The Dutchman believes it is now or never for his old club, who must copy Dortmund's tactics to overcome German giants in their Allianz Arena home and hit hosts on counter-attack
By Rob Stewart
Former Chelsea midfielder Bolo Zenden does not expect Blues owner Roman Abramovich to hand interim manager Roberto Di Matteo a permanent contract even if his team beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.
Zenden insists Di Matteo has already done enough to merit a new deal since succeeding Andre Villas-Boas but he believes Abramovich will look elsewhere this summer for a more experienced manager when it comes to appointing a boss in the summer.
“It is a hard thing because in my opinion, why shouldn’t he be given the job because he has won the FA Cup and he has got them back on track after they were in a very bad state,” Zenden told Goal.com.
“Imagine him winning the Champions League – the trophy that Abramovich always wanted – and you could only imagine him getting the job but we all know that Abramovich has his own ideas.
“Don’t get me wrong, I do think that Di Matteo is a special manager with a heart for the club because he has always been there for so many years and he is linked with the club. But you can imagine Abramovich wanting someone there who has been managing at the top European levels for years and only for that reason do I think that even if he does win it he is not going to get the job.
“It will be close but me being a ex-Chelsea man I do hope Chelsea win because it is obviously something Abramovich has really been after since the first day that he took over. His main thing has been winning the Champions League. They have come close on many occasions but it has not quite come off for them.”
|Champions League Final
|New age can help Chelsea - Van der Sar
The ex-Barcelona player, who was in the Liverpool side beaten in the Champions League final by AC Milan in Athens five years ago, believes Chelsea will have to emulate Borussia Dortmund’s counter-attacking tactics if they are to beat Bayern in their opponents’ own Allianz Arena.
“In the end it will be the best on the day that will probably win it – nothing to do with the past or the future,” the 35-year-old added.
“But I saw Bayern play Dortmund in their equivalent of the FA Cup final and they were nowhere while Chelsea did very well against Liverpool in the FA Cup final and Dortmund played on the counter-attack like Chelsea do. Bayern had no answer to that and they were slaughtered. That will be a massive blow to Bayern’s confidence.
“Chelsea could copy that. When I saw Bayern play Real Madrid at home and away they were fantastic and they deserved to go through because they were two goals down at the Bernabeu and still kept playing and got themselves back into the game.
"They deserve credit for that but when you see what happened against Dortmund you would see that the way to play them is on the counter-attack.”
Zenden does not think Chelsea will just sit back and defend as they did in both legs of the semi-final against Barcelona.
“I don’t think Chelsea will play like they did against Barcelona because that was just a one-off,” the former Dutch international continued.
“For the fans and for some of the players it is now or never because they have been close on so many occasions with the final against Manchester United and several semi-finals over the last few years. If it is not now then when is it going to happen? There are also a few players out there for whom it will be the last chance as well.”
Zenden believes that Bayern will be out to take advantage of the suspensions that have left Chelsea looking vulnerable in defence.
“Bayern are a strange team and we have seen the best and the worst out of them this season," Zenden added. “But they are so good going forward with (Arjen) Robben, (Franck) Ribery and (Mario) Gomez who has scored 40 goals this season. And then behind them you have got (Bastian) Schweinsteiger so they are very strong offensively and that is exactly what Chelsea don’t want at the minute because they hardly have any defenders,”
“There are four main characters missing for Chelsea – Ramires, (Raul) Meireles, (John) Terry and (Branislav) Ivanovic – and you might say that the ones that are missing for Bayern – (Holger) Badstuber, Gustavo and (Diego) Alaba – are easier to replace than the ones Chelsea are missing.
“David Luiz might be back but it is a bit of a risk if you ask me because if you have a knee or ankle injury you can have an injection and just get on with it. But with a muscle injury you never know when it will pop so there will be a big question mark over him.
“So you would guess that Bayern will play very open and very much forward and you will see Chelsea leaning back a bit and going on the counter-attack with Didier Drogba up front, maybe Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.
"There is a question mark over Florent Malouda but you have Salomon Kalou who can do the job. It will be fascinating.”