The managerial merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge is more entertaining than Reality TV show Made in Chelsea, even if the repetition is just as predictable as Groundhog Day.
Whatever the manager does he always departs before his sell-by date. And the fickle fans sit back and accept one bad decision after another by the billionaire who has bought success at the expense of the club’s dignity.
The twist this time is that the boss – reviled from the start by supporters who refused to give him a chance because of his history with Liverpool – has turned on both the fans and the owner with a savage rant that leaves him in an untenable position at the club.
Confirming for the first time that he will depart at the end of the season, Rafa Benitez sounded like a manager looking for an early exit when he criticized owner Roman Abramovich and the board for their decision to label him an “interim” boss.
The Spaniard let rip after the Blues eased past Middlesbrough to set up an FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United when he fumed: “Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager which is a massive mistake. I’m the manager.”
“I have been in charge in football for 26 years. I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies, all the trophies you can win at club level.”
His rant leaves him a dead man walking. And it is hard to see him surviving until the weekend never mind the end of the season. Meanwhile, lambasting the fans who want him out of the club and blaming them for hindering the players efforts in matches is guaranteed to increase the hostility.
“The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don’t have to worry about me,” said Benitez at his post-match press conference. “I am a little bit disappointed with some of the fans. They have to support the team instead of wasting time singing songs. If they continue singing and talking, they are not doing (the team) any favours. I will do my best until the last day.”
That day will now be sooner rather than later and I wonder what the odds are on Abramovich opting to make John Terry player-manager for the rest of the season. The Russian has made one bad decision after another and appointing the fans’ favourite would surely be his biggest mistake ever.