The bar is set ridiculously high for Chelsea managers. Mourinho, Chelsea's greatest manager, was sacked after a slow start to the season. Carlo Ancellotti, who after having won the double, came second, was duly sacked as well. Chelsea have had 7 managers in 8 years and that tells its own story. Roberto Di Matteo's position as manager is very tenuous given the fact that he was only offered a one year contract. With Pep Guardiola lurking in the shadows, Di Matteo has to convince Chelsea owner Roman Abrahamovich that his appointment is more than an extended interim assignment. Below are three things he needs to do to earn his stay.
The Olympics is a fantastic platform that allows young players to prove their worth on the international stage. Part of the excitement of the Olympics is the many future stars that it gives birth to. Below are the 5 "wonderkids" who have shone in this tournament.
1.Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior
Much was expected from the 20-year-old who is considered the brightest prospect in South America and he duly delivered at the European stage. He was always a bag of tricks and entertaining flicks. His dribbles when pulled off ("when pulled off" is an important caveat) looked great. His pace and movement were always dangerous. However, his propensity to going to ground, his desire to do it all, his decision making are all areas where he can and needs to improve. He is a very frustrating player at times and needs to work on releasing the ball quicker and learning that the easy ball is sometimes the best ball to play. He has great vision and when he does look for a pass, it is incisive and productive, He was involved in almost all the goals Brazil scored.
2. Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior
Last season saw Arsenal have the worst start of the season. The knives were out for Arsene Wenger, and those fans who for years were screaming "in Wenger we trust" were beginning to allow doubt shake their certainty. Arsene's owl like vision to perceived wrongs and bat like blindness to blatant Arsenal wrongdoing is legendary. His single-mindedness and myopia, the discerning Arsenal fan feared, is perhaps expanding to all areas of his management. He lost his talismanic captain Fabregas and Samir Nasri and never looked like replacing them in the summer.Player losses and injuries left Arsenal at the bottom half of the table for the first few months of the season. However, a stable mid-season and a strong finish revealed something about this Arsenal side. People forget that Wenger is experienced and there are still world class players and great young players in the side. The following points are a few reasons why this season could end Arsenal's trophy drought.
Considering any recent sporting personality or team "the greatest" will tend to rile up romantics who look on with a dismissive smugness when confronted with the possibility that something now can be better than before. When discussing the greatest, the 1970 Brazil team is usually heralded as the best national team ever to step foot onto the pitch. The lethal combination of attacking verve, stylistic splendor and a sense of dominance gave the 1970 team a mystique that many find difficult to shake off.
Though the combination mentioned above is comparable to what Spain has achieved, Spain may have more. This Spain team not only possess a supreme quality and a unique style, they also have a mental toughness and squad depth like no other team in history.
Depending on your perspective, Chelsea's victory over Barcelona was either a victory for pragmatism, for tactics, for defence. or a defeat for football, for creativity, for the way the game ought to be played.
History remembers the winners though. Chelsea fans will tell you with compelling clarity the reasons why the Champions League trophy has eluded their team.
However, history has no respect for excuses. For Chelsea to truly feel comfortable being considered among the elite they will have to win the most elite club competition. They must continue with the Jose Mourinho mentality that "while others talk about history we will make history".
Here, Chelsea have the oppurtunity to win when most people felt their side wasn't good enough, wasn't balanced enough, and was too old. To have this be the year that they win, against all odds, against all expectations, will make victory that much more sweeter.