Di Matteo – Once upon a time in the West Midlands

In a revealing interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport, West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo explains what life is like managing at the top level in England and gives his thoughts on the current state of the Italian game.
Having recently claimed the manager of the month award he was asked how he felt about his team being in the higher echelons of the Premier League: “it is fantastic, in September we got seven points from three games and we are just behind Chelsea and Manchester City”. Following his team’s extraordinary win over Arsenal at the Emirates, Di Matteo explained that: “it was stupendous, we even earned the applause of the Arsenal fans terrific”.
He continued by outlining his philosophy on the game by stating that : “I want my teams to attack as a five and then cover as a five, my aim is to stop this club from continuing to be a yo-yo side”
and he also had special praise for one of his newest signings: “Peter Odemwingie has been amazing, 45 appearances for his national side and three goals in his first five matches for West Brom, fantastic”.
As a former Lazio player, the 40-year-old coach is particularly pleased to see his old club at the Serie A summit: “my Lazio are looking strong, the signing of Anderson Hernanes has given them extra strength, he is a champion, I also like Mauro Zarate now that he has returned to form”.
On the current state of the Italian game, the former Chelsea hero confessed that : “the stadiums are half empty and it breaks my heart, they need a complete overhaul like in England and Germany”. Finally, on the subject of a return to Italy as a coach, Di Matteo suggested that Serie A club owners may not have the patience of Premier League counterparts: “no problem, but in Italy, you lose three times and you are on vacation”.

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