Silverware Won’t Save Rafael Benitez

Rafa Benitez 3

Chelsea are on the verge of an FA Cup and Europa League double despite the intense hatred of Rafa Benitez as the club’s boss.

Chelsea could end the season as the only English side with more than one trophy in the bank, which seems remarkable considering the intense abuse and scrutiny towards Rafael Benitez’s appointment as interim manager.

He’s made it very clear that he’ll be leaving the club in May and very few would blame him for giving Roman Abramovich a two fingered salute, if the Russian did the same as he did with Roberto Di Matteo and offered him a long term deal in reward for the success.

Benitez could win every trophy under the sun for Chelsea but he’d still be hated by a large section of the Chelsea fans because of his attitude towards the club during his time as the boss of Liverpool.

He’s actually done superbly since he replaced Di Matteo on a temporary basis. Chelsea should hold their top four position, they have a great chance of retaining the FA Cup and a Europa League title would be a superb achievement.

He’s also managed the number of games the club has had and the squad very well, arguably better than anyone else would have done during a short spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Silverware is what any club in football is in the game for so some fans may change their opinions of him a little bit should he guide the team to a period of success, but some have never given him a chance.

That means he’ll leave Chelsea with the same negative reputation in the eyes of some, which he has always had and it’s something which has plagued his time in charge of the current European Champions.

If anything Benitez actually needs to be quite selfish here, which will lead to that negative reputation growing even more over.

He’s going to be out of a job in May and looking for his next challenge, which could be difficult as most of the major roles around Europe at the moment have been filled or have been accounted for at the end of the season.

This is the same boss who won a Champions League title with Liverpool and two more pieces of silverware will strengthen his CV and will make him more appealing to any side that wants to take him on ahead of the 2013/2014 season.

Personally his experience at Chelsea may make him want to go to a club where he feels more respected and basically wanted, despite the fact he may have to take a little step down in terms of quality to get that.

Benitez is and always has been a very good manager and he took a gamble with Chelsea, considering his past comments about them, when few others would have touched the side.

From the club’s point of view it’s looking more and more like a decision which is going to pay off with trophies, but it’s a decision which has shown Rafa that he was always going to struggle with the fans, regardless of what he did.

Will trophies improve his reputation at Chelsea?

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch