We can all agree that Chelsea are an up and down team this season. It’s been a season of greatness, failure and frustration all combined into one. The answer could be simple – Benitez, but some fans tend to forget we had similar problems with Di Matteo, but now it seems worse. Both had to deal with the absence of John Terry, a misfiring Torres, newly signed players, great starts, horrible declines, etc. I have looked at the whole season and come to a conclusion of 3 things that had/have both Di Matteo and Benitez struggling the most.
1. John Terry
3. Fernando Torres
1. John Terry – “Captain, Leader, Legend” the banner says. “Hard to win without him” the truth says. It’s no doubt that the absence of John Terry has created plenty of problems for the defense and the rest of the team. Petr Cech and Frank Lampard were the captains (mostly) when Terry was out, they couldn’t lead the team like Terry could. Our defense was everywhere under Di Matteo when Terry was out, Benitez seemed to find the secret to keeping the defense solid without Terry, but we’ve seen in recent weeks – he couldn’t keep that secret formula. Terry led the defense and the whole team like no one else, he was simply our best and most influential player. Once you took him out, it was like breaking Chelsea in half. It wasn’t the same team and especially under Di Matteo led to a quick downfall in good performances and potentially was the reason for his sacking. Benitez couldn’t escape the struggles, but dealt with it better – a better defense than under Di Matteo, but still lacked Terry’s leadership qualities. Thankfully for Benitez, Terry has returned. Unfortunately for Di Matteo, once Terry left – he wasn’t around to see it as manager.
2. Inconsistency – Chelsea have been as inconsistent as ever. Worse than Ancelotti, worse than AVB, just horribly inconsistent. We couldn’t keep a good run going in all competitions for anything. Di Matteo started off better than any Chelsea manager ever, but ended with the common reason for the departure – Sacking. After that loss to Manchester United at home, it was done. Our great run took a turn for the worst and suddenly a horrible day at the Hawthorns and an unbelievably s**t day in Italy led to his sacking. Benitez couldn’t fix it immediately either, struggling to get wins as he drew 2 and lost 1 in his first 3 PL games as Chelsea manager. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, it got better – an impressive string of results before going to Japan. Ah, Japan… where we thought it was our trophy and nobody could take it from us – a good 1st match before a pitiful performance in the Final which saw us drop a trophy for the 3rd time. Suddenly, we picked it up – a thrashing of Villa, beating Everton, Norwich, Stoke on the road only to play like utter crap at home (QPR, Swansea). This up and down run had Chelsea fans unable to predict anything – we could win on the road, but couldn’t win at home. Thankfully for Benitez, he still has his job. Unfortunately for Di Matteo, he doesn’t have his.
3. Fernando Torres – “He’s back” one game, “he’s gone” the next game, “nevermind, he is 100 % back” the game after that, “Damnit Torres, stop leaving” after that. That’s been the story for both managers this season. A misfiring Torres one run then a rejuvenated Torres the next. That’s been our story. The unability to get him going and stay going. Torres could either run the whole match and either score or play like utter s**t the next while being completely anonymous the next match. At one point, we thought “Di Matteo has found the Old Torres” only to say “He’s gone… again” the next few matches. Then, under Benitez, it was “Rafa knows Torres the best” then to say “Rafa is clueless as well” later on. His unability to make it happen in front of goal has cost us many matches and many managers (Carlo, AVB, RDM). Neither of those 3 could get him running and stay that way. It’s natural to be inconsistent, but to the Torres inconsistent is something rarely seem before. Thankfully for Benitez, he now has Demba Ba. Unfortunately for Di Matteo, he didn’t have a proper backup for Torres (or at least one he liked).
Those of the 3 things that have had Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez as well as Chelsea struggling this season.
What do you think our 3 biggest problems have been? Let me know in the comment section below!