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Mar 5, 2012

Vialli questions Di Matteo appointment

Former Chelsea coach Gianluca Vialli has questioned the club's decision to promote Roberto Di Matteo to caretaker manager amid reports that Andre Villas-Boas' assistant is even more unpopular with the players than his ousted mentor.

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Villas-Boas was sacked 24 hours after the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, which left the Blues fifth in the table and outside the Champions League qualifying places.

Di Matteo, who played for Chelsea from 1996 to 2002, has been put in charge until the end of the season but Vialli, who won the FA Cup and League Cup during his reign at Stamford Bridge between 1998 and 2000, believes a complete change of management would be a more effective decision.

Vialli told Talksport: "Personally I don't like it at all when the manager gets sacked and his assistant stays in charge. I thought they were a partnership.

"Having said that, good luck to Roberto Di Matteo! Hope he can steady the ship."

Villas-Boas struggled to strike up a relationship with some of Chelsea's senior players and unhappy owner Roman Abramovich gave his underperforming stars a dressing down after sacking the former Porto boss.

However, according to reports in the UK press, Di Matteo's appointment will do little to improve morale with the Italy international also an unpopular figure with Chelsea's players.

"The players could not stand AVB because of his arrogance. But, if anything, they like Roberto even less," a club source is quoted as telling The Sun.

"He's just too cock-sure. They might unite behind him to start with but after a couple of bad results it will be just as bad, if not worse.

"It's a shambles from top to bottom. They just don't have a coach. There's no one to take control of training, no one for the players to look to."

Di Matteo, who has enjoyed success as a coach at MK Dons and winning promotion with West Brom, will be in charge for Chelsea next game against Birmingham in the FA Cup on Tuesday night.

Former Chelsea midfielder Eddie Newton has joined the care-taker manager's backroom staff, while Jose Mario Rocha and Daniel Sousa have left the London club.

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