In a week where there were claims and counter claims over a "difference of opinion" with Captain John Terry, interim manager Rafael Benitez finally snapped last night after the victory over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
Chelsea won the tie, away at Middlesbrough by 2-0. That is where the good news ended as Benitez suddenly and without any warning, launched into an unbridled tirade against just about everybody! It seems that he finally took exception to the constant chanting and the flurry of banners, some of which left nothing to the imagination! Quite why he chose last night is a mystery, but here is a transcript of what he said at the press conference last night:-
"A group of fans, they are not doing any favours for the team when they are signing and wasting time preparing banners”.
"It's because someone made a mistake. The put my title 'interim manager’ and I will leave at the end of the season, so they don't need to waste time with me”.
"Why put interim in the title? Why did they need do that? Maybe they thought: "He was at Liverpool", so put interim in".
"I have been in charge in football for 26 years. I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies; all the trophies you can win at club level”.
"The fans have to concentrate on supporting the team, that's what they have to do”.
"In the end, they are not doing any favours to the club, to the rest of the fans and to the players”.
"Every game they continue singing and they continue preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team”.
"If we cannot achieve what we expect to achieve, that is to be in the top four and be in the Champions League for next year, I will leave; they will stay in the Europa League”.
"They have to take responsibility too. If they put players under pressure, they don't create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, they have to realise they are making a big mistake because the rest of the fans would like to see the team in the Champions League next year”.
"I'm the manager and I will be managing the team. I like to manage players and not names, so I will pick my team, and I will make decisions and at the end of the season, I will leave anyway because I am interim like they said”.
"Again, they are wasting time, they are wasting time. I have proved in these three months that I want to win every single game. I am a professional and I am sure if we win, I will be the happiest man in the world”.
"But if a group of fans continue with their agenda and they continue not supporting the team and wasting time with these things, it's there decision, but they are not doing any favours to the team, to the club, anyone”.
"I have a very good group of players who are working very hard. It's a top club, so it's not a problem”.
"The problem is a group of people who think they can say what they want instead of supporting the team”.
"Again I will say I have won nine titles, all the titles that you can win at club level, in three different countries, so I think I have enough experience and enough quality as a manager to hear a group of people with an agenda carry on”.
"They don't realise that I will leave at the end of the season. They don't need to be worried about me, but what they have to do is support the team”.
"If they don't do that and we are not in the Champions League at the end, they can blame whatever they want, but we will see the next year the Europa League”.
"This group of fans, they have an agenda, they say 'We are right'. They can be right at the end of the season, it's simple”.
"They put me there with the title 'interim', so why do they have to bother about that? Just carry on supporting the team”.
"It's a team in transition - they don't realise”.
"In the past, we had Drogba, Essien, Kalou, these players, it was a very strong squad, players with experience in the Premier League”.
"Now we have a group of players with talent, really good players with talent, but they need time”.
"It's a time of transition. But they don't realise it was a time of transition when I came here”.
"The team was not in the Champions League, the team has lost some trophies, so I am trying to do my best and I will try to do my best until the end, until the last minute”.
"It doesn't matter what they say. I am a professional, I have experience and I will do my best”.
"But if they carry on in the same, they have to take responsibility because they are damaging the image of the club and the rest of the fans because people think all the fans are the same."
It is clear from the incoherent nature of this latest rant that Benitez is feeling the pressure. It is reminiscent of his famous "Fact" rant at Sir Alex Ferguson when he was manager at Liverpool. He left shortly after that rant. It also seems clear from the leaks coming out of Stamford Bridge that Benitez is not popular with the players, especially the usual culprits, led by Terry, who has been at the heart of many a bust-up with previous managers, usually resulting in them being sacked.
Whether Abramovich wants to risk an implosion at Chelsea by sacking Benitez, at this stage of the season, remains to be seen. One thing is for sure is that there will be an equally irrational response from their sociopathic owner. The losers will be the team and the very supporters who are continuing to chant and raise banners. Maybe this is the result of having owners with limitless funds and equally as little idea of what they are doing?