Chelsea midfielder Ramires claims Roberto Di Matteo has eased pressure ahead of Benfica visit
There are often casualties to a campaign and Chelsea midfielder Ramires last night suggested that Andre Villas-Boas’s brutal departure from the club had led to a release of pressure which allowed the players to find “new confidence”.
Explaining Chelsea’s improvement in form since Villas-Boas was sacked and replaced by interim head coach Roberto Di Matteo, Ramires said: “We began to realise we are a great team, with great players, and have built from our first victory — in Roberto’s first game — and gone from strength to strength.”
Those words will have pained Villas-Boas, who has been vilified for his approach, but they will have pained Ramires also.
The Brazilian was close to the former manager and deeply upset by his sacking and had said in a separate interview with the Portuguese newspaper O Jogo earlier on Tuesday that he was “very happy” under Villas-Boas because “I grew as a player”.
Ramires added: “I was not expecting him to leave.”
The player’s future has, despite the signing of a new contract, been cast in some doubt by Villas-Boas going.