Apparently there are going to be talks today between Benitez and the owner – what exactly is there to talk about? Previous managers have not been given the option of a cosy little chat – they were handed their P45s in corridors.
Perhaps Abramovich wants to discuss how exactly the gap between ourselves and United has quadrupled and then some under the Spaniard? Or maybe he wants to talk about how West Ham can beat Swansea but we can’t. Or how a lead is now simply a prelude to a draw if we’re lucky or a loss if we’re not.
The club is a shambles. Our squad is one of the smallest in the Premier League yet we have over 20 players out on loan – who’s genius idea was that? We also have a former Captain of France frozen out, and training with the kids simply because he had the temerity not to leave when the board wanted him to.
Of course we have also advised arguably the greatest player ever to play for our club that he is no longer required despite him still breaking records and on course to break the ultimate record of highest ever scorer for the club.
On top of that Abramovich’s most trusted advisor is a man whose greatest footballing achievement is coaching teenage girls’ football in the US – allegedly it is he making fundamental decisions on staff and players
The support is split – some angry & vitriolic and others depressed and disillusioned – many, including myself fall into both categories. We have a hated manager who comes out with absolute codswallop every time he is in front of a camera – about how we are moving in the right direction and how we are playing better – and he has the temerity to call Materazzi a liar!
And in this car-crash of a football club why is the board not saying anything – the silence from the suits is deafening. They have well and truly painted themselves into a corner; they came out with the usual clichés about the new manager being bought in to take us forward & “immediately to deliver our objectives” – looks like something got lost in translation and no one wants to carry the can on this one.
What can they do now anyway? If they sacked him who could they realistically get in? The supporters were right all along about this clown – Benitez was not right culturally, historically, nor in respect of his recent achievements – or should I say lack of them. I would like to say that at least there are individuals that would have learnt a valuable lesson from this whole sorry episode but sadly I think the egos involved will not allow any reflection on those ultimately responsible for this mess we find ourselves in.
The one interesting aspect of this dreadful chapter has been how the media have given Benitez such an easy ride throughout his disastrous tenure at Stamford Bridge. The papers were questioning AVB’s position last season from the moment he lost his first game, equally with Di Matteo – they were both continuously undermined from the British media relentlessly – yet Benitez continues to enjoy the sympathy of the media – various journalists are falling over themselves to blame the fans or the players rather than the man who picks the team, makes the substitutions and puts together the game plan and tactics. Curious – don’t you agree?
Part of me believes it’s his Liverpool association – the reds have enjoyed a sympathetic press for decades for various reasons, but that paranoid part of me thinks it’s as much about their disdain of Chelsea as their love of Liverpool.
Benitez not getting sacked as far as they are concerned is far more newsworthy. The continuing turmoil, the fans at odds with the club, the on-going losses, competition after competition going by the wayside, the weekly increasing gap between us and United, the ever decreasing gap between us and the chasing pack – it provides endless ammunition to take pot shots at us with. They know that those that run our club respond to media pressure and so laying off Benitez buys him time at the club – allowing the circus to continue.
And we the fans have to stand by and watch our season disintegrate and our club pulled through the mud once again.
Today, for many of us, the triumph and joy of Munich seem a lifetime away