A lot has been made of Rafa Benitez’ outspoken comments towards Chelsea fans and his confirmation that he will leave the club at the end of the season. By many, it has been labelled as a rant, an outburst by a man that has finally been broken by the hatred Chelsea fans have shown towards him. You can see why Chelsea fans think this, and why others have suggested it, the pressure has been building on Rafa Benitez due to performances and results on the pitch and also the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge and, afterall, he is only human, everyone has a breaking point.
Many Chelsea fans believe they have got the better of Benitez after his comments and have enjoyed seeing the ‘fat Spanish waiter’ crack. These are the fans that are misguided and caught up in the romance of being a football fan, in love with a club that they have a strong opinion on, and because they have the clubs best intentions at heart, that opinion is right…in reality, those that think this way are sadly wrong.
Benitez has committed one of football’s number one unwritten rules; never turn on your own fans. So you have to ask yourself why Benitez would do that?
The reality is that this was a calculated move by Benitez, it wasn’t a rant (see Kevin Keegan) or an outburst from a man at breaking point, but a call to arms in an extreme attempt to save Chelsea’s season. From my perspective, you have to admire the guts of the man for doing it.
In order to give Chelsea the best chance of success this season, Rafa Benitez knows that his team needs the crowd behind them and, dare I say, conform to the classic cliche of the being ’12th man’. Rafa stating that he would leave at the end of the season is a slightly unselfish move – he made it so Chelsea fans can now focus on supporting their team fully for the last 11 games, 5 of which are at home. Rafa has done his homework and knows that if Chelsea don’t lose any more home games, then that will give Chelsea a home record similar to that of the 2008/09 season where they finished third and the 2010/11 season where they finished second.
The move means Chelsea fans no longer need to worry about Benitez, the expectations are set, he will be leaving.
The cynics amongst us will say that this is a move to benefit Benitez, his success means he will be a more attractive candidate for any other job come summer, and he will…but so what, it is win/win.
Now it is down to the Chelsea fans, its not about stopping the Benitez abuse and he knows that, it is about creating an atmosphere that spurs the team on to victory, especially at home. It is time for Chelsea fans to ask themselves, will they listen to Rafa Benitez and start backing the team with an electric atmosphere at the Bridge or will they remain against Benitez and allow the air of negativity to remain that doesn’t maximise the teams chances of winning, especially at home? We will wait an see, but a top 4 finish is what everyone wants and this move by Benitez is surprisingly in the best interests of the club and to bring success to those fans who so badly want him, and therefore indirectly their team, to fail.
If you’re at the game today then we would love to hear what the atmosphere is like, so get in touch below and have your say – are you behind the team more now in your vocal support than you were before you knew Rafa Benitez was leaving? Do you disagree with the article? Get involved below. Remember you can follow us on Twitter or Facebook and get involved with real fans football, not the sugar coated same old you get everywhere else.