Chelsea striker grateful to new manager for chance to shine
No Chelsea player has explicitly criticised Andre Villas-Boas since the Portuguese manager left Stamford Bridge, although it’s hard not draw the conclusion that the squad are a good deal happier now Roberto di Matteo is in charge.
March 28th, 2012
The Italian has steered Chelsea through the last sixteen stage of the Champions League and the Blues are now closing in on a semi-final spot after winning 1-0 thanks to a late strike from Salomon Kalou.
The striker was a surprise name on the team sheet for Tuesday’s encounter and Kalou admitted after the match that he thought his Chelsea days were numbered under AVB, although he has a more positive view since the managerial change.
He said: “I have never put myself first before the club. I never think there is no way I shouldn’t have a future at the club.
“I work hard and showed that there is no reason why I shouldn’t be in the team.
“Robbie has come in and given me the opportunity to play more and I am very happy with that. My goal is to play and show that I should play more.”
Asked if it hurt Villas-Boas had not believed in him, he said: “As a football player, you want to be on the pitch but if the manager chooses to put you aside, there is nothing you can do.
“Maybe Andre was building a new team and he was maybe thinking I wasn’t part of the future of the club.”