Give Di Matteo the job! Grant urges Abramovich to retain interim Chelsea boss
17:41 GMT, 25 April 2012
Ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant has told his former employers to retain the services of Roberto Di Matteo next season after the interim manager guided the team to the Champions League final on Tuesday night.
Grant, who was sacked by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich after losing the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out, believes Di Matteo has done enough to earn a new deal.
In charge: Di Matteo has guided Chelsea to the Champions League and FA Cup finals
'Roberto deserves one more year, at least, because he has done a good job with this team. To come to the final with this team is unbelievable,' Grant said in the Evening Standard.
However, Grant – now in charge of Serbian club Partizan Belgrade – warned that it would be difficult to predict Abramovich's next move.
'Abramovich sometimes thinks different,' he said.
Going through: Chelsea will face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final
'In my time we came to the first final in the history of the club. We also played unbelievable football in the (Premier) League, in my opinion, beating all the big teams. But then he decided that I would not continue.'
But Grant believes Di Matteo has a chance of taking the job on a permanent basis because he has done so much to improve Chelsea's fortunes since replacing the sacked Andre Villas-Boas.
'In this case, Abramovich has seen that the team was on the way up and I think Di Matteo will have a chance to continue,' he said.
Missing out: Grant's Chelsea lost out to United in the 2008 final
'For a manager, against Barcelona is the most difficult game you can play. Especially as Chelsea are not great this season.
'But over the two games Di Matteo did a very good job. What is the weakness of Chelsea Chelsea are not playing great football this season so he went for the strengths of his team, the old players in combination with good tactics, to stop Barcelona.'
Chelsea now await the outcome of tonight's semi-final second leg between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, with Bayern heading to Spain nursing a 2-1 advantage from the first leg.
But whoever they face, Grant revealed he would be supporting Chelsea and hoping Abramovich would finally see his European dreams realised.
'It is not a secret, his dream is the Champions League,' he said.
'It is okay to be champions of England, but the most important thing is he wants recognition of the team in Europe.
'The big trophy in Europe is the Champions League, and it is not good that in all the years Abramovich has been here, and all the money he has spent, he was only one time in the final.
'So now it is the second time, and I hope he will win it.'