On the hiring of Roberto Di Matteo

Di Matteo has been in charge of (by my count) 19 games as Chelsea manager. In that time he’s won the FA Cup and Abramovich’s purported dream of the Champions league, securing Chelsea’s a position in the competition next term.

Were they actually any better than when Villas-Boas was in charge? First lets look at the league games via a table summary and a graph:

An explanation of total shots ratio can be found here and here, for PDO see here and here.

Not really. They scored the same amount of points by virtue of getting more bounces go their way. They were drastically worse at controlling the ball. Maybe Abramovich identified something (other than winning) that he liked about the cup runs?

They are some pretty ugly numbers. Score effects play a part but they were never ahead against Bayern and the first leg against Barcelona must be at least close to a record. The best performance of the lot was probably the semi-final against Spurs. If you simulate those finals with those shot totals infinite times I imagine Chelsea win 0 titles about as often as they win at least one.

It looks an awful lot like Di Matteo was hired off the back of winning two games they arguably shouldn’t have won, overlooking the fact that the team as a whole were pretty brutal throughout the time he was in charge. Maybe he’s earned this break though, he was fired from West Brom despite the fact they were a decent team (link). Either way it’ll be interesting to watch this play out come next season.


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