I certainly do because it led to Liverpool FC’s subsequent crumble as they lost the title to bitter rivals Manchester United. Not the desired effect he really wanted did he? Mind you, only the more experienced of mind game players *cough* Sir Alex Ferguson *cough* can get a few feathers rustled successfully. Benitez is an amateur. This rant, however, wasn’t even a ‘pre-crucial match in the title race’ type rant. Maybe this rant was a sign of a man who clearly needed to let off some steam? A sign of desperation to get the fans on his side? An attempt to display human emotions in order to gain sympathy? Or a sneaky way of warning others of what is in store as Chelsea manager? Was he having a dig at the way the hierarchy at Chelsea football club get behind the gaffa? (I hear the Eastenders’ cliffhanger music, I am hoping that is playing in your head too).
Let’s dissect it. Does Benitez have a point that it was a massive mistake being labelled the ‘interim’ manager? Yes he does. Realistically speaking, Benitez has achieved a lot as a manager :
- He led Valencia to be winners of La Liga twice as well as adding the UEFA cup to the cabinet.
- He led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2004-2005 as well as the FA Cup in 2005-2006.
All in all, he is experienced and established and through his Spanish roots, he has made the Premier League a more exciting and compelling league to watch. Who can forget those memorable clashes with Chelsea in the Champions League (which could explain the present bitterness), or the overall impact that he has had, by bringing good quality players like Garcia, Alonso, Reina, Arbeloa, Torres (at his peak) and Mascherano. He has in a way, allowed Steven Gerrard to flourish as a player, under his reign as the Liverpool manager. He clearly has credentials, and so by applying the ‘interim’ tag, the Chelsea hierarchy undermined his managerial competency. It’s a kick in the teeth really as it further fuelled that resentful section of fans to continue with their ‘get Rafa out’ agenda. The word ‘agenda’ here is important as Benitez mentions it, in this new rant. For him to think that, means he is probably under a lot of pressure and a certain amount of paranoia has creeped in.
Also, what does it say about Chelsea football club on the whole? That the billionaire, money splashing owner, strives for the crème de le crème of football managers? How many of them are out there and does Chelsea deserve to have a top manager considering their ‘chopping and changing’ policy?
On the other hand, why does Benitez feel the need to launch such an attack when he knew what he was signing up for? The title ‘interim’ was given at the start, yet it didn’t seem to cause such an issue then. Maybe the 14 wins in 27 games could explain it. Is he rattled? Maybe.