How Robbie's old mate Newton figured out way forward for Roman's Chelsea
22:20 GMT, 18 May 2012
Heard the one about the Wembley hero with Chelsea's rampant lion in his heart You know, a popular midfielder cut off in his prime by injury who then returned many years later to salvage an ailing project No, not him, the other one.
Interim manager Roberto Di Matteo may carry the ghastly scars of a compound leg fracture which sliced a nerve on the pitch and cut short his career.
But his sidekick, Eddie Newton, is the one who drags his dodgy leg across the pristine turf at Cobham like Surrey's answer to Keyser Soze, the limping villain from The Usual Suspects.
Shared history: Roberto Di Matteo (second left) and his assistant Eddie Newton (second right) talk to Gary Cahill in training in Munich on Friday
The pair are entwined by the past, sharing emotions as team-mates which generate their chemistry as coaches.
Since March, they have restored pride to Chelsea's season and in Munich ecstasy can bind them as the architects of the club's first Champions League win.
'Surreal, isn't it' said Newton. 'Maybe, in the summer, when I look back at the three months, maybe then I'll pinch myself. But when you're in it you just don't have time.
'You're in at 7.30am, you leave at 6.30pm and you're constantly on a roll: travelling, prepping, training. It's like Groundhog Day but I'm really enjoying it.'
Just warming up: Michael Essien (left) and Raul Meireles in training in Munich
Di Matteo and Newton, Chelsea scorers in the 1997 FA Cup final, worked efficiently as manager and assistant at MK Dons (beaten in the play-offs) and West Bromwich Albion (promoted). It didn't take them long to click again at Chelsea.
Newton, naturally more gregarious and tactile than Di Matteo, works inside the dressing room to keep players at ease. He reopened lines of communication closed under Andre Villas-Boas, not only reinforcing Di Matteo's thoughts but also absorbing the mood of the players and reporting to the boss.
It seems too simple, laughable almost, that this can be the secret to success in elite sport. But any decent manager values his No 2. A happy camp is a vital component.
'I'm like the devil on Robbie's shoulder,' said Newton. 'He doesn't need a yes-man. He needs me to say if I don't think something's right and give the reasons why.
Working in the background: Newton has helped rebuild Chelsea with Di Matteo
'He's articulate enough to give you his reasons and you marry it all up and come out with the right decision.
'Sometimes it's easy, other times you deliberate for a long time. With a game every three days, you're thinking about the stresses you're putting the boys under and the importance of certain games.
'Some games are more difficult than putting a team and tactics together.'
Di Matteo and Newton are in the dark about their future but appear unlikely to remain in charge next season.
The question is whether their burst of success impresses upon the Chelsea board the value of a balanced and harmonious coaching team. Similar lessons have been ignored in the past. This one will probably suffer the same fate.
'All we can do is enjoy the ride,' said Newton. 'Robbie has made it very clear we don't know our futures. Hopefully, it will all come together for us. Robbie has done a good job, a really good job.'