Butler: Fergie immortalized, Chelsea demoralized

Noel Butler
11/23/2012 4:20:12 PM
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The two clubs may only be separated less than 200 miles geographically but not enough time zones in the globe exist in terms of their philosophies.

Following this morning's unveiling of the bronzed nine foot statue commissioned this time last year to celebrate his 25th anniversary as manager Sir Alex Ferguson now sits in permanent splendor outside of Old Trafford.

Meanwhile the man who bought Chelsea its first European Cup a good 12 years quicker than Ferguson led United to Euro glory has been sent packing back to the foot of the Alps and Tuesday's night's latest Ambramovich coach crime scene in less time than even Fat Phil could imagine possible.

Recently the star witness in the London High Court as an old business partner unsuccessfully sued him for £5 billion if Roman, who's averaging more than one slaying per season, doesn't watch out 'serial coach killer' will be added to his collecting yachts and jets for fun CV.

Leave it to Old Trafford's Lord of the Manor who in his pre match media briefing ahead of Saturday afternoon's date with a manager-less Queen's Park Rangers didn't pass up opportunity to kick off Fergie hearts Benitez version 2.0 as he took his first pop at Abramovich's latest victim in waiting.

Ferguson stating World Club Cup lightening had now struck a second time for the Spaniard. Benitez of course had inherited a special one-inspired European Champion Internazionale in summer 2010 before steering them to a World Club Cup that December now had opportunity to repeat that feat in a fortnight this time with Di Matteo's Munich marauders.

Di Matteo will justifiably feel hard done by as his team capitulated over the recent month as the European Champions now on the verge of creating European history of a kind that would prefer not to have managed just a pair of wins in their last eight outings in all competitions.

As witnessed in Munich defences win championships but from Turin to Donetsk via South Wales and the English midlands those troops deserted Di Matteo as they literally leaked 18 goals in those eight matches.

Letting in goals in one thing as Di Matteo strived to provide Abramovich with Joga Bonito type football we are lead to believe the Russian craves even more than negotiating severance payment agreements.

It will have been the appalling manner in which most of those goals were conceded that would have concerned the SW6 hierarchy above all else. Even more so than players moan that yet again echoed round the Stamford Bridge and Cobham hallways.

We can't be shocked by the ruthless nature of the firing. That some estimates has been tagged to the Turin dressing room shortly after the final whistle.

The Abramovich form book tells us Ancelotti was told of his demise in the tunnel area of Goodison Park just as he made his way to face the customary post match media obligations, Villas-Boas after sleeping the night off in his office at Chelsea's training ground following a Saturday evening defeat away to West Brom who just so coincidentally inflicted the same on Di Matteo in what we now know was the Italian's last league game in charge at Stamford Bridge.

At least Ancelotti was allowed a ride back from Merseyside to London on the Chelsea team bus and Di Matteo's bags were already packed and waiting for him on the tarmac.

Benitez will need to do much more to placate furious Chelsea fans than appoint ex player Zenden to the assistants role at Stamford Bridge. After all if we're to believe the urban legend Chelsea have no history than a majority of their supporters have only started following Chelsea in the intervening years since Zenden's Chelsea departure which occurred a year after Abramovic purchased the club in summer 2003.

Benitez won't let the emotions of some on Sunday when the champions come pay a visit distract from the task at hand. Instead he's likely to use it as a motivating factor and a rallying call for his newfound charges.

His history of run ins with owners initially at Valencia, that over rode his time at Liverpool and followed him to Inter Milan were last seen in the lost luggage department in Dubai Wednesday morning as he jetted into London just as Chelsea were announcing the appointment.

As Benitez arrived at Heathrow he likely was welcomed to London with a text from Fernando Torres who at last count has gone through five coaches in the two years or so that has passed since the two Spaniards were last in tandem on a football pitch.

Benitez is fully aware Torres is not the same player or does he have it his disposal Gerrard or Alonso who were so pivotal to his Liverpool tactical way that enabled Torres to be mentioned in the world class conversations of the day. In any case Mata is now Rafa's matador.

A decade ago and ahead of the 2002-2003 season the migration of players between clubs and continents that was permitted all year long was replaced by the current summer and winter transfer system.

Now with a podium full of Chelsea managers having come and gone in London, SW6 in much less time than the gap between summer and winter Olympics the only way Benitez will feel confident of seeing out his 6 month tenure is if he cuddles up and convinces Sepp to introduce a similar system for the coaching fraternity when their paths cross in Tokyo next month.

Lady Cathy had the honour earlier today of unveiling the statue of her husband just along the concourse from the Old Trafford stand named for Sir Alex and as they say behind every good man is a better woman.

From what I know and understand from her time up in Liverpool than the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will have just a fine old time with the scouse accented and wonderfully monikered - Maria de Montserrat.

Better known as Montse Mrs. Benitez may even be a match for Abramovich and that famous grin permanently etched upon his chin.


Having spent the past decade demonizing defenders up and down the country it's little surprise the name Rooney tops the global jersey sales league. Something's got to help pay for the hair weaves after all. In the era where it seems securing a Champions League slot is deemed as valuable as winning the title itself the names of Gerrard, Torres and Ronaldo round out the top 4. With the possible MLS bound Lampard coming in at No. 5.


Not a bad seven days for Arsenal that started with them banging in five during the North London Derby that was swiftly followed up in midweek with progression for a 13th straight season to the knock out stages of the UEFA Champions League news came down earlier today of a significant Emirates upgrade to the tune of  £150m [$230m] as the club announced an extension to their stadium and shirt deal with the Dubal based airline. Theo Walcott will be pleased.


With Tony Fernandes helping Mark Hughes onto his bike earlier today at least comfort can be found in the fact the Welshman's second straight coaching demise would not occur in a suburb of Manchester on a Saturday evening.  The 'Hughes Out' now cries that echoed round Loftus Road last Saturday following the inglorious home spanking at the hands of a fellow relegation candidate were replaced by 1 clever wag on TSN Radio's Barclays Premier League partner TalkSport very early this morning when it was suggested QPR now stood for Quick Phone Redknapp.

With London bookies no longer accepting wagerers on the replacement at the club it's expected as early as this coming Monday that Harry's Game after premiering in the East End before starring in North London will next be appearing a mere few miles from London's world famous west end theatre district. With QPR's survival in the top flight looking dire no confirmation as yet Houdini will be joining Harry.

You can reach and follow Noel Butler at:

Manchester United vs. QPR from Old Trafford airs across the TSN Radio and TEAM Radio Networks this Saturday, with coverage kicking off at 9:30am et/6:30am pt.

Swansea City vs. Liverpool live on TSN2 - Sunday at 8:15am et/5:15am pt.

Roberto Di Matteo (Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images)


(Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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