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Right, I don`t often write on this website (and never on any others), but this week`s events have pushed me to the brink.

Now, before we get the usual one or two leveling the "new age", "plastic fan" or "don`t remember the bad old days" jibes at me, I have been a fan man and boy for 24 years (I am only 27 now). I went to my first game when I was four, and have been to pretty much every home game (and a smattering of away games) since. I remember watching Dave Beasant let the ball dribble through his legs as we lost 3-2 to Norwich. I remember Paul Furlong messing up everything good that Ruud Gullit had done. Heck I even remember Robert Fleck, David Lee and other "luminaries" playing week in week out as we invariably scrapped for survival/mid table mediocrity.

However, nothing has hurt and affected me so much as the appointment of Rafa Benitez. So much so, that for the first time in my life, I am not going to the game on Sunday out of choice. I am not selling my ticket, or giving it to someone else. I want there to be an empty seat where I have been sitting for the past nearly quarter of a century. And I hope others follow. The reason? I can`t promise myself that I won`t boo Benitez. I can`t help myself. Every time I see him, my skin crawls. His appointment is the worst thing that has happened to this football club, and let me explain why:

1) It will completely divide the fans. It will be a very strange atmosphere on Sunday, and potentially beyond, and will completely alienate the board from the fans. Anyone who has supported Chelsea over the last 10 years will understand the hatred that has built up for Liverpool. Some of the games with Liverpool have been the most bitter I have ever been at. And all this was stoked by a fat Spanish manager winding up Chelsea fans, managers and players with his regular criticisms and jibes. He wound up Didier Drogba so much in fact that Drogba felt the need on one occasion to go and dive in celebration right in front of Benitez. Anyway, unfortunately for him (given yesterday`s appointment), it worked very well, and the very image of his face brings up nothing but bitter memories and severe dislike.

2) How on earth will the players be feeling? We all know how important it is at Chelsea (still) for the manager to have the senior players on side. Unfortunately for Benitez, all the senior players (JT, Lamps, Ash, Big Pete) were all heavily involved in the above period, and surely, egged on by one Mr Mourinho, would have built up a passionate hatred for Rafa. Those kind of feelings don`t disappear overnight. Especially if Benitez is replacing a popular manager, which we are led to believe RDM was.

3)Torres. Fernando, Fernando. This is just beginning to get silly. How much more can be done to try and get the best out of him? Is Roman just going to start paying off defenders to let him score (even then he would still actually have to put the ball in the back of the net). I find it very worrying that Abramovich is still so obsessed by Torres. Anyone that has watched him play over the past two seasons can see his legs have gone. He will never be the Fernando Torres of Liverpool. Injuries have taken their toll, and he just doesn`t have that yard of pace anymore. So appointing a manager seemingly largely to get the best out of one player just seems ludicrous. Furthermore, how is that going to make the other players feel? I suspect Oscar, Mata and Hazard may be slightly bemused as to why a team is being built around a striker who doesn`t score, assist, and has frankly shown an appalling attitude for too long now.

4)Finally, even though I could go on for hours, the most worrying thing for me is what has happened this week shows one of two things: Either Abramovich is being very badly advised by people around him who are both thick and know little about what it means to be a Chelsea fan. Or, Abramovich himself simply doesn`t give a stuff what the fans think anymore. Now, I will never say Abramovich should go, and would always thank him for what he has done for the club, but if this latter point is the case, I am really, really worried about my football club. It increasingly looks like it is becoming the mere plaything of a rich and ruthless oligarch. And it doesn`t really matter what the fans think. I don`t think I have ever heard a bunch of fans singing songs about a manager they are rumoured to be approaching until the well worded invitation to Rafa to stay away from the Bridge. Yet we still appoint him. Unbelievable

I am, this morning, a very depressed Chelsea fan, making the decision to not go and watch the club I absolutely love and have put so much into for 25 years. The club is becoming an un-recognisable shadow of the football club it used to be, and I, and many others don`t like it. Do the board care? Worryingly, I don`t think so……

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Thursday November 22 2012
Time: 12:58PM


Pathetic to let your personal dislike based on battles past stop you from supporting your club.
22/11/2012 13:10:00
Ooh stop it. This is rediculous, Rafa is a damn good coach and we should all get behind him, shame on anyone putting their petty feelings ahead of Chelsea FC. I for one will always support Chelsea that means the manager. Shame on all of you, how dare you even suggest giving Rafa hell, so what. He will still be Chelsea manager till the end of the season at least. What he said was said as a Liverpool manage and should be left to those days, we will only embrass our selves and make the team nervous when we need to beat City. How dare you try and get people to support a stupid caus. There more important matters than your trivial and juvenile mentality. Chelsea is more important than you, Rafa and any other fan who support any stupid ideas like yours.
22/11/2012 13:11:00
faara23...I hope he's a damn good coach...he also won a UCL (through a ghost goal against us and virtuoso Gerrard performance in Turkey) and an FA Cup (Against us) But he failed at Inter...and no matter what that counts...also he was out of a job for how long???? I don't know....everything in me says that he is not a good coach, but I feel I need to give him a chance...I just hope I am wrong, and I will celebrate a new legend being born in SW6.
22/11/2012 13:19:00
I have said it exactly along the lines about this with my conversations with my friends at office and home..This is the first time in my life of supporting cfc for more than 16 years i have no answers for the mockery of the other fans...WE ARE A LAUGHING STACK..WE ARE A PLAYING TOY FOR A MAD RUSSIAN FAN..Nothing else.Who can or how can i argue with them?Even yesterday after the sacking of RDM i thought there may be a slight 0.001% possibility that something horribly wrong behind the scenes that the fans like us dont know..But with the appointment of RAFA CFC has completely and 100% became a laughing stock of entire football world.You cant change this anytime soon.Oh by the way my dislike for RAFA is not bcz he is a bad manager.Although he is somewhat a good and exp manager yet its beggars the belief that our board and the mad russian is so clueless about what fans will think.If anybody thinks that RA invest money and he can do what he want with CFC with out looking long and hard about sentiments and how it will reflect on the image of cfc then he can pack his bags.I am grateful for what ever he has done for us but we are not a mad mans toy..We are CFC..The emotional attachment is what makes each and every club tick..With out fans CFC is nothing..Even RA invest another 10B with out the passion of fans SB wil be a graveyard.Nothing else..With out FANS there will be no barca no madrid no utd no cfc..I think RA damaged lot of his good will among the CFC support by this ill advised move to appoint RAFA for RDM.
22/11/2012 13:24:00
Today our board and RA appointed RAFA and sacked RDM with out any class.Next year they will dig up the ashes of Osgood from the penalty box in the Shed End bcz the players are not able to shoot penalties well..With out sentiment and emotional attachment of the fans no football club can survive.
22/11/2012 13:30:00
@faara23 @Gian-Franco/Luca the major point is not RAFA is a good manager or a better manager than RDM..The main point of lot of fans is the classless sacking of RDM and the appointment of rafa who is hated to the core by cfc support for his liverpool connection..I know his liverpool connections are in the past but the fans wont take it lightly with the comments like "plastic flag" "With out RA we are a nobody club" Jose is achieving just bcz of money etc..
22/11/2012 13:33:00
What a silly article! You go on like this is some kids game and that rafa is the boy 'we shouldn't mix with'. Grow up dude, this is football, this is business. When rafa was at pool, he represented pool. Now his at Chelsea he will represent us. You go on as if rafa did something personal to you and now U wanna boycott ur seat for that, that's just pathetic. His a damm football manager and a very intelligent one at that. Who cares if you're not going to the games anymore over a silly childish 'vendetta' with a guy you've never even met. There will always be fans with or without ur supposed love for the club you've now decided to boycott...
Slippy G-19
22/11/2012 13:37:00
I just read something very funny and here it is: "The introduction of Eden Hazard and Oscar appears to take its inspiration from the idea of female pandas being brought to a zoo - in the desperate hope that Torres can be stirred into action. Is Benitez just the latest attempt to reignite the forward's fire? One wonders whether it is any less daft than the notion that Manchester United should have appointed Gerard Houllier last season in an effort to get Michael Owen fit and firing".
22/11/2012 13:39:00
Faara23..he insulted chelsea fans back in the day he was 'pool manager....tbh I will not be supporting Benitez whilst he is chelsea manager...I dont care how well he does..I'll just be counting down the days until he is kicked out .... RDM won the CL for us......I doubt Tubby will get us very far and I think we'll struggle for 4th again......he personally will not get any support from me....BUT I will support the 11 on the pitch as always..regardless of who is playing....
22/11/2012 13:40:00
I'm sorry, but this has become a case of emotions getting in the way of reason. But really, why should it? FFS, you are CFC fans first, and then everything else comes second. So what you don't agree with the boards decision to rid of RDM and appoint Benitez? Fine, but then support your club only to make sure they get through this difficult phase very quickly. Everybody is quick to slate Benitez when he hasn't even begun his job yet. I for one don't approve of him as a manager, I just don't, but hey, I don't make the decisions and this is not the first time the board has made a decision which I don't approve of. We are where we are now. So we continue from here, whether it is backward or forward with Benitez, we would never know until after a few games. You never know, he gets off to a good start, and we are right up there in the end. Think Blackburn last season, see where the fan's disdain for their manager got them.
22/11/2012 13:43:00
I agree with the article 100%. The board (includes Roman) ignored the fans' sentiment completely. I never took it seriously when rival fans say Chelsea is a plaything of Roman. But it really hurts now, because I am realising it is a fact.
Keyser Soze
22/11/2012 13:56:00
Foreverblue, I am a Chelsea fan for over 3 decades now. I am 40, and I know quite well what Chelsea is all about. I've experienced many good and bad times as you mentioned. However, not going on Sunday and supporting our beloved team because the owner of this club (and NOT the team) chose to appoint an invidious manager, I'm sorry, is not an excuse. This manager will wear the jacket with the badge of OUR team. He will be in charge of OUR team and he will command the game of OUR players. Whoever he is we have to show our support and push OUR team to win this crucial game. The most important thing in life is the present. Forget about the past. Forget what is not yours. And this is the club. But the team is OURS. It will never be nobody's else. So, as your display name suggests, I'd advise you to get your ticket and fill in your seat. Once a blue, always a blue.
22/11/2012 14:00:00
Benitez said, he would never manage Chelsea out of respect for Liverpool. This man was desperate for a job. There is a reason why is was out of job for 2 years despite winning multiple CL trophies. He is so desperate that he agreed to be the "interim manager" of Chelsea. Chelsea got rid of someone who broke his leg playing for the club and brought in a mercenary of lowest order.
Keyser Soze
22/11/2012 14:01:00
Tottaly understand the view of this writer...
22/11/2012 14:01:00
@Keyser Soze Like i said RA can invest another 10B but he cant attach spend more time and emotional attachment like most of the fans.Lot of fans are sacrificing whole lot of time money emotional attachment yet the club is acting on a whim..We are a plaything of RA.It was proved beyond doubt yesterday with the appointment of RAFA.This is the first time i was honestly not able to say anything to the opposition when they taunt me
22/11/2012 14:03:00
Sorry!!! What if its the right Decision???
22/11/2012 14:07:00
Cool it guys this is football. I dont understand why so many chelsea fans trusted and surpported Torres so much even when it was clear he is a joke. And yet you wouldnt give Rafa the slightest chance to prove himself. In football your loyalty lies with the club paying your bills. So for all of u that hate Rafa so much just because he was loyal to Liverpool should seriously cool it. Lets give him our support now that his loyalty lies with our beloved CFC
22/11/2012 14:11:00
Thank you Keyser. For some of you making these comments, I dont understand why you are simply focusing on my personal hatred of Benitez. Yes I hate him. But the key point is this: The board, knowing full well that Benitez was in fact the least popular choice amongst fans judging by actual songs being sung about him, banners, statements from the supporters clubs, and yet they went ahead and did it anyway. what more could Chelsea fans have done to make their point? It just really, really worries me that our views are being increasingly ignored and our soul is being destroyed. That is what has driven this
22/11/2012 14:11:00
Footballers, managers and administrators of football are the most beautiful liars and diplomatic people in the whole universe. We have heard players say "i will never play for that club" yet they end up plying for such club, anybody expecting a chelsea manager to not take a jibe at opposition club doesn't undertstands what it means to represent your employer in football. Even though i hate the manner in which Roman have handled the club with his managerial prostitution, i will not hate Rafa because of his past while at fools. Get behind him, he might just be the lost chronicle that Roman has desired.
munich Glory
22/11/2012 14:11:00
@Blu the team is OURS? The Club is OURS? are you kidding me mate.The action of our board and RA doesnt reflect it or even acknowledging that CFC has fans.I dont think any of our fans are wishing ill will for the team or RAFA or players for that matter.Its all the frustration with the way the board and RA treated RDM. RDM is one of us..Mind it..the guy who broke his leg in 3 places the guy whos carrier cut short at just 31 while playing for CFC. The guy who for the passion he has for CFC accepted the interim job and did his best and won us 2 trophies.Yet he is treated like $hit.If the board and RA treats a man who will bleed blue like this then what has the world comes to? What is the point in attaching emotionally with this? Draining our money and time with it?
22/11/2012 14:12:00
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