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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Chelsea fans cannot wait to see Di Matteo's first lineup

Chelsea fans cannot wait to see Di Matteo's first lineup

March 06, 2012 14:24 IST

Chelsea fans, fed up and disillusioned with a series of bewildering decisions by the sacked Andre Villas-Boas, cannot wait to find out the team his successor Roberto Di Matteo picks for his first game in charge.

It will be fascinating to see if Di Matteo kicks off his spell as interim coach in Tuesday's FA Cup fifth round replay at second tier Birmingham City by tackling the issues that have been troubling the Stamford Bridge faithful for several months.

Roberto Di MatteoWill the error-prone David Luiz be finally shipped out of the centre of the defence? Is fan favourite Frank Lampard about to be restored as a permanent fixture in midfield after being chopped and changed so often by Villas-Boas?

Can Di Matteo reshape the team in order to finally spark some life into the out-of-sorts Fernando Torres or will he go with youth and give Daniel Sturridge the chance to play in his favoured position as the spearhead of the attack?

Reports have been swirling in the British media for weeks about rifts between the management and some of the squad but former assistant coach Ray Wilkins dismissed the idea player power was behind Villas-Boas's removal on Sunday.

"I don't think the players swayed the owner (Roman Abramovich)," Wilkins told Talksport radio. "It appears they are looking for squad change at Chelsea and I just feel they went about it too quickly with AVB.

"To change what has been such a force, not only in the Premier League but in European football, overnight - you just cannot do that. It takes a gradual adjustment.

"Chelsea have gone hammer and tongs at it and they should have taken time in switching over," added former club captain Wilkins, who also worked as assistant coach to Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

Villas-Boas's sacking may have delayed the "switch over" but an evolution, if not a revolution, of the playing staff is inevitable.

Didier Drogba used to scare the life out of opposition defences and has rightly earned a place in Chelsea's hall of fame but his powers have rapidly diminished since he scored 37 goals under Ancelotti in the 2010 Premier League and FA Cup winning season.

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