I’M not a fan of Rafa Benitez but Chelsea’s latest crisis is certainly not down to the club’s new “interim” manager as he continues to wait for his first victory.
The new boss arrived courtesy of Sky Sports television and the media and, I must admit, most of us bought into it. But I don’t care how good the manager thinks he is because any success he has recorded in the past goes down to the playing staff and, in particular, the players he has brought to the football club.
So let’s be totally honest. How many of us in Benitez’s position would not have taken the Chelsea job, albeit on an interim basis?
Even if everything goes pear shaped - and it certainly hasn’t improved just yet - the Spaniard will walk away having earned a significant short-term salary as having managed Chelsea will also prove to be a significant addition to his C.V.
It’s been reported that Chelsea’s owner wants to play the game the Barcelona way and that policy can clearly be seen in the purchase of players such as Hazard and Oscar during the close season but those youngsters, despite being top class footballers, are not in the same class as Messi or Iniesta.
The London side will continue to play good football but it’s also very predictable and I believe that makes playing against Chelsea much easier for their opponents.
Then there’s the problem of one Fernando Torres who will surely go down in history as the worst £50 million transfer fee ever spent in the history of football. Because he was purchased on the orders of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, managers are reluctant to drop him from the starting line-up and, even if they do, there is no obvious ready made replacement at Stamford Bridge.
In defence, Gary Cahill, has yet to establish himself as a regular first team player while John Terry continues to huff and puff through certain games. So, all in all, Benitez has inherited a collection of individuals - not a team - having opted to take Mr. Abramovich’s money at the first time of asking.
Personally, I don’t rate the Spaniard as a manager but fairness demands he be given a chance. Realism suggests that there was probably a queue of managers all prepared to take on the Chelsea job on that “interim basis.”