The Spaniard has guided the club to a top four finish and silverware in the form of the Europa League, but he’s taken the abuse he’s received this season to heart, deciding not to appear with the players at the end of the match against Everton.
The Spaniard has never been given a chance by small sections of Chelsea supporters and while he maintains the lap of honour should just be for the players, a small part of him would have been wary of that small group.
If that was the case then shame on those supporters because Benitez has acted admirably throughout his time at the club when plenty of us wouldn’t have blamed him for throwing his toys out of the pram at any stage.
It’s a shame because he’s done a superb job managing a huge club, taking care of a massive squad and achieving some success when other high profile bosses wouldn’t have gone anywhere near Chelsea following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.
Tactically he’s proven himself to be as good as any other manager in the Premier League but it’s the way he managed the side through 69 games in all competitions which is his best achievement.
Rafa was the King of rotation during his time at Liverpool and he showed superb skill in chopping and changing the Chelsea side throughout the season as they went about their business.
It may just have been a simple way for Benitez to follow the lead of Paul Scholes at Manchester United in the respect that he just wants to leave without any fuss, under the radar and away from the spotlight.
He’s improved his CV from this temporary job at Chelsea but where he goes from here is a little unclear.
The job at Everton is obviously up for grabs and that would offer him the chance to move back to Merseyside, which is where his family still lives but whether his Liverpool past would allow that is unclear.
There are also likely to be plenty of foreign offers for him with Napoli thought to be interested and Real Madrid a possible destination following the imminent departure of Jose Mourinho to, ironically, Chelsea.
He’s done everything Roman Abramovich has asked of him and he should have been in that lap of honour and he should have been given a tremendous reception from the Stamford Bridge crowd.
However, he deserves to leave Chelsea in any way he likes for what he’s done this season and the difficult situation he’s face while he’s achieved those goals.
What did you make of Rafa’s absence from the lap of honour?
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