The Spanish manager told the press he was ‘angry’ with his team, just weeks after taking the reigns at Stamford Bridge, amid the turmoil of the fans’ discontent at his appointment.
The Blues now sit 10 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United and will have to play catch up if they intend to mount genuine title contention.
“Normally when you lose, you are not happy — but I was angry," said Benitez.
"We did not manage their physical game, the long balls, the second balls, the corners. We gave them too many options to play their game and we could not be comfortable in possession.”
Benitez couldn’t have had a worse start to his Chelsea career – his opening game at home to Manchester City ended a goalless draw, as did the West London derby against Fulham at Stamford Bridge. Fernando Torres still hasn’t scored for him and the fans still jeer at him when he walks out of the tunnel. Their defeat to West Ham now has rumours circulating in the press that he could be replaced.
Now, blaming his players for their lack of character, he may be in danger of losing the dressing room.
"That is when you have to show character and quality — and we did not do that. Character and leadership is always necessary in a team.”
He even pointed to former Blues manager Jose Mourinho who, incidentally, has been linked with replacing the Spaniard this week. Benitez claimed the current crop do not have the same character as the team the current Real Madrid manager had to work with.
"Jose Mourinho's Chelsea team had a lot of character but it is a different time now."
This week has seen both Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger, via Steve Bould, blame their players for defeats – a lack of character from one set and lack of responsibility in the other. I’m starting to think when managers blame their players; it’s not all that different from a bad workman blaming his tools.
Synonymously, in the film industry, if an actor has a bad performance, it’s always the director’s fault.
Why? Because the director cast them, guided them, blocked them, rehearsed them. My point is, you can’t really blame the players when the results don’t go your way – if you’re the manager then you need to manage to motivate them. Some way, some how.
image: © choonming/