Frank Sinclair tells Goals on Sunday dropping Fernando Torres may have cost Roberto Di Matteo his job
Frank Sinclair wonders if dropping Fernando Torres against Juventus sealed Roberto Di Matteo's fate.
Last Updated: 25/11/12 1:44pm
The Spanish striker was left out of the team for 3-0 defeat in Turin and owner Roman Abramovich decided to fire the manager only a few hours later, replacing him with the former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.
Sinclair, who played for Chelsea between 1990 and 1998, says it's impossible to explain what the owner is thinking because he rarely speaks in public.
But he says there are rumours that he was upset with the decision to drop the £50million signing for a crucial game.
Sinclair told Goals on Sunday: "Robbie took the full blame for the way the Champions League game went and if he thought he was under pressure he wouldn't have done that, but he came out and was honest and said he got things wrong.
"He left Torres out of the team and a lot of talk at Chelsea is that he's the owner's favourite player and if you leave him out of the side and it doesn't go well it can cost you your job.
"I don't know. The problem is so much is said about what the owner wants because he doesn't say much and doesn't express his feelings. Everything is really rumours regarding him.
"It will be interesting to see the sort of form Torres finds now. Benitez has worked with him before and the last time he managed him he was a super player at Liverpool.
"He needs to get back to that form because that's one place we've struggled this season; somebody leading the line."
Sinclair played alongside Di Matteo for several years at Stamford Bridge - indeed they were the two goalscorers in the club's 1998 League Cup Final victory over Middlesbrough - and he says he feels very disappointed for his former team-mate.
The Italian was sacked after only six months, despite winning the two major trophies for the club, and Sinclair feels it's typical of an owner who has now employed nine managers since taking over in 2003.
"It's disappointing for Robbie because he came in when the club was in a sticky position last season and did a remarkable job," he added.
"To win the Champions League and the FA Cup in his first season warrants him getting the job, I believe. Whether the owner really wanted him or not is another thing.
"The first blip he had at the club saw him lose his job and you're shocked a little bit, but if you look at the history of the owner and what he's done in the past with managers - he doesn't mess about.
"They made a statement saying the results weren't good enough and that's why he's gone and the owner has done that before with people who have been successful."