Benitez: 'I wasn't mistreated at Chelsea', blames the fans instead

Rafa Benitez 02

Rafa Benitez has blamed Chelsea fans for the fact his time at Chelsea was so brief.

We are approaching one year to the day where Rafa Benitez was appointed as Chelsea Interim Manager, on 21 November 2012.

Taking over from Roberto di Matteo, the Spaniard never looked like making it beyond the season from the very moment his job title was announced.

He famously criticised this, intimating that he was set up to fail, in a bizarre press conference after a FA Cup win away at Middlesbrough.

"Everybody is interim because after you, there is another one. But in this case, they didn’t have anyone, so why put ‘interim’?

"It’s just to say to everyone, ‘Because he was in Liverpool and just in case, we will put interim and then we will wash our hands."

Fortunately for Benitez, he ended his tenure at the club in a far happier mood, winning the Europa League and securing a Champions League spot.

He no longer appears to hold the feelings of resentment about his treatment by Chelsea, who let's face it, gave him a fantastic opportunity and boost for his CV.

Now manager at Napoli, it had all been going very well until a 3-0 defeat to Juventus at the weekend, and the international break could not have come at a better time.

He sat down with Spanish newspaper for Marca for an interview, and the topic of Chelsea of course came up. And it was the fans who got the blame.

Asked if he was mistreated by the club's management, he said: "No, there was just a group of fans whose opinion we couldn't change."

And at that he left it. You might think Benitez would let it lie and move on, but he certainly still feels the need to highlight what he describes as his mistreatment by Chelsea fans to cover his own back against any perceived slights on his reputation.

Benitez was clearly a convenient appointment for Chelsea, to kill time until Jose Mourinho became available. But his record stands up against the 'Special One's mixed early start, and put it this way - if he had made some of the decisions Mourinho has made, ie. regarding Mata and Lukaku, the criticism would certainly be louder than it was last season. 

image: © thesportreview

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