Even after a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Juventus last night, Chelsea parting company with manager Roberto di Matteo came out of the blue for most fans this morning (Wednesday November 21).
The news broke on Twitter at around 9am when @ChelseaFC tweeted simply:
Chelsea Football Club has parted company this morning with manager Roberto Di Matteo. More to follow… #CFC
— Chelsea FC ( @chelseafc) November 21, 2012
At the time of writing, the Tweet has had more than 5,000 retweets or favourites. The UK’s most prominent football writers have spent the rest of the day clarifying exactly when and why Di Matteo was fired. Fans and journalists also began to speculate on who his replacement would be, and break news about potential candidates.
Just interviewed Rafa Benitez in Abu Dhabi. No contact from Chelsea yet. Is very interested in job. Would be open to caretaker role.
— Andy Lewis ( @AndyLewisAD) November 21, 2012
Over the last 24 hours we have seen more than 2.5 million mentions of the story on Twitter, starting with their game against @JuventusFC on Tuesday night through to Wednesday afternoon, when speculation about the new manager’s identity reached fever pitch. Other highlights included:
Chelsea’s main @ChelseaFC Twitter account is the second-most followed of the @PremierLeague clubs, behind London rivals @Arsenal. Chelsea have more managerial news to tweet about than Arsenal - the new manager will be their 8th since Twitter was invented. Arsenal have had the same manager since 10 years before Twitter was born!
The day was summed up by @Lord_Sugar in a single Tweet:
Follow @ChelseaFC for the announcement on Di Matteo’s successor, which could come as early as today.