Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has taken over as manager of Bundesliga side Schalke 04, reports the London Evening Standard and will face his old side on the 25th of November at the Veltins-Arena in the Champions League.
The Bundesliga club are only four points off returning to a European spot in the league table as they sit in 11th position, but for a side with dreams of competing in the Champions League year in, year out this position was not acceptable.
The dismissal comes following former boss Jens Keller only managing two wins in seven games. pressure will immediately be heaped upon Di Matteo’s shoulders however, with Keller managing to bring back-to-back seasons of Champions League football for Schalke.
Di Matteo was harshly sacked by Chelsea in November of 2012 following an FA Cup and Champions League double the season before. Di Matteo has not since managed a side but the way he masterminded successes with Chelsea in the past, particularly during such a time of change at the club with the departure of Andre Villas Boas should be a good sign of things to come for Schalke.
His return to management will hopefully be met by an appreciative Chelsea support when the Blues travel to Germany at the end of November due in no small part to successes he brought to the Stamford Bridge outfit in his brief but very successful stint at the club.
He is the only Chelsea manager to have won the Champions League but he will face a stern test from Jose Mourinho’s side who look set to conquer domestically this season and Schalke will be a test they should overcome if they are serious about challenging for European honours also.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.