While Desailly doesn’t agree with everything Roman Abramovich decrees, the bursting trophy room since he bought the club almost 10 years ago tells the story of the most successful period in Chelsea’s history.
He told the Sunday Express: “We have a leader who is very passionate. When he makes the decision to change, there must be a good reason.
“He changed Carlo Ancelotti because he made some tactical mistakes, from his point of view. He changed Di Matteo because he thought he went too far in his tactical set-up. It was the same with Andre Villas-Boas, who he felt had lost something.
“Yes, I back his decisions. Who complains today that Villas-Boas was removed for Di Matteo, who helped the club win the FA Cup and the Champions League?” Desailly believes fans who have made home games toxic affairs for the Spaniard should cut Benitez some slack.
“As a player, Di Matteo helped build the foundations of a winning mentality that Chelsea was in need of at the time,” he said. “He was also a successful coach. The fans felt something special towards him.
“But it should be a case of, ‘We loved him but let’s move on’. It’s a case of seeing what is going to happen next.”