After the weekend defeat to Southampton I seemed to be one of the very few fans who hadn’t chosen to jump on the ‘Rafa Out’ bandwagon once again and it’s got to a point in the season, where I just think calling for the mans head has become utterly ridiculous.
Firstly, Rafa has around 47 days left in the job – so if you’re calling for him to be sacked, who exactly have you in mind for the last 47 days of a very busy season? Bolo Zenden? No one in their right mind is going to leave their current club for the last month or so of the season, least of all the man on everyone’s minds – The Special One.
Jose still has a very big chance of claiming the Champions league with this Madrid side and there’s not a chance that he’d leave that to help a Chelsea side finish their struggle for a top 4 position, the change will be made at the end of the season – Rafa out and only Roman himself knows who in and that’s the end of that one.
Because of this the only thing Chelsea fans can do is get behind the team for this very busy run in they have towards the end of the season, as bizarre an appointment Benitez was there is simply no substance to what people are saying about him intentionally damaging Chelsea’s top four hopes in his hunt for a couple more trophies on his CV. The mans willingly stepped into an absolute minefield of a job to try to regain some respect in the managerial market and quite frankly nothing will make owners and presidents of big clubs stand up and take notice of him more than guiding a very inconsistent new look Chelsea side to a top four place.
Chelsea are currently occupying the fourth Champions League spot, an FA Cup semi final and the Europa League quarter finals and some of our best players, in particular Mr Hazard pictured below are really hitting top form and it leaves us very much on track for a top four place and potentially two trophies by the end of the season, looking back at the way we crashed out of the Champions League group stages after being humiliated by a far superior Juventus side you might begin to think that this could actually end up as a pretty good season for Chelsea – we were never going to go and win everything with the squad we have, in particular accounting for the new acquisitions who would have to adapt to their new surroundings and teammates – it was always going to be a season of transition, of change, yet Rafa could have this Chelsea squad on the brink of two respectable trophies and Champions league football next season, say what you like but that’s a decent season. (it’s potentially two more trophies than Arsenal have won in the last 7 years)
The reason that he’s been criticised this week is of course his squad selection against Southampton, but let’s take a serious look at this.
Rafa fielded a starting XI of: Cech; Azpilicueta – Ivanovic – Terry – Bertrand; Mikel – Lampard; Moses – Oscar – Marin; Torres
So let’s break this team down,
In Petr Cech we had a goalkeeper who’s undoubtedly one of the best in the world.
A defence consisting of Azpilicueta, JT, Ivanovic and Bertrand – Azpilicueta has been one of our best players this season, sound defensively and very dangerous going forward – John Terry is the clubs captain and still one of the best defenders in the Premier League despite what has seemingly been a dramatic dip in fitness this season – Ivanovic was definitely one of our best players last season and was included in several Premier League XI’s and Bertrand (definitely the weakest of the back four) should really be coming good, he’s 23 (6 years older than his opposite number on the day Luke Shaw who looked twice the player) and played in the Champions League final last year.
A defensive midfield of Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel, both very experienced players with lots of winners medals to prove it.
Throw in a £40,000,000 attacking midfield of Victor Moses, Oscar and Marko Marin all of whom are new players this season and Fernando Torres leading the line and you have on paper a very strong side. Torres has 21 goals this season for Chelsea and Spain and none of those attacking midfielders would’ve been signed in the if it was not believed that they had the quality to perform in the Premier League.
The starting XI against Southampton cost Chelsea Football Club £140,500,000 in transfer fees, make your own judgements but I believe that 140 million pounds worth of football players should be beating a Southampton side who until very recently were really struggling to stay in the Premier League, on Saturday the players let the fans down, not the manager.
So as much as everyone can’t wait to see him leave at the end of the season, if you find yourself at a game between now and the end of the season – get behind the team and (despite Rafa’s advice) keep your little blue flags flying high! none of this singing Rafa songs nonsense, let the man do his job, which in all honesty he’s actually doing quite well.