By Marcus ChhanFollow @@MarcusChhan
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo will be having a massive case of the mid-week blues following Tuesday night's 3-0 thumping at the hands of Juventus in Turin.
It was a poor result; the Blues had not lost by three clear goals in the Champions League in the 21st century before Tuesday. It was a poor performance; the Blues were outplayed and they conceded 15 shots on target.
It also meant that Chelsea have dropped down to third place in Group E with one match remaining. The Blues now must win against Nordsjaelland in two weeks' time and hope the already qualified Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juve.
Di Matteo has rightly put his hand up and taken responsibility for the disappointing results in Europe.
There's no way to sugar coat this. The Blues are facing the very real prospect of becoming the first holders to depart the competition before Christmas.
Yes, it's embarrassing for Chelsea. No, I don't think it would be the correct decision at all to replace Di Matteo.
Firstly, this is the same guy who turned around a disastrous campaign last season when he transformed muck into the UEFA Champions League trophy - and not to mention the FA Cup as well.
Don't forget, Chelsea had previously tried under Jose Mourinho and countless other good managers to win Europe's elite club competition and failed. Additionally, Chelsea owner Roman
Abramovich had spent over £1billion on player transfers and wages but the result was still the same until Di Matteo took over mid-season.
Di Matteo deserves more respect.
And let me tell you another thing: Di Matteo has not been respected at all this season. All the constant speculation about his future and the questions about his job, you would have thought he was being mistaken for Mark Hughes down at QPR.
Chelsea are only four points off the lead in the Barclays Premier League title race and yet there are reports - speculative ones at that - that his job is now hanging by a thread. If it is true, what a sorry state of affairs we are seeing at Stamford Bridge.
Has football really lost so much of its soul that we can so easily throw away our heroes when they need someone to lean on? I thought you weren't supposed to kick a man when he's down.
Chelsea still might qualify from their Champions League group if they can win their next game and results elsewhere are in their favour, but even if they don't, it isn't shameful for the Blues to be eliminated from a strong group with 10 points.
It is one of the worst kept secrets in football at the moment that Chelsea have been pursuing former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola. Taking into consideration how Di Matteo's position and authority at the club has increasingly been undermined, the Italian has actually done a satisfactory job of holding the fort together.
By all accounts, the former Barcelona coach fully intends to see out his year-long sabbatical and so is only available at the end of the season.
However, there are no guarantees he would even want to join Chelsea no matter how much money Abramovich throws at him. Guardiola is an in-demand name with Manchester City, AC Milan and Bayern Munich the other three clubs that have made contact with his representatives. It is also understood by people close to the Catalan legend that he remains sceptical about taking over the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.
Why? Because Guardiola is apparently not too keen on joining a club that ditches a manager at the first sign of trouble.
Therefore, even if Chelsea does not to see Di Matteo as their leader beyond this season, and if they are serious about enticing Guardiola, then sacking the manager now would be a massive error of judgement.
Who would Chelsea appoint anyway if Di Matteo were to leave?
Would they really install another caretaker manager to replace the caretaker manager, who they just made the full-time manager in the summer? It's all getting a bit silly now.
There have been reports that Rafael Benitez or Avram Grant are in line to replace Di Matteo, but (a) would Benitez take the job knowing he would be viewed as a stop-gap until Guardiola confirmed his arrival? And (b) is Grant even a better manager than Di Matteo?
I think the answer to both questions is a resounding no.
If I was one of Roman Abramovich's well-paid movers and shakers, I would advise him to tell Di Matteo to keep calm and carry on. There's still more than half the season to go and the Barclays Premier League title is looking like a very nice consolation prize.
Even the mighty Barcelona with Guardiola at the helm could not successfully defend the Champions League title.