So Benitez finally cracked. Just like he did at Liverpool when the pressure got to him, he’s done it at Chelsea. After the game against Middlesbrough, Benitez went on a rant about the Chelsea fans’ support as well as the board. He stated that the fans needed to just support the team and not worry about Benitez. Apparently 2,000 fans traveling on a Wednesday night to Middlesbrough isn’t supporting your team?
But anyway, this outburst from Benitez has clearly been built up over time, but I don’t think any Chelsea fan really expected Benitez to crack. The fact that Benitez moans about the Chelsea fans just shows how stupid his comments were when he was at Liverpool, when he stated that the Chelsea fans have no passion. Rafa’s seen first hand that Chelsea fans do have a lot of passion for their side, and will speak up when they feel there club is being mislead.
Benitez has not been popular since day one, and it will surely go down as one of the worst decisions in footballing history to sack Di Matteo in favor of Benitez. What must have been going through the boards mind when they made that decision. It defines all sense, and I’m sure if the board asked ANY Chelsea fan whether hiring Benitez would be a good idea, they would have got 100% responses of NO.
Benitez has shown since he came to the club just how out of touch with the game he really is, and how he hasn’t learnt from some of the terrible decisions he made whilst Liverpool manager. Team selections leave the fans baffled, for example last night playing Benayoun who has no future with the club over Marko Marin, who desperately wants a chance to prove himself. Then there’s his pointless substitutions, for example bringing a right back on for another right back when we need a goal. This is also coupled with the fact that everyone knows when he’s going to make a substitution. 80th minute every time.
You have to wonder how this man has managed to get this job, especially after the way he left Liverpool and the damage he did whilst at Inter Milan, where he turned treble winners into mid-table strugglers. This job has just been an advert for him to display ‘what he can do’, but if any potential suitors are looking on I’m sure they’d be thinking about staying away. In Benitez’s reign so far there have only been a handful of good moments, such as the win against Arsenal and the win away to Everton, but there have been so many low points too.
Losing the Club World Cup, a trophy Chelsea should have walked; losing in the Capital One Cup in another trophy that should have been up for grabs; losing to West Ham & QPR, 2 of Chelsea’s most bitter rivals, and of course drawing to Brentford away in the FA Cup. It’s a season which turned into a disaster, and a write off, the moment Benitez came through the door.
Everyone said when Benitez was appointed that he’d get Torres back to his Liverpool days of scoring goals for fun, but that hasn’t happened. A purple patch in December against poor opposition, but since then he’s been really poor scoring only 2 goals, with one of those being against Brentford and the other unbelievably being given to him against Middlesbrough. Gifting him goals now.
The best piece of news that Chelsea fans got yesterday wasn’t the win, even though it was very welcome in a potential upset, but the fact that Benitez said he wouldn’t be at Chelsea next season. Chelsea fans all took a collective sigh of relief when they heard that. If he was even considered as full time boss, the backlash the board would have seen would have been nothing compared to what would have happened. It would have made the songs, banners and protests seen over the last few months seem minute. But thankfully that’s no longer a worry.
Every Chelsea fan now just wants the season to be over with, hopefully with Champions League qualification intact. Benitez says that if the team doesn’t get top 4 then that’s due to the fans? Because they’re the ones motivating the side, picking the team and making the subs, right? Rubbish. It was just another case of Benitez trying to put the blame for the situation he’s found himself in, onto someone else, or a group of people in this case. Every Chelsea fan now just wants to get a place in the top 4, and maybe win a trophy even though that looks very unlikely. What a shambles that after all the trophies Chelsea were up for, they may walk away with absolutely nothing.
The fans are the most important part of the club, and without them there would be no Chelsea FC. If the fans decided not to go to games and watch the side, Roman would make no money. But that’s never going to happen. Yes some will stay away whilst Benitez is still at the club, but the majority will continue to go to games, support the side and cheer the side on to victory. They’ve been supporting the club all season despite what Benitez says, and they’d never give up on their club. But the fans will never stop with the Benitez protests. He’s brought this all on himself, and if he doesn’t like it the doors open.
On the May 19th 2013 Benitez will be gone, if not before that. How strange that the date will fall on the anniversary of the most famous night in Chelsea fans’ history, and one that will be remembered for all the right reasons. But I suspect on the 19th of May this year, Chelsea fans will simply breath a sigh of relief, look on at some positives from the campaign, and look forward to a new season, hopefully with the Special One back home. Until that day comes, Rafa needn’t worry. Because the fans will continue to sing & support their side, over land and sea...and Leicester.