Poyet backs Roberto Di Matteo to land Chelsea job

 

Gus Poyet has urged Roman Abramovich to hand Roberto Di Matteo the Chelsea job full time, dubbing the decision a complete no-brainer.

Caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo remained in the dark about his future today after playing in the British Airways Football Legends Invitational Tournament in Barbados.

The event allowed him to catch up with former team-mates Poyet, Gianfranco Zola and Dennis Wise but lurking in the background was continued speculation over whether he would be appointed Chelsea manager on a permanent basis.

Di Matteo declined the opportunity to discuss the saga while in Barbados but Poyet provided an insight into how the Italian - who turns 42 tomorrow - was feeling.

"He's very relaxed," Poyet said.

"He's just trying to get away from the crazy three months that he had."

Those "crazy" three months in charge at Stamford Bridge witnessed one of the most sensational achievements by a caretaker manager in the history of European football.

Yet, delivering the Champions League and FA Cup was not enough to guarantee Di Matteo the Chelsea job.

Poyet could not understand why, claiming Di Matteo had demonstrated the merits of handing the reins to someone whose heart bled blue.

"It would be common sense that he will stay," said Poyet, part of the famous team from the 1990s that have since taken the managerial world by storm.

"I call him 'one of us', one of our generation - with so many managers.

"Mark Hughes, Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Robbie Di Matteo, Dennis Wise, Dan Petrescu, myself, Didier Deschamps - there are so many - 'Chappy' (Albert) Ferrer.

"Why not one of us? Why should it be somebody else all the time?

"I'm not saying that we didn't have good managers at Chelsea. I mean, (Jose) Mourinho was different class.

"But give us a chance."

Billionaire Blues owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly determined to move heaven and earth to convince Pep Guardiola to abandon his planned sabbatical and become his ninth manager in nine years.

The outgoing Barcelona boss is the latest big name Abramovich is said to believe can deliver the brand of football he craves.

Di Matteo won the Champions League with an extremely defensive approach but Poyet insisted his former team-mate proved at West Brom he could throw off the shackles - with the right group of players.

"He does play like that - his style is that," Poyet said.

"Everyone is compared with Barcelona. As soon as you pass the ball three times, you play like Barcelona.

"He likes to pass the ball, to keep the ball, to be in control, to do important things while you are in possession.

"Of course, he needs to get the players to do that, and it's not going to be easy."

Those players could include Lille playmaker Eden Hazard and Porto forward Hulk, both of whom have been heavily linked with Chelsea.

The £32million-rated Hazard has also been flirting with Manchester United and Manchester City and cryptically posted on his Twitter page today: "I made up my mind."

Reports in France suggest the 21-year-old Belgium star has agreed a five-year deal worth £100,000 a week after tax.

Hulk has been touted as a replacement for Didier Drogba, who quit Chelsea last week following his Champions League heroics.

Poyet believes that was just the start of what could be a significant revamp at Stamford Bridge.

"I thought it was needing a change in the summer," he said.

"They need to see what they're going to do but it's not going to be easy.

"Difficult, really, for any manager - very difficult."

Andre Villas-Boas was sacked in March thanks to his doomed attempt at a revolution and Poyet warned whoever took over would also be cut little slack.

He said: "It would be beautiful if you are the manager and somebody let you go a year with a transition. It never happens in football.

"Everybody talks about it but, really, it never happens.

"As soon as you don't win three games, there's no transition any more and you are out!"

:: Poyet was speaking at the second annual British Airways Football Legends Invitational Tournament at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, held in conjunction with the Professional Footballers Association and the Barbados Tourism Authority. For more information about Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org.

PA

Voices
voicesSiobhan Norton on why she eventually changed her mind
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn