Roberto Di Matteo casts doubt over Pep Guardiola's ability to bring tiki-taka to Chelsea

 

Roberto Di Matteo today cast doubt over whether Barcelona's culture could be exported to another club after Pep Guardiola suddenly became available for the Chelsea job.

Less than three days after being outwitted by caretaker Blues boss Di Matteo in the Champions League semi-finals, Guardiola this afternoon confirmed he was quitting as Barca manager at the end of the season. Although he announced he planned to take a sabbatical, speculation is rife Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will try to make him an offer he cannot refuse.

Abramovich is said to have long craved the concept of 'Barcelona in blue shirts', identifying Guardiola as the perfect manager to deliver that vision.

But Di Matteo said today: "History tells us it's difficult to replicate the culture of a club into a different club.

"He (Guardiola) might be the first one to do it. But if you look back at history, it seems as if it's been different."

You do not need to look back too far, with Di Matteo part of the Andre Villas-Boas regime that tried and failed to do just that before the latter was sacked almost two months ago.

Di Matteo's decision to go back to basics since taking charge has paid off spectacularly, culminating in Tuesday night's sensational comeback to beat Barca and reach the Champions League final.

Since then, the clamour for the 41-year-old to be handed the reins full-time has reached fever pitch.

His hopes would appear to rest on whether the reclusive Abramovich believes the Italian is also capable of producing the brand of football for which Guardiola is famed, or whether Tuesday's result has convinced him that the Barca model is not all it is cracked up to be.

Di Matteo was none the wiser today about his long-term future.

"Nothing has changed from my point of view," he said, insisting he remained "very relaxed" about his lot.

"I'm still very happy to be able to get this club to the end of the season and then this club will make a decision as to what is best for the club."

Although doubtless delighted with the semi-final win, Chelsea's methods over the two legs were the antithesis of the type of football that first convinced Abramovich to buy a club of his own.

They were also roundly condemned by the purists but Di Matteo said: "We don't really care. We scored three goals against Barcelona.

"Arguably, we scored the best goal, with the Ramires goal. People can talk as much as they want. We went through over two legs.

"Two different styles of football, but we're in the final."

Barca's Champions League defeat convinced Guardiola to go public about his intention to stand down this afternoon, the former Spain star admitting the pressure of the job had got to him.

Managing Chelsea is not exactly a bed of roses either but it has certainly done nothing to put off Di Matteo.

"I'm still young myself. Hopefully I'll have a few more years to manage," he said.

He also paid tribute to Guardiola, who has won a jaw-dropping 13 trophies since 2009.

"What a coach and a manager he is," he said.

"He's a great guy, a young man as well with many years ahead of him.

"He's had such tremendous success and has decided what is probably best for himself, his career and probably his family.

"I think he's a role model as a coach for every young manager, what he has achieved in such a short period of time.

"I'm not sure anyone else can replicate that."

Di Matteo is certainly going the right way about it, with Champions League and FA Cup finals to look forward to after less than eight weeks in the Stamford Bridge hotseat.

However, it is qualifying for next season's Champions League that is the top priority.

And if Chelsea are not to leave themselves having to win next month's final to do that, they may need to win their next two Barclays Premier League games against QPR and Newcastle.

Di Matteo insisted his sixth-placed side would not give up on fourth and put all their eggs in one basket.

He said: "We'll try to win on Sunday to keep our hopes alive to finish in fourth spot. Then we'll take the next game on.

"Our priority is Sunday, now, to try our best against QPR."

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine