May 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 22, 2012
West Brom manager and former Chelsea number two Steve Clark admits he was “surprised and disappointed” to see Roberto Di Matteo sacked, but refused to criticise chairman Roman Abramovich.
Clarke was a team-mate of Di Matteo’s at Stamford Bridge before spending four years as assistant coach under Mourinho and Avram Grant.
He believes Di Matteo’s place is guaranteed in Chelsea’s history after leading the Blues to Champions League glory, but Clarke also points to the overall number of trophies won during the Abramovich era.
He said: “I am surprised and disappointed for Robbie who is a good friend and you don’t like to see your good friends lose their jobs.
“It is the way the owner runs the club. I don’t think anyone should be over-surprised at it.
“They look at results, the owner makes decisions and they act on what they feel is the right thing to do for Chelsea.
“I’ve always said the owners of any club can run their business the way they want to run it.
“That’s how Mr Abramovich chooses to run Chelsea and it’s been successful.
“It is not for me to criticise or to say it is the right or the wrong way.”
But Clarke added: “Roberto has got his place in history at Chelsea, the first coach to win the Champions League.
“It is a massive achievement and he can be really proud of that.”
Albion’s 2-1 win over Chelsea last weekend increased the pressure on Di Matteo before he was sacked after the Champions League setback against Juventus in Turin.
But Clarke said: “I don’t think we had a hand in it. There were a number of factors that resulted in Roberto losing his job.”