Rafa Benitez deserves praise for the job he did at Chelsea

When Rafael Benitez was given the task of being interim manager of Chelsea, many thought that this would be a huge downfall for the Blues, but having seen his results and progress in winning the UEFA Europa League, and ensuring the club a Champions League place with a 3rd place league finish, surely he deserves some praise and credit.

 When he took over from Roberto Di Matteo, the club was in a very tough spot. They were the first team in history to go from winning the UEFA Champions League title to being knocked out in the group stages the following year. Their big signings weren’t bringing them the expected success, with the team struggling to match the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United at the top of the table. There was speculation over the futures of veteran players Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard – whose contracts has now been settled.


The fact that Rafael Benitez was manager of arch rivals Liverpool previously did not sit too well with Chelsea fans. Rafa’s six year reign at Liverpool saw the Reds crowned winners of the UEFA Champions League, but the clubs Premier League ambitions were falling well below par. 


Benitez is known as being the man that guided Fernando Torres, who is now at Chelsea, into scintillating form. Torres was regarded as the most feared striker in the world, with his superb pace and finishing. The appointment of Benitez gave Chelsea fans hope that Fernando would return to the once great form that gave him the 50 millions pound transfer label. Since Rafa’s appointment, Torres has enjoyed more success, with a superb display against Benfica in the Europa League Final last week. 


Benitez has picked the club up from the shallowest of times, and throughout the chants and jeers he has maintained his professionalism and continued to lead and organise the potentially dangerous Chelsea side.


Rafa’s continual work and progression with the team have had an impact on the way the team play. He has successfully bought the best out of Brazilian David Luiz, who has been superb for the Blues in this back half of the campaign, and has rotated the squad fittingly with the clubs demanding fixtures. With Chelsea playing no less than two or three games a week, Benitez had plenty to think about, and has managed to uphold the demands of the Chelsea board.


Chelsea won the Europa League, finished 3rd in the league, and are qualified for next seasons Champions League, therefore Benitez deserves plenty of credit. It may not have been the smartest move on Abramovich’s behalf, but to Rafa’s credit, he has stuck by his methods and beliefs, and brought the side to glory on the European stage.


It is known that Benitez will not be in charge of the club come the end of the season, with the return of Jose Mourinho seeming all to certain, but his success and managerial style will surely put his name on the list of top clubs around the globe, with Napoli already showing their interest in the Spaniard. 


The Europa League final was the last real task on Rafa’s calendar, and his reputation and potential future jobs were counting on this game. Chelsea were crowned champions of Europe once again. The victory was not only a great success for the club, but a great success for Benitez. 



Keep passionate, keep hungry.



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