All is not well at Stamford Bridge as Rafael Benitez's angry rant following the Blues' FA Cup win over Middlesbrough shows, but should the owner take some responsibility?
So, Rafa’s had a rant, nothing unusual about that, we’ve all been highly amused at his outbursts over the years……except this time I’m not laughing because this time he’s done it at my club.
Strange that I still refer to Chelsea FC as my club, though, because in truth I barely recognise the club I grew up supporting now. Of course it’s still in the same place but it doesn’t look the same as it did when I grew up and it certainly doesn’t feel the same anymore.
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Why? Because the powers that be seem hell-bent on ripping the heart and soul out of the club and their lack of response to Benitez's floorshow just serves to make that clear. And by the powers that be, I mean Roman Abramovich because, let’s be honest here, none of the others would be in their positions without his say-so.
So let’s get this straight, I can’t handle that ‘interim’ bloke at the club any more than the next CFC supporter can. Of course part of that is to do with his complete disrespect of us in the past but that’s not the whole story either, no matter how our critics (and his supporters) might want to portray it.
He’s shown no more respect for us since he came in – and as for his handling of the team and his apparent inability to even make a decision before the 80th minute, never mind get that decision right, it just defies belief Roman continues to pay him a wage really.
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And that’s the point really isn’t it? Because as much as we might detest Benitez – and trust me, I still can’t watch or listen to any pre- or post-match opinion from him – the fact is he didn’t appoint himself.
He didn’t just walk into the office marked ‘manager’, find the desk empty and sit himself at it. If he had, he’d have scribbled over the ‘interim’ sign hanging up for a start – apparently.
Nope, the appointment of a manager who was never going to be accepted in a million seasons, a manager who has taken us further away from the Manchester lot than we probably imagined possible and a manager who really couldn’t seem to care less just how far removed we are from the side he inherited – it was all down to Roman.
So is the decision to keep him in spite of the outburst in which he took a pop at the club and its supporters – again.
So when is the finger going to point in the right direction? When are we going to be brutally honest about the real reason our club is in the mess it’s in. Yes, I realise we’re champions of Europe and we’ve won absolute shed loads we wouldn’t have done otherwise – and I’m eternally grateful but at what cost is our success?
Roman saved us, we have to acknowledge that, but then so did the man he handed his money over to once, for all his arrogance. At least when Ken Bates stuck two fingers up at us, he did it openly.