Rafa Benitez could end up being hailed a genius at Chelsea

What can Chelsea achieve between now and the end of the season?

So Rafa Benitez has survived the weekend, that is something which seemed unlikely for a brief period on Wednesday night.

The Spaniard now famously took the club's fans and board to task in the post-match presser after the FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, simultaneously confirming he would be leaving in May.

He presided over a 1-0 home win against West Brom on Saturday, a team who have caused the Blues troubles in recent meetings.

Yesterday's North London Derby result was a great day for the Blues, for if Arsenal had won then Chelsea would have been dragged into a three-way fight for two spots, and while it is no way over yet, both they and Tottenham have a cushion over the Gunners in the race for Champions League qualification.

So as well as ensuring they don't have a late season collapse, it must be remembered Chelsea have two trophies to play for.

In the Europa League last 16, the Blues face Romanian side Steaua Bucharest who surprisingly knocked out Ajax. Their FA Cup draw is a lot more tougher on paper, an away trip to Manchester United.

But Chelsea showed last season when it comes to putting together a cup run, there is nobody better equipped, as the Blues won an FA Cup and Champions League double.

So there could be a happy ending for Benitez still, who could ride into the sunset with a medal or two and his reputation enhanced.

If he does then his post-match rant in midweek will be looked back upon as the turning point. 

Benitez right now is a boss reeling from an unhappy spell, and his pride had to be hurt to come out and say he would walk away in May; he had previously repeated that he wanted the job full-time.

Turning the fans around is an impossible task, his job is to quell the boos, and judging from Saturday then he is off to a reasonable post-rant start.

If he ends the season with a trophy then his decision to speak out, stick up for himself, and sock it to his detractors might just be retrospectively viewed as a moment of genius, rather than the madness of a condemned man.

What are the chances? Can Benitez lead Chelsea to a trophy?

image: © thesportreview

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