Matchdebating: Di Matteo’s style should not be promoted

Last time I checked,  a final was supposed to differentiate between the two best competitors in a given tournament. In the ultimate decider of superiority, two deserved warriors, having shown the skill to rise above the rest,  duel in a spectacle that cannot be missed by any living being.
But apparently not.  Because I’m afraid that not even the most  staunch, passionate, or deluded fan of Chelsea Football Club could claim that their side is one of the top two teams in Europe.
For a long time, it was looking extremely unlikely that they would emerge as one of the top two teams in London. Whilst the victory over Barcelona has been celebrated by many, it has been taken by many more with a pinch of salt, because it is clear that Barcelona are the superior team.
To break it down to individual players, the results are stark. In defence, you have the choice of whinging, ageing John Terry, or the cultured talents of Gerard Pique.
Any midfield containing Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas instantly cannot be beaten in the quality stakes. They will all star in the Spanish national side this summer, whilst Chelsea’s talisman, Frank Lampard, isn’t even guaranteed a starting berth for England. Then up front, we have Messi vs. Torres. Enough said.
Of course, the claim that many will make is that the art of defending is arguably more difficult and in some ways more beautiful than the skill of attacking. Sorry, but the sight of 11 men standing in an 18 yard space deliberately refusing to show an ounce of creativity is not my idea of art – although it does sound like Tracy Emin’s next idea for the Tate Modern. But I wouldn’t go see it.
There’s also the highly disappointing fact that this defeat signalled the end of Pep Guardiola’s time at Barcelona. The single most impressive manager, or even simply man, in football for the past three years, he has nurtured an underachieving, fractured side into the world’s most attractive footballing side, and brought out the quite breathtaking best in Lionel Messi.
Barcelona aren’t perfect, but their problems – namely their attitude and arrogance – are mirrored, even worse with Chelsea. Also, if Jose Bosingwa deserves to play in the final, then I might pack my boots and head along for a game too.


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