There’s nothing like waiting for a win to get back at the fans and at your bosses. Rafa Benitez has seen nothing but disrespect from everyone since taking the Chelsea job, knowing all too well it wasn’t going to last very long.
After winning two European titles and two league titles (Spain, with Valencia) in the past, you expect to get more than “interim manager” next to your name. But Roman Abramovich respects no one but himself, and had no problem letting the world know that the manager he is letting run (sorta) his precious team is nothing but an exchangeable item, only here until something better comes along.
They don’t have to worry about me – I leave at the end of the season. They gave me the title of interim manager. That was a massive mistake. Why did they need to do that? I am the manager, and I will manage the team until the end. I am a professional and I am doing my job. I want to win every game for Chelsea Football Club, but the fans have to understand this. I have been a manager for 26 years. I have won the FIFA Club World Cup, the Champions League, the FA Cup – a lot of trophies.
Things haven’t really picked up during Benitez’ time with Chelsea. Usually winning where they should, but not really excelling or looking much better than the Roberto Di Matteo days. The loss to Manchester City pretty much set them apart from the second place, destined to battle and try and keep third place.
Chelsea fans waged war on Benitez from day 1. Instead of going against the owner that raised them from being a decent club that sometimes wiggles its way into the top 4 but is running the club in the most unprofessional way, they picked an easy target. The “Spanish-Waiter” as they refer to Benitez, who’s only crime was managing Liverpool a few years ago, when the rivalry between the club was a tad greater, and for not getting enough initial respect from the ownership.
I really feel disappointed with a group of fans, because they don’t do any favors to the team. They should support the players instead of wasting time preparing banners or singing songs against me. What they have to do is support the team and create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. If we cannot achieve the target that we are looking for – to be in the Champions League – they are not helping with their talking and talking.
Benitez has dealt with the same unbalanced squad Roberto Di Matteo has, although it seems that his relationship with some players, especially John Terry, hasn’t been as good. Benitez tried installing his 4-2-3-1 system which works with two wingers, giving Victor Moses a lot more playing time, but the lack of midfield quality has hurt the team more than once, and all the attacking talent in the world, with or without a competent striker, wasn’t going to help.
If they are going to carry on with an agenda, then they have to take responsibility. Stick together and we can achieve what we need to. If not, the next year, they can carry on singing – but they will be in the Europa League. So they have to appreciate that they are not doing any favors to the rest of the fans or to the players. They have to realize that the rest of the fans want to see the team in the Champions League next year.
Benitez has so far taken Chelsea to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup after beating Middlesbrough 2-0, with Manchester United waiting in the next stage. They have also advanced to the next knockout stage in the Europa League, about to face Steaua Bucharest.