g Rafa Benitez; The Apparent Rant and The Fallout

The rant that wasn't quite a rant.  More an articulate, if ill-advised analysis of the reality of one mans situation.  There were no expletives, no deluded thunder in the delivery.  But it caught the imagination and the attention of the media and football followers alike.  What can be debated are the merits of the content of Rafael Benitez's comments after a comfortable FA Cup win at Middlesbrough on Wednesday night.  What can't be argued with much purpose is the dent it has put in Benitez's future at Chelsea and the perception of stability at Stamford Bridge.

Let's start with Benitez.  Many of us woke up on Thursday morning to the news that there was no news on the future of Benitez.  We expected a scalp, the dramatic, sexy stuff that sends Twitter into a flutter and commentators into overdrive.  There was palpable disappointment when the public backing was given to Chelsea's interim manager.  Well more a shrug of the shoulders and a dismissal of the idea of a sacking as opposed to an actual sacking.  So the skin was pierced but no blood was spilled. 

Well not yet anyway.  This weekend’s visit of West Bromwich Albion will be anticipated and covered with equal fervour.  The interim {irony unintentional} chair of the Chelsea Supporters' Trust, Tim Rolls, said "many of the 2,000 fans who spent their time and money travelling to the Riverside Stadium will have felt insulted by his {Benitez} comments, and there's bound to be a backlash when West Bromwich Albion visit Stamford Bridge." 

The Chelsea Supporters' Trust state their purpose clearly; "Whilst there have always been groups who represent supporters to the club, there has been a growing feeling over the last year or so amongst some supporters that a need for a more organised, more democratic and representative body to make their voice heard. Not by sniping on social media or banners and chanting at the ground, but through constructive, open, honest, informed and ongoing dialogue."

Rolls therefore isn't speaking on the back of mob or any perceived yob mentality but he is trying to articulate in a reasoned manner how Chelsea fans feel.  And they feel they want Benitez gone, he espouses the general belief of a futile appointment when he says, "The end of the season cannot come soon enough."  But Rolls also holds the board responsible for the current state of the club.  And it seems a reasonable argument. 

A Russian billionaire owner, an American Lawyer, an experienced Chief Executive and a Ukrainian inbetweener.  Roman Abramovich, Bruce Buck, Ron Gourlay and Eugene Tenenbaum respectively.  It's reasonable to think that between them there is enough experience, financial power, political nous and communication skills to ensure a club of Chelsea’s magnitude is run in a smoother manner then how it has been perceived in recent seasons.  The perception of instability though is now a general recognition of a club on the brink of losing their status as one of England's top clubs.  And of losing their Champions League status.

For an individual to become stronger you work hard.  Initially your muscle breaks down but then regenerates into stronger fibers.  Chelsea are breaking down.  There's too much waning muscle at Stamford Bridge.  There's Benitez, yes, but there's also an English backbone and a Spanish flop that need to move on.  And regrowth should start with Oscar, Marko Marin, Victor Moses, Nathan Ake, Demba Ba and Gary Cahill amongst many.  And an intelligent, managerial appointment that is enforced with the one thing Abramovich and his subordinates lack; patience.  Maybe a Scotsman who has shown perpetual skill in drawing success from relatively tight resources. 

The argument that David Moyes wouldn't be able to handle big budgets and big egos is a moot point.  What evidence is there to support this?  Sparse conjecture.  What evidence to support Moyes is intelligent, motivated, motivational, skilled and astute?  His C.V.

But sometimes the argument of reason and logic can be hard to hear.  It's up to the people around Abramovich to ensure it is heard.  But that could take some doing. 



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