I was one of the few who didn’t hate Rafael Benitez. Maybe because I am, after all, not a real fan in that I do not reside in the UK and as much as I try to follow everything to do with the English Premier League and watch most of the games (all Chelsea games and nearly all of the rest), I probably still can’t claim to understand what you real fans out there feel. I rather liked Rafa (as much as his type of lack of charisma can be liked) maybe because those Chelsea versus Liverpool Champions League ties I will remember for the rest of my life. Maybe because I always saw him as one of the relatively few managers who is a scholar of the game (a quality I really do admire, maybe a little naively). Someone who takes football seriously not only on the pitch (as most other former players turned managers do), but also off the pitch, where it’s so boring for the rest. I even read his book, not because I’m a fan, but because I try to read any book written by a proper manager about the game. I hate biographies, I don’t care about the person, all I want is his wisdom or lack thereof. His book wasn’t very good, frankly, but that’s down to his ghost writer and him being a boring fucker.
But enough is enough. That’s all I can say. He was never welcome here, he’s not one who can ever truly gain the respect of the squad so that they’re ready to die for him. Sure, the players probably like him. What’s not to like? He isn’t a tyrant, he rotates like crazy, but somehow I think no one inside the squad really hates him. But no one loves him either. I wish the man well, but we was doomed from the beginning and has shown it just isn’t working. There’s no future with him. He won’t destroy the team, he won’t do anything really bad, but he won’t really get us anywhere either.
I was against Pep Guardiola from the start as I feel he himself knows he isn’t good enough for anything but Barcelona (that sounds really weird, but I do hope you see my point). And his decision proves the point. He’s a coward. He picked the easiest option. He picked the option with very few challenges. And the shame in that is that we won’t see him fail. Because the guy probably can do a good enough job of training a group of football players. And that’s all they need from him at Bayern Munich. The rest is handled by professionals. So he’ll probably win the Champions League with them and the league and people will praise him even more, despite the fact that he’s basically managing Barca II. He’s evading all the challenges of the modern game. The rich crazy owners, the crazy star-struck out of control players, the crazy press, just the overall chaos of the Premier League and… let’s say, Real Madrid. The things Jose Mourinho craves, Pep is afraid of. That’s why he’ll never be better. He’s a smart, smart man, who knows his stuff, but this calculated approach shows the real Pep. He has the balls to realize what a failure he’d be at Manchester City, Chelsea or even Paris Saint-Germain (or AC Milan…) and what a devastating blow it may have on his career. Barca is actually doing better without him. They were an amazing team before him, with Frank Rijkaard. Sure, he just ended up in a time period when the team truly blossomed and gained its trophies. He made some great decisions, but within the framework of his home club, home team, surrounded by awesome players. He’s smart but he ain’t no Jose. He isn’t a winner at heart. I’m not, either. That’s why I admire people who are. So it’s all for the better. He would have fared no better than Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea.
That leaves us with… no one, actually.
Postscript: And for all the goals that we sometimes score… Am I the only one who thinks that Chelsea FC is fucking boring now that Rafa’s here? Maybe not the football, but the overall atmosphere is one of the most uninspiring in a long time. Everyone’s just lost and tired… We need a kick in the ass, the fans, Roman Abramovich, the board – everyone.
- Chelsea and Roman Abramovich find money can’t buy Pep Guardiola’s love
- Pep Guardiola has been seduced by Bayern Munich’s class and vision