Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Billionaire Falls Short When Playing the Long Game

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Billionaire Falls Short When Playing the Long Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Barclay's account Patrick Barclay

NO Chelsea fan should be too worried about the short term. Roman Abramovich is ready to bring in a caretaker and Chelsea do tend to fare well under men hired to keep the managerial seat warm: Avram Grant, Guus Hiddink and -- I almost forgot the best example -- Roberto di Matteo.

It is the purportedly permanent appointments the Russian has a problem with. When he plays with his toy, he damages it and the manager is always to blame.

At one stage he had the best manager in the world and yet allowed relationships with Jose Mourinho to decay. Manchester United needed no second invitation to resume their erstwhile domination of the Premier League.

Guardiola will be pondering all this. He, more than anyone, knows how good Mourinho is. They got to know each other when the Portuguese was assisting Sir Bobby Robson at Barcelona in 1996-97 and Guillem Balague's excellent new biography, Pep Guardiola: Another Way Of Winning, tells how the supposed interpreter used to slip extra tactical instructions into the Englishman's team-talks. …

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