Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughAn alternative view to Rafa Benitez’s appointment - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough An alternative view to Rafa Benitez’s appointment - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

An alternative view to Rafa Benitez’s appointment

In the wake of Di Matteo’s shock sacking, a bitter taste formed in the mouths of the Chelsea faithful at the maltreatment of a man who has achieved cult status at Stamford Bridge.

Unjust does not begin to describe the decision to dispose of a man who, in the 8 months of his tenure, brought FA Cup and Champions League winner medals along with re-establishing Chelsea as a league title contender.

Chelsea fans seemed embarrassed and disappointed with Ambramovich’s actions. Yet, in spite of this, deep down laid a subliminal glimmer of hope, beaming, quietly. Abrupt change has been a common theme under their Russian leader’s cohort and it hasn’t served them too badly. Whispers of Guardiola began gathering pace and the thought of revolution dared to elope minds.

Hours later, the short term fate of Chelsea Football Club was announced. Rafa Benitez.

Whispers turned to sniggers as a mixture of distaste and mockery permeated throughout social networks. In the eyes of many, Benitez has earned a reputation of failure, particularly because of his time in England. As manager of Liverpool, year after year was spent as a Premier League challenger rather than winner, coming close on several occasions but never reaching the elusive cigar.

Benitez was not the fan’s favoured man. Guardiola was. The rumour mill suggests Pep was not ready to end his sabbatical, but few have entertained the notion that Benitez was actually the man that the powers at be actually wanted.

Contrary to popular opinion, there’s a strong case to be made that the appointment of Guardiola would in fact be a risk.

There’s no discounting the enormous success he had at Barcelona and the extraordinary legacy he has already left on football. Though he possessed one of the greatest collection of players ever to form in the same team, he introduced innovative tactics which will define an era and have a profound effect on football for years to come.

However, in his final season, an inability to adapt to changing situations was exposed. On multiple occasions, Barcelona was faced with the task of breaking down a defensive unit of 10. When the slick passing and movement failed to work, a plan B was never brought in.

Looking at Guardiola at face value, you have a very young manager who has enjoyed great success at one European club but nowhere else to date. Sound familiar? Who could forget the huge expectation met with AVB’s hiring at Chelsea – and the bitter disappointment which followed short after.

Is the appointment of Benitez a reflection of Abramovich growing tired of taking risks on young managers?

In Benitez, you have an experienced successful coach who knows the English game very well. His failure to win the Premier League with Liverpool will always haunt him, but it’s worth considering he was contending with two excellent sides (in Mourinho’s Chelsea and Manchester United with Ronaldo) while labouring under a constant power struggle with the Liverpool board.

Perhaps even more credit worthy would be the fact that, in 2009, Benitez led Liverpool to 2nd place in the league. Since his dismissal in 2010, in a mere two years, Liverpool has been rocked by the biggest downfall in their history.

Benitez now, arguably, has control of more talent than he had at Liverpool and is faced with slightly less challenging competition. Only time will tell if he can lay his Premier League skeletons to rest or create a whole new closet of them.