Following Chelsea's shock 2-0 reversal at the hands of Swansea City days ago, it effectively left interim manager Rafa Benitez as a dead man walking.

Yet the irony still remains: that Benitez is the front-runner to succeed Mourinho - arguably the most revered coach in Chelsea's modern history - in the Real Madrid's hotseat at the end of the season. 

This irony reflects a stark reality: that Benitez is by no means an incompetent coach. At 52, he has managerial youth on his side and a glittering CV of trophies that most managers can only dream of.

Since the turn of the millennium, he is the only manager to have broken the Real/Barca duopoly by winning the La Liga twice with Valencia, in addition to winning the UEFA Cup and Champions League in consecutive seasons. At Liverpool, he was most fiercely criticised for his transfer market nous, but a quick glance at his signings tell a different tale. Four summers was all it took for Benitez to turn a Liverpool side struggling to qualify for the Champions League to their highest points finish of 86 since they last won the title in 1990.

Which makes what Chelsea fans assert all the more puzzling.

Chair of Chelsea's Supporter Group Trizia Fiorellino said: "He [Benitez] isn't helping himself with the fans by not making changes. Previous managers did, but he doesn't seem to want to and that smacks of arrogance."

Logic dictates that not making changes doesn't equate to arrogance. Has there been a practice in the pre-Benitez era that fans will dictate substitutions by casting votes on who should be substituted before the poll results are announced over PA and the manager does the appropriate? Thought not.

It's clear that Benitez was never accepted by all sections of the Chelsea support from the start. In his first game after two years in the managerial wilderness against Manchester City, home fans were raising placards trying to get air-time by writing the words "Rafa Out - Fact", even before the Chelsea players had a minute's belt under the Spaniard. 

If anything, this is conclusive proof that the hatred driven against Benitez was perhaps, blind. He was never given a half-chance, let alone a chance to assert his authority with it consistently being undermined, and most of this divisiveness was driven because of Benitez's comments about Chelsea during his Liverpool days.

Yet one must be mindful of the fact that Rafa Benitez's job title is that of a "Football Manager", rather than that of a "Liverpool supporter". It is his field of expertise and in just about like in any industry, it is his profession. If sentimentality is no cause of concern for Benitez, then I can't see why it is for Chelsea's fans.

The revolt pouring from the stands of Stamford Bridge is just that: sentiment. An emotional attachment for Jose Mourinho, continous pining for Roberto di Matteo etc. Yes, it shouldn't hurt but the mark has been overstepped till the extent that there is definitely an impact on Chelsea's current run of results. Players' states of mind are affected, Benitez and his coaching staff aren't able to reason logically, and ultimately a combination of factors will lead to a greater difficulty in obtaining results. Just imagine playing in a full house of opposition supporters? That's just about what's happening in Stamford Bridge now.

Undoubtedly, Rafa Benitez's appointment as Chelsea manager remains one of the most controversial decisions made in recent times. But he is by no means at fault for this. Similarly, the fans are by no means at fault for this. It is a form of authority stamped by Roman Abramovich and only he can be answerable for Chelsea's season. But if we were looking to tip balance of probability in Chelsea's favour, it is advisable for the fans get on board Benitez's boat before their season starts spiralling further out of control.

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