Aston Villas manager Roberto Di Matteo gave his press conference today for the home game against Newcastle United at Villa Park on Saturday.
Both managers have the rare distinction of winning the Champions League – Roberto with Chelsea (2012) and Rafa with Liverpool (2005) and Rafa is also a losing finalist with Liverpool (2007).
Roberto Di Matteo after being appointed Villa manager
Benitez has also won the Europa League twice with Valencia (2004) and Chelsea (2013).
This is some of what Roberto said today:
“It’s a big game for both clubs. “Newcastle have probably started a little bit better than us.”
“it’s a team that likes to play a lot on the counter attack as well.” “They seem to be quite a solid team as well, so I think we’ll have to be patient to break them down and create our chances.”
“I think they’re defensively very strong, and then try with the offensive players that they have to hurt you.”
“I’m not sure whether it’s going to be a classic, but it should have the ingredients for a good game.”
“The Villa fans could make a really big difference for us,” “Playing at home in front of our fans is always very exciting and I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday.”
“It could really kick-start our season. “By winning on Saturday we could really get back in to the mix and really give us a boost of confidence.”
In a strange twist Benitez replaced Roberto Di Matteo after he was sacked by Chelsea in late 2012 after brilliantly winning the Champions League for them for the first time ever six months before his sacking.
You cannot charge Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich of not being ruthless.
Rafa went on that season to win the Europa League, but he wasn’t given the job full time and Chelsea brought back Jose Mourinho in June of 2013.
Two years later Jose won the Premier League for them and then last season, after the players seemed to turn against him, he was sacked and is now at Manchester United.
It will be a tough game for us on Saturday.