While many feel shocked and even aggrieved at the departure of Roberto Di Matteo from the Chelsea hot seat the one thing you cannot say it was is a surprise. From day one it seemed Abramovich was reluctant to give the job to RDM despite the Champions League glory last season.
So while others mope about the sacking are there any Chelsea players who might just be rubbing their hands at the events?
Andre Villas Boas clearly liked the look of the young Englishman; which has not been a sentiment shared by the recently departed Italian. His main problem seems to be which position suits him best as he drifts from being a tricky winger, wannabee centre forward to sublime support striker. Under new management once again Sturridge may assess his options in January if Rafa agrees more with his non-Iberian predecessor.
Nobody has got a look in at John Obi Mikel’s central midfield position under the watchful eye of Di Matteo but while many commend the Nigerian for the messy work he does some have also been quick to point out his flaws; in particular in the Champions League. While of course there is no chance of nationalistic patriotism playing a part in favouritism from one Spaniard to another at a Premier League football club his shared compatriotism with the new manager cannot hurt the fringe players’ chance of staking a claim for a starting spot.
Nobody in the Chelsea team will likely benefit more from Di Matteo’s expulsion more than the Spanish striker. ‘The Kid’ has been playing like one recently, scoring just 19 goals in 86 appearances in the Chelsea blue. The arrival of Rafa Benitez who got so much out of the 28-year-old during his stint on Merseyside should bring a glimmer of hope to Torres, Abramovich and Chelsea fans that he might just start to turn things around.
Signed from Werder Bremen in the summer the German winger has struggled with a series of injuries since his arrival in London. While many German pundits would suggest he is not good enough for the Premier League anyway a completely fresh start at Stamford Bridge under a new manager can only do him good. However interest mounts from former club Borussia Monchengladbach and December will be a key month in the future of Marin at Chelsea.
Made to train with the reserves at Chelsea after not leaving the club in the summer his contract expires in June. Reportedly he has kept himself in great physical condition and although at times maligned there is little doubt he is still a top player. Will Rafa find a place for him in the squad?
Who else benefits from Rafa Benitez’s arrival and Di Matteo’s departure?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald