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Gullit frets over Chelsea image

26 November 2012 14:18

Former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit is worried about the negative consequences Roberto Di Matteo's sacking may have on the club.

Owner Roman Abramovich fired Di Matteo last week after a 3-0 Champions League defeat to Juventus left them in serious danger of becoming the first holders to exit the competition in the group stage.

Abramovich appointed ex-Liverpool and Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.

"I feel sorry for Robbie of course, it's terrible when it happens, the worst moment ever," Gullit said.

"It is worse when you're successful, that is even worse, but I don't know what the reason is.

"I think that the club knows it. I'm afraid what the consequences will be publicly about Chelsea because I love Chelsea.

"I love the way the club has evolved and now they have to work hard to get the sympathy back."

Abramovich has come in for heavy criticism following Di Matteo's departure, which saw Chelsea's manager tally rise to nine in just nine years under the Russian's ownership.

However, Gullit believes the Chelsea owner deserves credit for turning the club into a powerhouse in world football.

"I don't know what the politics is behind it," he said. "Everybody wants to know that also but you cannot also say that they haven't done great.

"(Roman) Abramovich has done a great job at Chelsea. Development, new training ground, trophies, he also brought them trophies. So for that reason you cannot blame him.

"But sometimes it's a hard cookie to swallow in the way things happen. But it's his club, he can do whatever he likes with it and of course I hope that Chelsea will continue to win trophies."

Pep Guardiola, who guided Barcelona to 14 trophies during his four-year spell in Spain, has been rumoured to be Abramovich's first choice but Gullit doubts he could repeat his success at Stamford Bridge.

"Look, I think what Pep (Guardiola) did with Barcelona is difficult to repeat. Also because he had the players there.

"You cannot do the same thing twice, especially not in another culture. I remember with other cultures, they try because they think they have a formula and it doesn't apply everywhere."

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