21 Nov 2012

Doomed to failure at Chelsea? Rafa Benitez commits career suicide. Again...

Oh, Rafa. What have you done? Whether through misguided hubris, deluded optimism or inexplicable stupidity, Liverpool's revered former manager has made a deal with the devil and signed on as Chelsea's 'interim manager', a thankless job for which the phrase 'poisoned chalice' was invented. After the humiliation of being ruthlessly expunged from Inter Milan within six months, you'd think Benitez would've learned his lesson, but clearly, he hasn't, and in my view, the Spaniard has committed career suicide for the second time in three years.

In article on November 25th last year, I predicted that Benitez would become Chelsea manager:

"Torres and Benitez may yet be reunited; I don't know why, but with the way things are going at Stamford Bridge, I have a feeling that Benitez could be in the frame for the Chelsea job at some point over the next year"

Benitez is a brave man, who clearly has massive belief in his own ability, but no matter what he does at Chelsea, he is destined to fail:

* The fans clearly don't want him.

* I doubt the influential likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard will be thrilled to see a club legend like Di Matteo classlessly discarded in favour a reviled LFC-loving imposter with a reputation for anti-football (how the Chelsea fans will see him, not me)

* Christmas has come earlier for the Press; hacks across London will be salivating at the prospect of Benitez's (inevitable) failure, and when things get tough, they will gleefully eviscerate him amid inevitable comparisons with Jose Mourinho.

* Give it a few days, and ex-Chelsea players will come out of the woodwork slating the appointment, and at the first sign of trouble, they'll attack.

* What motivation is there for Chelsea players to bust a gut for Benitez? They know from day one that he's gone at the end of the season (or sooner), and if things go down the pan, they also know that they will escape blame, and Benitez will end up as the scapegoat.

It's an open secret that Roman Abramovich - a master of disloyalty - wants Pep Guardiala at Stamford Bridge, and no matter how well Benitez does, he will be shitcanned the minute the former Barca boss expresses the slightest hint of interest.

Look what happened to Di Matteo: he won the Champions League and the FA Cup and then got the bullet a mere two months after signing two-year deal. If that's how Chelsea treat a bona-fide legend, what chance does Benitez have?!

Benitez committed his first career suicide when he took over at Inter Milan in 2010; following in the footsteps of the wildly successful Jose Mourinho was an impossible job, and the Spaniard has not worked for two years since being ignominiously sacked.

Mourinho may have left Chelsea years ago, but the spectre of the Portuguese manager is sure to loom large over Benitez throughout the next six months (if he even lasts that long).

Unfortunately for Benitez, if things go badly, there is a very real risk that he could suffer the humiliation of being sacked after only a few months, and that could be extremely damaging for his career.

I salute Benitez for having the balls to take on the job, but I have to admit, there is something disturbingly incongruous and faintly absurd about the idea of Benitez - a man of honour, humility and principle - rubbing shoulders with the conniving and contemptible likes of John Terry, a a player who will, in all probability, try and undermine him. In fact, I predict that within 4 months:

* Benitez will have been sacked after a Terry-led player revolt.
* Terry will take over as interim player-manager until the end of the season.

Stranger things have happened; to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Terry was lobbying for the job five minutes after Di Matteo got the sack.

One man who is sure to ecstatic about Benitez's arrival is Fernando Torres, who credits the Spaniard with being 'the most important coach' in his career. In an interview last year, he said:

"Rafa Benitez has been the most important coach in my career. It wasn’t easy for me to leave Atletico, come to England and play in a much faster game that is more dynamic and physical than La Liga.

"Rafa has been the only one who knew how to help me improve. His priority is the team but he adapts the conditions to make everyone fit in the team. That’s his secret. To do it, he maintains a constant personal dialogue with each player.

"He taught me a lot and thanks to him I matured as a professional. Without a shadow of a doubt".

Benitez is definitely a good enough manager for Chelsea, just as he was for Inter Milan, but it's debatable whether he has the man-management skills to keep Chelsea's pampered, overpaid, out of touch primadonnas onside. His failure to tame the massive egos at Inter suggests not, but perhaps he's learned something from that experience?

If Chelsea players and fans give Benitez a chance then I'm sure he'll do well, but as Liverpool fans know, the Spaniard can be his own worst enemy, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes him to start playing the greatest hits from the Benitez playbook:

* Alienation of players through questionable man-management.
* Publicly demanding cash for new players.
* Criticising Abramovich/the Chelsea board for not making funds available.

I would be shocked to see Benitez making any of the above mistakes over the next few months because, if he does, it would mean he's learned absolutely nothing over the last three years.

One thing is for sure: with a 55% win percentage in the Premier League, and 58% win percentage in Europe, Benitez has the capability to do great things at Chelsea, but I just can't help feeling that it will all end in tears.

Good luck, Rafa! (Of course, I secretly want you do LFC a solid and run Chelsea into the ground) ;-)


Rafa Benitez Total Career Stats


Rafa Benitez Total Career Stats - Grand Totals

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. torres will now probably score 20+ goals this season, Chelsea will probably do the treble.
    rafa will not take romans sh#t that's for sure.
    will all be eyes wide open if they tonk city this week end.

  2. *Inter Milan, not AC... delete this message when u see it

  3. I don't think it's a bad move at all. He is an excellent manager and with Romans riches along with the already expensive squad I am convinced he will do very well. In my opinion he can't lose, if he does a great job but is overlooked for Pep in the summer then he will leave on a high. If he doesn't do as well as he should then he will leave in the summer and due to the shadow of Pep have the perfect excuse for things not working out.
    Either way he won't do his CV any harm and if Rodgers fails to keep the present momentum going then maybe in the summer when Rafa is looking for another job he would be perfectly placed to come "home".

  4. You're joking, right? Benitez will be as meek as a lamb with Abramovich because he knows he will get sacked if he doesn't tow the line. To be honest, if he reverts to his old tricks (cash demands etc), then he deserves to get sacked.

  5. Before Rafa haters start i think this guy is an awesome manager i'm 28 been supporting liverpool over 20 years in my time i had the best nights as an liverpool footballer all i say 4 nil real madrid beat barca in their own backyard amazing instanbul nights beat chelsea twice hammered man u 4-1 at old trafford we finished 1 point behind man u 08-09 in my eyes the good outweighs the bad his oinly mistake was xabi alonso.

  6. What if things go pear-shaped and Chelsea start losing lots of games?

  7. You can't really feel sorry for a manager who deals with the likes of Fali Ramadani ... wonder if that was the real reason behind the sack at Inter and him being out of business for so long. Roman would probably not have had any idea about that and was now finally out of decent options to run his little football toy ... embarassing for Chelsea and for someone who likes to be viewed as a Liverpool legend but signs for the plastic flag club ...

  8. if Benitez wants money he will get it because Roman can afford to waste billions quite literally

  9. I hope he runs them into the ground, drops Terry to the bench, sells Lampard, bans Chech from wearing that helmet of his, oh and when he's at it give Luiz the captains armband!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. we finished 4 points behind not 1

  11. Abramovich clearly sees the failings of the manager, whoever that might be, as the reason behind poor performances from his plaything football club. It can't be the players fault. They are obviously worth every penny of the millions spent luring them to the club and are paid huge sums of money to satisfy their cupidity so it has to be tactical error on behalf of the manager. I sincerely hope that Pep Guardiola turns Abramovich down flat when he gets around to being offered the job. If he keeps up this fickle sacking policy he may find himself with no one willing to take the job.

  12. John Terry as player-manager ... OMG !!

  13. Филип Митровић10:55 pm, November 21, 2012

    Excellent article, agree 100%. Good luck Rafa, but chelsea doesn't deserve you...

  14. How can he get sacked when he knows It's just a short-term contract? Honestly, it's money for old rope. If he does well, he sets himself up for another job, if he does badly he just takes the money.

    And are you saying he "deserved to be sacked" LFC?? What???!!! For standing up to a cowardly board?

    ps :
    Ideal Scenario from my 10-Year Old son:
    Offloads Torres to LFC for a pittance in Jan.
    Picks up his money.
    Joins LFC in August and gets Torres playing again.

  15. Then its: "Agent Benitez, Mission Accomplished."

    And if he beats Utd to the title, we win anyway.

  16. I'm intrigued as to how he will solidify Chelsea's defending and how it effects their overall player. He is one of those coaches that places importance on building from the back and ensuring the team can defend as a unit. With Terry out injured, there are big question marks over their defending as a back five and as a team.

    Like I said in another thread, the circumstances are somewhat similar to those he had when appointed by Inter (CL holders, big ego players, trigger happy owner, etc). I'm not that confident that Rafa will do well. Could all well depend on if he is allowed to bring in a player that is key to his plan in Jan. Also whether Chelsea remain in CL, as I believe that Rafa is a one-competition manager, i.e., not good at juggling two big competitions (PL & CL) at once, especially with a compact squad (Chelsea have a quality first XI but beyond that, bit bare. Similar to his days at LFC). So if they don't make it through to the knock-out stages, I believe he could possibly do something good in the league.

    It is only because of money, big squads and the core group of players left by Ranieri/Jose (Lampard, Cole, Drogba, etc) that they have been able to get away with high turnover of managers. With the squad no longer full of quality depth like it was once before and the power & influence of the core group of players, Rafa has some task on his hand. Never saw Rafa as the quick-fix type of manager, especially as he doesn't like senior staff/owners looking over his shoulder so much but who knows, he could surprise us. With being unemployed for a while, I don't see this as a no-lose situation for Rafa, as he can't keep on relying on the success at Valencia and Liverpool, especially after the Inter farce.

    Amusing seeing how the Chelsea fans aren't keen on him at all. Great start(!)

  17. That's probably what Benítez has been waiting for. I think that he actually can't lose. Everybody knows that Terry and Lampard think they are the manager, so if Rafa has trouble because of them, or Cole, then it's actually not a problem for him. He might get Torres firing again. Can't be that difficult, in theory, as he has more world class players around him than at any club he's been. So, should Rafa succeed and Chelsea don't get Pep at the end of the season, he might actually get the job full-time. And that is as close as he can get to what he always wanted. Unlimited funds. Only problem here is that he won't have much to say about whom those funds are spent on. In his former jobs he's often complained about the alleged lack of funds. Now he may make a completely new experience and I hope for him that he learns a lesson. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Anyway, he might have a hissy fit or two and then gets another handsome pay-off. In a way, he can't lose.

  18. There will always be managers willing to earn about 10m a year and getting a nice pay-off after a season or two.

  19. But Roman allegedly also has a big say on which players to waste the money. Rafa will like that.

  20. i think someone should assassinate abramovich- preferably benitez

  21. What do you mean 'how can he be sacked'? Of course he can be sacked! There are 6 months left of the season, and if Chelsea go on a really bad run, and drop out of the CL places in the league, it's highly likely that Abramovich will take action.

  22. So you think being three goals down at half-time in a CL final is not the result of a mistake or two? Or could it be considered a mistake to not bring on your tallest striker in another CL final when your winger (Pennant) has arguably the best match of his life. All we were missing that night was someone to get at the end of those crosses. I could name a few more things I thought were huge mistakes during Rafa's time at our club, but acknowledge that some people simply don't want to hear about those things. By the way, I don't hate Rafa. How childish would that be?

  23. Rafa won't be considered for the Liverpool job, even if it should become vacant. He has openly stated that he only wants to join a club that can financially compete with the top clubs. That only leaves Man City, Chelsea, PSG, Real, Barca and some Russian teams. At Liverpool he'd start moaning about the lack of funds in no time. I for one prefer a few years of development at our club without unrest at all levels.

  24. rafa wont need to fight for the team with the board he has a top squad there already! fsg insulted the man and the fans by not even listenin to what he had to say wen the job came up after kd was sacked hes gave us brilliant memerys and always had the best intentions for the team the club and the fans at heart a true liverpool legend imo,,just warmin up to take his job back in the summer off the imposter that has it now tiki taka bullst,,hazard mata and nando at anfield next yr and signed by rafa of course

  25. Your 10-year old son probably doesn't remember that Torres wasn't his former self while he was still with us. By the way, Rafa won't come back as we cannot offer him the transfer funds he demands.

  26. RAFASdaysWEREtheGLORYdays11:49 pm, November 21, 2012

    The Yanks in not giving Rafa a chance were basically saying we will never ever compete again.They want players on peanuts managers on peanuts and im afraid we will never compete again with the best.Rafa gave us world class players and improved them.I really hope he wins everything with Chelsea and the so called fans who said winning the champions league isnt enough for LFC we should be winning the prem,i hope you then see what youve missed.No dount youll all be saying hes won but it wasnt his team bloody muppets.

  27. Stupid decision by Rafa, but he had been out of the game for an awful long time. Everything is against him, it is even worse than Inter.

    Slightly disappointed that he has agreed on the basis that: A) if he does well, it'll feel like an ex-girlfriend carrying on with someone up the road (like with Torres- I'd like to see them both do well but either at Liverpool or abroad) and B) if he does badly, I'll just be moaning about his shitty career decisions for the past 3 years, because I'd like to see him do well.

    Such a stupid decision by Abramovich on a number of levels, too.

  28. Chelsea fans aren't keen on him, ManU fans wished he'd stay with us forever. There is something about Rafa that some Liverpool supporters obviously miss entirely.

  29. I hope he cocks it right up for Chelsea this season to be honest, but hes still a great man and coach.
    its a no win situation obviously for him. cash demands ??
    what 4-12 million a time then after having to sell players for it. rafa could of made Liverpool the worlds greatest with the money jose had. silva mata aguaero villa etc etc would of all came, you know that to be true.
    Chelsea don't deserve him, there a joke of a club with no morals and crap fans

  30. Do we win a trophy or earn big bucks if Chelsea self-destruct or if United don't win the title?

    On top of that, its not as if Chelsea's proposed self-destruction will somehow push us within touching distance of the title.

  31. Simply put Chelsea have upgraded their manager.Abramovich remembers all the good things he did without his money

  32. Rafa left liverpool on mutual consent? or was he sacked?

  33. For the 3rd time in his career, Rafa Benitez takes over a team that in the previous season had reached the European Cup Final (Valencia in 2001, Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea in 2012). Indeed and further to that, since his untimely departure from Anfield, his next positions of employment have been with the reigning European Champions at Inter Milan and now Chelsea. What does this fact tell you? When the very best and most successful teams want a manager, Mr Benitez is the name they turn to.

    I am personally delighted for him. He deserves this chance and make no mistake about it, Chelsea are in much better shape than Inter were in 2010. They have been playing superbly (the best in the Abramovich era) and I expect this to continue. Benitez is working with some exciting players with the promise of quality like Falcao and others to come in January. This is his gig and I hope more than anything he wins every trophy he can. The man is world class in every single way and I think Chelsea fans don't get that they are about to be served by a true man of the people. Ofcourse it won't last at Chelsea but that will be Roman's fault. Even if Guardiola does get the job, he wont last long simply because of how Roman is. It's not a long term job and I hope Rafa uses this as a springboard.

    As a LFC fan, I am heartbroken. This man was one of our best ever managers and the witch hunt of ex players, deluded fans, terrible owners, sly players and the press meant that in the end, he had to go simply because the abuse from all sides was becoming horrific. I defended the man until the end and believe he shouldn't have left. Nothing that has happened at LFC since then has made me change my mind. the club has gone downhill since Rafa left. It is a fact. I believe Rafa was the one...he was let down by so many people at the club and yes stubborness got to him in the end but he was hounded out.

    John W Henry, Tom Werner, Ian Ayres, Brendan Rodgers, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. These 6 men I would love to have an insight into what they are thinking tonight regarding the news. Firstly to our 'dear' owners and 'visionary' chief executive. If a manager is good enough for the Kings of Europe, why isn't he good enough for us, especially considering exemplary past service and a stated passion and love for all things LFC? Do you regret not hiring? Do you wish him well? Will you monitor his progress and think of him as a potential successor when Brendan gets further found out?

    To Brendan Rodgers. What will be your embarrassing soundbite on the news of Rafa? Will you exalt him as you have Shankly, Paisley and Dalglish? On that, why have you not acknowledged Rafa's work as you have with Dalglish's illfated stint , after all, you are reaping what he sowed (Shelvey, Sterling and Suso)? Will you be keeping an eye on what he does at CFC, knowing that he is more popular and a better manager than you'll ever be at LFC?

    To Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Do you miss Rafa? Do you miss the glory days and nights? 2 and a half years later, do you realise you should have backed Rafa and been more vocal, in doing so avoid the calamities of the time since he left? Would you welcome him back with open arms? Will you wish him every success?

    Rafa Benitez is a man I love and admire. Terrific in every sense and simply, CFC are so lucky. I will back him and support/defend him every step of the way. YNWA Rafa, in our hearts and souls always

  34. Frankly, Benitez will have an enormous up hill task and the chances of him being sacked is very high. For starters, Chelsea's players power is a problem. There are some senior players in the dressing room whom Roman warms up to and has an influence on him. Next, Roman does not empowers his managers fully. He likes to have a say in the team's sheet even though the manager should have full control of team selection and tactics.

    And even with Benitez there, Torres will still struggle to score. At Liverpool, the team was built around Gerrard and Torres with Torres as the focal point of most offensive plays. At Chelsea, Torres has to fit into their system of play and have more depth in the squad. Unless Benitez has a free hand to overhaul the squad and the way they play, I can't see Benitez lasting till next season.

    Whatever it is, we can only wish him the best. It is always sad to see managers sacked.

  35. Chelsea has just got a manager who has beaten their best manager of all-time Mourinho while they were at their peak. Rafa's CV of 2 CL + 1 Primera is still superior to Pep, & Rafa never had Messi, Xavi, Alves and Iniesta in his team. Torres will come back to form no doubt...only Rafa knows how to get the best out of him. Chelsea are so lucky, yet their fans are still complaining. Wish Rafa luck, hopefully one day he can come back to us

  36. Am surprised no one has expressed forebodings that Rafa may raid his old club for reinforcements on 1st January! He is sure to find our talent attractive in his mission to revamp Chelsea's withering squad.

    His remit is to revive Chelsea and qualify them for the Champions League. To achieve that he must get Torres fired-up again. How will he bring that about?

    If I were in his shoes I would make Steve Gerrard an offer he could not refuse. Everyone knows Steve's overwhelming desire is to win the EPL. Therefore, if Chelsea are still challenging for the league title at the end of December stand by for his sad Anfield farewell. I predict that he, one of our central defenders and perhaps our prized young winger could be on the move. Who would need Lampard and Terry with those three on board?

    So, my message to Liverpool fans is be careful what you wish for when you say you hope Rafa succeeds. I do hope my fears are without foundation and I'm totally wrong!

    Can you top that prediction JK?

  37. You're right Jamie. Roman is no push over. Roman is cash rich and a quick decision maker and he will have no qualms of sacking managers and he doesn't seem to mind throwing money away!

  38. We thought that when he went Inter but aside from a potential raid for Dirk Kuyt, nothing came about. I get what you are saying though. I think it will be our defence which would be the target for Rafa were he to raid us. Skrtel or Agger would be a great addition at Chelsea. Reckon now he will finally sign Jovetic like he always wanted and with Falcao possibly, we will get a glimpse what might have been had the owners backed him in Summer 2009 when he asked for those 2 players

    Rafa is free to raid Downing though by the way

  39. Like yourself I was very disappointed that Rafa was not returned to the seat he loved so much. Although we're aware that he made some blunders whilst in charge the man has something about him that confers our continuing respect and admiration.

    I will never ever understand why he started Kewell in the 2005 CL Final! But he got lucky and he had to go off at half-time and Didi Hamman was introduced to shore-up the team and allow Stevie & Co to go out and repair the damage.

  40. What is it that we're missing? Have we got better since he left? Liverpool fans would give their right balls for his record these days.

  41. Lol! You think Jamie is disappointed that Rafa didn't get his job back at LFC? Hahaha!

  42. In other words, your saying Rafa can do no wrong and nothing is ever his fault. Cheesy waffle.

  43. If he can't take Romans shit, than he's out the door. Moratti didn't put up with Benitez's moaning and even he isn't as quick as Roman when it comes to firing managers. Abe is no push-over, he is ruthless. So if anything, it is Abe who won't put up with Rafa's s**t.

  44. Rafa should have waited for QPR job, it would have suited him more as their owner is a sensible person and QPR did show ambition to compete with the summer dealings but their manager has done a botched job, Rafa would have got more time but Chelsea job looks doomed and i agree it could be a career suicide.

  45. Never thought too highly of Di Matteo. You don't get sacked by West Brom and then win the Champions League with Chelsea...

    It seems like Rafa is just filling a space until Guardiola starts listening to offers. He obviously hopes that the interim role can become permanent, but nothing is permanent at Chelsea. 'Interim' is temporary, he won't be there for too long.

    Someone said it in another comment, Rafa can do well at Chelsea and then he would be an option for other clubs as he is shipped out for Guardiola.

    Rafa was also out of a job for 2 years. He's a good manager and only had 1 disappointing season in England. Stuff Chelsea but I wish Rafa all the best.

  46. You're right about the QPR job. It would have suited him well.

    But i'd still rather see him back at LFC....

  47. Am so happy to see the guy back in business. Too good a talent to be wasted and people slamming rafa should know that something is better than nothing.

  48. Well, don't ask me, ask them. And no, I wouldn't give any of my balls for Benítez' record.

  49. Hazard, Mata and Nando at Anfield next year? I don't know what you've been taking, but it isn't very good for you.

    By the way, that is the reason Rafa won't be back at Liverpool. He would ask for fund to sign Mata. As soon as he got him he'd ask for funds to sign Hazard. Then he'd ask for fund to sign this and that until our club is loaded with debt again. He isn't a manager willing to work within a budget. Just ask folks at Valencia or Inter. We try to run our club in a self-sustainable way. Hence we can only spend what we earn. By co-incident this also corresponds with the financial fair play rules. Rafa won't take that.

  50. A Liverpool supporter hoping that another club wins everything. Bit strange that.

  51. Why is it a stupid decision by Abramovich? Many teams promote their assistant manager when they sack their original manager. They just fired last seasons assistant manager, so this one probably won't work. If they take a manager away from another club, they'd have to pay some kind of compensation. Not that Abramovich seems to care one bit about money, but this option is cheaper. Additionally he obviously is after a certain other manager come summer, so, who could he offer the job for half a season? He picked probably the biggest name out of the unemployed managers.

  52. We could swap Downing for Mata and Carroll for Hazard. I also wouldn't mind a straight swap for Cahill with Carra going the other way. Cech for Doni would really add competition for the goal-keeper's starting position.

  53. Nice spin but for now your and Lawreson's "he's finished" label looks a bit silly. Being interim manager at Chelsea didn't work out too badly for Guus Hiddink did it now? As far Chelsea's overpampered stars go, they only time they did well was when a firm hand was in charge. Or do you think Mourinho and Ancelloti put up with a lot of whinging from Lampard and Terry? Honestly, I hope Chelsea go on to win the league now. Benitez doesn't deserve much of the negativity he's given and I would love it, just love it, if that sad excuse for a pundit Lawreson has to eat humble pie come May.

  54. Why! Why did he do it? Well apart from the money... Chelsea fans will not like this.

    But hey at least it takes the lime light off of Suarez and Liverpool

  55. And Rodgers is doing a bang up job so Rafa doesn't need to come back. But you're arguing against the logic of a ten-year-old. Not sure what the point in that is :-)

  56. Great proof that Abramovic doesn't always think things through so well. The guys is a streetfighter and goes with his gut. Sacking DiMatteo and replacing him with an interim is in no way a guarantee that the team will start performing again. They just had a bad run of results. Abramovic would have probably got more results had he publicly backed his manager and then gone on to sign Guardiola to take over next year behind his back.

    Now he's got an ad interim manager who may or may not work out who will cost him a lot of money to let go before his contract runs out and all that is assuming the manager was the problem in the first place. IMO, Chelsea had no problem. They bought good players and had a good run in the league which was halted by Man United, who are not the worst team in the world. Then they drew against us and Swansea, no shame in that either and they lost to West Brom. Not the team clubs like to lose against but a team on a high and anyway, you have to lose games sometimes. It just happens.

    Now as said, I hope Benitez wins the league with them. Not for Abramovic or the likes of Terry and Lampard but for Rafa.

  57. Torres can only score if Gerrard is behind him in midfield.
    He needs Steivie to put those balls for him to score.

  58. Maybe Abramovich plays to much Football Manager. Heard that using the right tactics you never lose there.

  59. You're probably right. My reply should have read 'And that's why 10-year-olds don't get any high profile job at football clubs'.

  60. Mutual consent usually means that a manager is sacked, but receives a hefty pay-off.

  61. Can't help but feel that one of the reasons Benitez was appointed was to get the best out of a misfiring 50ml Torres. It could be that Abramovich sees the purchase of Torres as a personal mistake he wishes to rectify and given that he has won his ultimate trophy, the CL, he might feel that it is now the time to toy around with Chelsea by making the team play to Torres's strengths. When clubs win the CL after winning a lot of domestic cups, a slump tends to follow.

    When Benitez took over at Inter, Inter had just won everything available to them. They needed a fresh challenge and with Mourinho suddenly gone to Real Madrid, the Inter players had no one to trust in this critical period but Benitez. Trust takes time to build and due to senior mismanagement (changing managers in a critical period where players need someone they know to trust), Inter are now having to rebuild again. LFC suffered a similar fate after coming the closest ever to winning the EPL and finishing the league with a record number of points. Unfortunately, due to the internal turmoil and player mismanagement from Rafa (Xabi, Riera), our best players deserted us a year before we could really reach our peak, or underperformed (Tores, Mascherano) and we all know what happened next.

  62. Good luck to Rafa, cant dismiss what he did for our club....but cant help feel a bit heartbroken by this :(

  63. Cracking point on taking the limelight off Suarez and Liverpool, the media are already setting up Rafa to fail at Chelski...even though im gutted to see him there could be the best thing to happen to us this season, hopefully we can now do a sneaky under the radar charge for that top 4.

  64. that was tonge in cheek about the 3 players but u seem to hav ur blinkers on wen it comes to rafa or u hav amnesia bcoz u must forget how bad we wer b4 he came here and how bad wev gone since he left he put us back on top of europe and a wisker from the title and he would hav won it given another yr or 2 and i can say that witout a doubt in my mind ,,look at us tonite playin young boys we used to be goin to the nou camp and the san siro and winning and br is thankin the owners for givin him time 3 million extra for dempsey would of said a lot more br is abrown nose and all hes woryd about is his poket and holdin on to his job but the real fans will let the owners and rogers know we wont be mugged off with 5 yr plans it doesnt take that long ask rafa

  65. I don't understand why any manger would take on the Chelsea job at this point. There is no way to succeed in that post because even if you are successful as Mourinho, Ancelotti and Di Matteo were, you still get sacked when there's the slightest hint of trouble.

    I just can't see how there's any appeal in that, who wants a job where they get punished for success?

  66. I expect the sacking also had something to do with Torres being on the bench in that last game they lost 3-0. Abram clearly doesn't want to give up his investment yet, all of the last 3 sackings happened after benching Torres.

  67. No need to get personal. You probably have to learn to accept opinions other than yours without getting a fit.

    I know that during his later years at Liverpool Houllier had clearly lost it, but may I point out that he managed our first qualification for the CL, won a famous treble one season and also came second in another. It wasn't all bad under Houllier.

    How bad were we after he left. Erm, well, first of all we didn't win much in Benítez' last years at Liverpool to be honest. I don't want to take away any of his achievements at all, but we finished second when the league title was ours for the taking. We surrendered that season and that's really sad. In his last season we've had our lowest league finish since 1999, Alonso was gone and replaced with Aquilani. Mascherano wanted to go, too. As good as some of Rafa's early signings were, as bad were his later ones. Though I am of course thankful that he left us some of the best youngsters we've had for years. Credit must go to the scouting team who've found them, too.

    You claim that we used to go to places like the Nou Camp. True, but do you also remember which former Liverpool manager started not qualifying for the CL after how many successive years competing in it exactly?

    So you claim that the real fans are not behind the owners and manager. That's a bit rich as you discredit many folks on here and all over the place who also think that they are real fans, but know that money, that isn't coming in, can't be spent. That's actually one thing that Rafa never understood. Yes, there should have been more money for him available as we were paying interest because of our previous owners, but Rafa would never be happy with the transfer kitty, failing to realize that he always has to spend it wisely, which he didn't in the last few years at our club (Babel, Aquilani and so on).

    Our club actually needs some kind of plan, whether it's a two, five or ten year plan. We were heading towards administration some two years ago, burdened with debts. The CL money is long gone and we have to try to get our hand on that, but not at the expense of debts. We don't want to end like Leeds, do we. We've been waiting for a bigger stadium for ages, too. Rafa would be a poor choice of manager if you wanted to renovate our stadium hence having less transfer funds available.

    Rafa did a lot of good things at our club and he managed to make some sections of our fans think that he is the one and only worthy manager for us, but Rafa didn't do it all for us. He did it for himself, too, and while he was trying to get a contract extension he couldn't resist telling the world that he wants to manage Real Madrid. He surely is a brilliant tactician, but he is not the messiah some people make him out to be.

  68. I would disagree and say that in many ways Benitez and Abram are a good fit. Abram needs a manager who will rise above the player's egos and not take any crap. Well Beni never cared about massaging any primadonna's ego so there is the dressing room strength. Secondly, Benitez is far less likely to go for the public admonishing of the owner because Abram is also not someone to take any crap.

    What you end up with could be a pretty good formula, better than the AVB formula.

  69. It's an interim appointment. He knew this when he took the job. They won't even consider reviewing it til at least Feb, whatever the results. And by then there's only 3 months of the season left, so it would be pointless getting rid anyway, as nobody would take the post for a few months knowing full well that the long-term aim is to install a certain well-known manager who is unavailable until the summer......

    You call it "career suicide", I call it money-for-nothing. And a couple of extra pages for his portfolio.

  70. At least he doesn't write patronising blogs on his computer, eh?


  71. When a top ranking football manager is out of work the worst thing he suffers is being forgotten and out of the daily news. As you say there seems nothing more certain than Rafa will, sooner or later, feel the cutting edge of Roman's blade but that will not diminish his cv.

    On the other hand if he were to wait around until he got the call from QPR his beard would probably be grey and he would be going to a club which could not fund his requirements - if indeed that call came.

    Chelsea is perfect for him as he will be back in the limelight crossing swords with the greats in the EPL - Mancini immediately, followed by Fergie, Wenger et al. Rafa is not a manager suitable for a relegation battling club. In his new job he'll buy a few good players to improve Chelsea (hope none are from Liverpool) and be back challenging for honours again. If he is sacked he joins the elite list of Roman's divorcees and will receive a handsome pay-off for his service.

    If he were to manage QPR, Villa or Southampton and he suffered relegation what..........anonimity and on the dole!!!

  72. RAFASdaysWEREtheGLORYdays11:56 am, November 22, 2012

    Only cause i know we cant win anything so id rather Rafa win then these fans who drove a great man and manager out might see they killed a great institution through their lack of knowledge and understanding and their selfish childish bullying.We will never ever recover ever to the heights of what Rafa brought on a shoestring.i honestly believe the King wasted all the Yanks money knowing he would get his contract paid in full and he could get back on his cruise ship back drinking his penicoladas.Dalgish along with Souness in my eyes lost their legendary status when both of them ruined LFC but walked away laughing with bulging bank accounts.

  73. Don't be facetious.
    I meant that as fans we win 'health-wise'...

    We win because we don't have to spend all summer watching the Mancs telling us they have 20.
    Or we have a chuckle that Chelsea don't get in the top 4.

  74. I think...

    Benitez, like Mourinho, is a person that needs to be in total control, from the youth academy to signing first team players. As such both hate it when other people try and interfere with the footballing side of things.

    Both have 3 things in common:

    1) Very opinionated
    2) Very outspoken
    3) History of bust ups with members of the board at previous clubs

    Abramovich is a holywood chairman and likes to meddle in footballing matters. He bought Shevchenko and Torres and as such he expects them to play and succeed.

    Benitez will not like it one bit when Abramovich tells him to play certain players or tells him that he expects a certain style of play.

    Financially speaking it's a win win for Rafa.

    However something tells me that there is going to be a surprise.

    Terry and Lampard are irreverent to Chelsea's future so if Rafa can tame them or even convince Roman that they "might" be disruptive then he has a shot.

    I have a feeling that Benitez might do very well. Chelsea have the quality and I have no doubts he will be able to organize them using his freakish tactical obsession.

    I love Rafa but I don't think this is a good job. As such even if Rafa does well enough I am sure he won't stay beyond the summer, that then might leave him with more options for the summer.

    I think I will be checking up on Chelsea scores from now on since I feel a fan connection to the man.

    Now one battle has already begun...the battle of the dressing room and the fans.

  75. Maybe he does. Who'd know better than you?

  76. So it was only those nasty fans driving Rafa away from Liverpool? It had nothing to do with his own actions as he could do no wrong? Come on, you don't believe that, do you. By the way, you may actually find a fair few people who are not childish, are quite knowledgeable and understanding and still don't want Rafa back. But those may be people who also think that our great institution isn't dead, just a bit ill and that, with a bit of luck and patience, we might be up there with the best again in a couple of years.

    Dalglish has wasted a lot of money, granted, and it surely has set us back a few years. Souness didn't do himself too many favours back then, but I think it should be noted that he also left an ageing squad an tried to change too much too soon.

  77. Rubbish!!!!

    Rafa will tear up the league with the squad at his disposal. Torres up front as a focal point for Oscar, Hazard and Mata to supply him. Wow!!

    I have placed a LARGE wager at 6-1 for Chelsea to win the league. Easy money

    Rafa will not need to beg for cash, he will be given a large kitty and will replace / supplement Luiz and Mikel. Hopefully he doesn't take Lucas or Agger!!!!

    The fleet street hacks will be choking on their poisonous vitriol in 7 months time. Roman may realise that he doesn't need Guardiola.

    Guardiola did really well at a club who have a 10 / 15 year long production line of young talent, all fully versed in the Barca way of playing. Do people really think that he can quickly make Chelsea play like Barca?

    JK's own numbers show that Rafa achieved everything he did at Liverpool with a mere £63 million net investment from the board over 12 transfer windows. That is only £5.25 million investment per window.

    Roman will give him £50 million plus in January alone.

    What condiments will you all use when you are eating your words in May?

  78. 'extra pages for his portfolio' - his last attempt at adding to his portfolio was at Inter and that was a utter failure as no one at Inter & a lot of the non-LFC fanbase have barely a good word to say about his time there, regardless of the excuses people make for him. Quite a gap of unemployment since the Inter job. One thing adding pages to portfolio but they have got to be good, otherwise the next gap in his unemployment maybe longer or will have to resort to starting again at a smaller club.

  79. 'health-wise'? If we were doing better as a club on and off the pitch, than might understand the nerve to laugh at others. But we're not, we have been in a mess and those rivals fans can just throw it back at us with interest. Sounds so small-time to poke fun at others, as we aren't exactly doing great. Only so long we can rely on one bit of big silverware (CL) in the last two decades. We like to think we are a big club, well back it up first before we start lording it over a teams that have won titles in recent seasons.

  80. I am afraid that he will stay there for a long time.

    Lampard and Terry do not have such influence there anymore.

    Guardiola might not be available next summer.

    They can still reach the knock-out stage of cl(and it's not up to him).

    They have great team.He will be given enough money in January to improve his squad.

    He is a great manager.

  81. im not tryn to discredit fans evrybody has ther own op what i mean is hodgeson was let know by the fans when it was over most of the fans any how and kd wasnt bcoz of who he was but i think br shud be treated the same as roy if its not hapnin bye and its not lookin great from wer i am witout suarez wer banjoed defence is all over the place no organisation,,i dont think rafas the messiah but i do tink he was the best option we had to go forward idnt want to be sittin here for another 5 yr listenin to the same bs that iv listend to for the past 20 odd yr iv listened to 5 or 6 diffrent 5yr plans the owners have to understand they have to invest on the pitch to mke the club succesful their policy seems to be focusd on a young age with potential and a good resale value fair enuf if mad offer came in for a player and we wud massivly improve the team fair enuf take it but since wen ar we a sellin club we kept our best players to win trophys what we excist for or so the gret man said,,the jurys out on fsg for me after gillet and hicks once bitten and all that they got the club for a steal it took long enuf for a decision on the stadium and they shut the door on the fans faces when appntn rodgers bcoz evrybody wanted a manager with aproven track record ,hence back to rafa and yes he did make mistakes like evry other manager you say about alonso fergie let pique go it was a mistake big deal im sure he lernd from it he made up for it with loads of other great results for us the good times far outweighd the bad times with rafa

  82. Like Liverpool........

  83. Someone should pass this URL to Rafa.

    Maybe he will "learn" something.

    Pretentious shite

  84. And who's fault is it that we have gone from a team genuinely feared throughout Europe to one who is "small-time"?
    And anyone who seriously thinks BR is doing a "bang up job" should explain to me why the highlights of the first-half on Saturday were someone spilling a coffee, and "All clear, Operation Anfield".

    Christ mate, this fnckin tika taka is so easy on the eye that we win 3-0 and are still LAST on Match of the Day.

  85. Yes, because running order on match of the day is an accurate indicator of team's progress.

  86. Hopefully he'll do very well there.
    And then in the summer when Roman says, "We've decided to give Guardiola a miss. How do you fancy the job full-time?", he replies, "No thanks. I never really liked your club, or your plastic fans, I just wanted to keep my hand in, and the extra money seemed appealing with Christmas coming up....."

  87. I know what you mean about the "fan connection to the man". Though I feel nothing but ill towards the club and their fans, I wish him all the best.
    It was the same when Kenny was at Blackburn and (especially) Newcastle.

    Hope he does well for himself, but it still feels like watching an ex- sitting in a pub laughing with a bloke.....

  88. This is an incredible story for one reason and one reason only...FERNANDO TORRES or should i say EL SULK...pulls of massive manager heist at CFC....

    That should be the headline for this one...the ONLY reason that Roman has brought Rafa to Chelsea has to be to "bring out the best in Torres..." Hahahahahaha!!! LolololoLOL!!!!

    Hilarious, you just have to smile at this one...Di Mateo a man who turned up at CFC and won them their much sought after CL....AND the FA Cup...WITHOUT an awful lot of help from EL SULK.....in fact you could almost say that Torres's fortm has been so bad...that it was well...intentional....

    What in the world is going on in the 'world' of football these days..???

    So blatant, it just beggars belief, yet Roman has bought it hook line and sinker...forgive me for saying this but Chelsea fans are no mugs...and im sure that many of them will know the score re Torres and his dip in form lol....and they won't be happy that Di Mateo a very well liked character in football....a Chelsea man through and through....was sacked so that Torres ( an ex Red) could have Rafa (ex Red..) at their Club.....its just NOT going to go down well...understandably!

    I actually feel sorry for Di Mateo he deserved a full season (at least) with backing etc, its so wrong for so many reasons....Roman has really fcuked this one up IMO, Rafa will/has already... polarised the fanbase...same thing at Inter...but this fan hostility is more understandable in many respects simply because it appears that Di Mateo has been ruthlessly sacrificed to 'bring out the best'...in one player...the one player that cost Roman a small fortune, but could/should have sold him on instead and allowed the manager to spend in Jan instead on a replacement...?

    Shocking, but that unfortunately is how the world of high profile football seems to function these days...these forteign owners are really going to fcuk up the PL sooner or later, my sympathies are with Di Mateo and the Chelsea fans who wanted him to stay....i hope Rafa is dumped after a couple of unsuccessful months tbh, he doesn't deserve the job because of the way in which he has
    landed it....* Cough Torres *....

  89. A smaller club, didn't you read that? He meant Everton :-)

  90. I know who's fault it is. Hick and Gillett. They tried to make a quick buck. Kind of leverage buy-out. As if that would work with a sports 'franchise'. Maybe wasting millions on players like Downing and Carroll didn't help to propel us back to the business end of the table either.

    Yes, the first half last Saturday was a bit like watching paint dry or grass grow. But to be fair, this isn't exactly new to us, is it. Even when Rafa was still in charge we didn't start playing before the second half. I have my own theory for this which could be absolutely wrong, but it makes sense to me. Our players think that we have a divine right to get three points as we are Liverpool. In the past teams would come to Anfield and actually give us those points. It's not like that anymore and until half-time even our players have noticed that the other team actually came to play.

  91. Jaimie, as you've lived in Germany you will know it. It's really funny, eh. Last match on MOTD is a bad thing, but on the equivalent TV programme in Germany the last match is the top match. I understand the thinking behind that (showing the best match last), but I don't have a clue why someone would put it the other way round.

  92. Chelsea fans think so highly of him that they have set up this: http://until-rafa-goes.co.uk/

  93. In an ideal world, yes. But in reality it would rather be "You pay me what, 10m a year? Where do I sign?"

  94. Not so keen on Rafa back at Liverpool, as we haven't got the level of financial backing to stop him moaning

  95. Let me guess who isn't at fault, like with everything he isn't at fault for....Rafa.

  96. Benitez didnt do anything against our beloved lfc club.So i was so sad to see him joining chelski but we didnt give him chance in summer to comeback even he was interested

  97. If he can get torres playing so they can recoup some of their transfer fee chelski will have done well.

  98. I did read it.
    That's why Liverpool came to mind first.....


  99. I don't think he'd 'moan' this time, purely because Champions League is no longer minimum requirement, and 7th and no cups is now 'success'.

  100. It's certainly an indicator of how entertaining we currently are?

  101. Exactly. There's a smugness running right through the club. We have so many players who simply "talk the talk".
    The players are complacent.

    When they hear, "Stand by for Operation Anfield", they should all immediately think, "CHRIST, YOU ARE PLAYING RUBBISH, THE FANS ARE BORED SHITLESS, THE GAME IS STULTIFYING, SO WE ARE HAVING A FIRE DRILL. TIME TO START PERFORMING....."

  102. I think your mate just said it....


  103. he's going to smash it. torres will never be the player he was, its impossible with a degenerative knee injury, but rafa will make the most of those resources.
    chelsea can win the title, and IMO probably will.

  104. As soon as I figure out how, I will try to cheer you up. :-)

  105. I am as much Mano's mate as I am your mate. Wanna be mates?

  106. I got no problem with that as it fits in with the 'anyone, but Rafa, is fair game' ethos going on.

  107. Don't forget to teach him our secret handshake

  108. A date with a pussycat doll???

  109. Nah.

    Thanks though...

  110. Oh and fúck you!

  111. Semis of the FA, final of Europa league and third in the league, I want the man back. We mediocre and Benitez at least with decent management above him knows how to make a team better. He even broke up the cole, lumpard and terry trio to make the team work.

    Even you must agree Jamie that Benitez CV should look better by next week. Were the fools for forcing the man out.