Date:Wednesday November 21 2012
Ok, ok, so I know lots of people here don't want Rafa as our 'interim' manager. But, let's face the face, he is. Want him or not, it's irrelevant, because we don't decide these things. But, everyone is entitled to an opinion, so you're welcome to vent your anger at this appointment - that's why this site is here.
RDM was clearly not the man for the job long term. The board took a fair while to appoint him, and even then, he was only given a two year contract. Yes, I will never forget what he did for us - I was there in Munich - but RDM's experience and his tactical abilities were only going to get us so far.
When anyone is appointed a new manager, there is usually a lift in results as players tend to get motivated by the new appointment and they play better to impress the new man. That happened when RDM took over and, of course, we won the CL. No one can deny the gods were smiling in our favour towards the end of last season either, so RDM did bring a certain element of luck with him as well.
But, should we congratulate the board for acting now, as opposed to later in the season when results continued to deteriorate? Looked what happened last year - it all started well, and then went rapidly downhill. It seems to be happening again, at roughly the same time, and with RDM's limited experience, maybe the board have done the right thing in acting now to prevent it all getting worse.
So what about Rafa? Yes, he said we lack passion. Many Chelsea fans will never back him purely for that comment. But at the time, he was employed by Liverpool and Chelsea were the enemy. It's just a job - he was doing and saying the right thing to help Liverpool Football Club and their fans. It's just words, mind games - Old Red Nose is the master of this.
'Rafa Benítez has been the most important coach in my career. He 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. He taught me a lot and thanks to him I matured as a professional.'
These are the words of Fernando Torres, a man Benitez plucked from Atlético Madrid for a little more than £20m in July 2007. Benitez turned him into one of the world's most feared centre-forwards. I don't need to remind you that same centre forward plays for us, and if anyone can get the best out of Torres, it is our new interim manager.
That having been said, it would be slightly ambitious to believe that Benitez can get the same out of Torres now than what he did at Liverpool, but after spending £50m in luring Torres to Chelsea, and no one can deny that given his ability Torres could still deliver for us, don't you think Roman Abramovich has the right to roll the dice one more time and try? It's his club, his money, if he wants to try to bring in Rafa to get Torres back to his best, then who's to argue?
I, for one, will be very happy if Torres finds the same form for Chelsea as he did for Liverpool. And there won't be one genuine Chelsea fan who disagrees with me. Torres banging them in left right and centre for Chelsea would be a lovely sight.
As any Liverpool or Valencia supporter will happily point out, Benítez's skills stretch far beyond his ability to get the best out of Torres. Rafa Benitez is a man who over nine years won the Uefa Cup, two La Liga titles, the Champions League and the FA Cup. He also came within four points of winning the Premier League. For those of you wanting Harry or Avram - can we say the same about them? No, clearly, Rafa is a good manager with vast experience. We're in the sh*t, we need someone with experience to help us. Not many managers available who have the same resume as Benitez!!
Transfers? Oh yeah, and people are also raving on about how poor Benitez is in the transfer market. Well, you seem to also conveniently forget the successes. He bought top class players such as Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel, Javier Mascherano and Fernando Torres. Get your blinkers off lads, Rafa isn't that bad. Quite the opposite in fact.
So before you all get on your high horses and slam Benitez before he's even set foot on the training ground, just take a note of the above will you. We're in the crap, we've got a man with an impressive resume, vast experience, he's willing to join only until the end of the season, he knows the Premiership inside out, he knows Torres like no one else, the board have acted at a time when things can be fixed (eg the league), and more importantly, let's give the man a chance before you all turn on him.
Date:Wednesday November 21 2012
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