There isn’t another team in the world who play like Barca – Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo has vowed there would be no Chelsea revolution this season as he questioned the wisdom of trying to play like Barcelona.
Andre Villas-Boas had been tasked by billionaire owner Roman Abramovich with transforming the way Chelsea played, the Russian said to have long held a dream of seeing ‘Barcelona in blue shirts’. The attempt backfired spectacularly and caretaker boss Di Matteo was allowed to go back to basics to save the club’s season.
Di Matteo inspired the Blues to Champions League and FA Cup double, and said of his methods for the new season: “There won’t be radical changes. Certainly, with the influence of the new players once they are integrated, they will be a bit different because they have different characteristics and abilities.”
He added: “I know we need to win games as well. But I don’t think you can expect a completely different Chelsea overnight. The majority of the team are still here and, with those players, the club have been very successful already.”
The £66million splashed out on the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin since the Champions League success suggest Abramovich remains determined to get Chelsea playing more attractively.
However, Di Matteo refused to be drawn on whether he had learnt from the mistakes of Villas-Boas, saying: “I don’t really want to go back over that too much. Everybody would like to play like Barcelona, but the reality is there isn’t another team in the world who play like them.
“It’s a culture, a way of life, a style they’ve produced through the club for many, many years. The aim for a lot of teams and clubs is to get there. But, as far as I’m concerned, there isn’t one who plays like Barca. And there’s only one Lionel Messi around.”
Regardless of how Chelsea play, the number one priority once again this term will be to win silverware and Di Matteo declared his players were hungry for even more, starting with the Community Shield.
Having finally won the Champions League – theirs and Abramovich’s Holy Grail – the biggest danger for Di Matteo and his squad may be motivating themselves to do it all over again. But that was never likely at a club owned by the Russian.
“His will to win has never decreased at any moment,” Di Matteo said. “He wants to win, and he backs it up.”