Rafa Benitez just couldn’t help having a parting stab at Chelsea fans after news broke he would be the next manager of Napoli.
It seems he never got over the abuse he received during his time as interim manager of Chelsea, guiding the side to a top three finish and Europa League glory.
There were a small section of supporters that were never going to forgive him for comments he made during his time as Liverpool boss and he’s had a subtle hit back at that group now he’s been confirmed in his new role.
“I must confess that I am extremely excited because I can share my passion for football with the fans of Napoli - I look forward to experiencing each and every one of the fans of Napoli and their strong support for this project,” he said on his personal website.
It’s a little bit tongue in cheek because he clearly feels he was never given the chance to try and share his passion for Chelsea with that small group of supporters he was never able to win over and convince.
It will only add fuel to that group, which will result in a repeat of the abuse Benitez received, should he ever cross paths with Chelsea again in the future.
If he takes Napoli to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League then it’s extremely doubtful that he will be cheered or applauded because if the above was an intentional stab at those fans then it’s pretty underhand and unnecessary.
It could just be that he’s getting carried away with landing Napoli as his next job and is delighted that he’s got another chance to win silverware at another top club.
However, the fact Rafa seems to be a very emotional manager could means that he’s simply just very eager to try and get the right sort of connection with Napoli supporters, because of how hard he found it at Chelsea.
The more worrying issue for Chelsea is the role Benitez could play in preventing Edinson Cavani from moving to Stamford Bridge.
Benitez is not a stupid manager and he will realise that his immediate success in the job depends on getting Cavani to stay, whatever that means and however he has to do it.
He’s already started to affect Chelsea since his departure with the exit of fitness coach Francesco de Miguel Moreno and goalkeeping coach Vicente Javier Valero Berchili from London.
That shouldn’t affect the club too much, it’s just a natural move for Benitez to try and draw staff he worked with away from Chelsea and Jose Mourinho will have his own people, who he wants to work with at Stamford Bridge.
The depressing thing is that Benitez and Chelsea had the chance to put their feud to bed, but it now looks as though it’s going to carry on until Benitez retires.
What do you make of his comments about the passion and relationship towards Napoli fans?
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