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Chelsea fans debate ice cold Benitez reception

By Jonny Abrams

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Rafael Benitez
Benitez… Not a popular choice (Img: Agnieszka Mieszczak)
Newly installed Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez was given a rather frosty reception by the Stamford Bridge faithful during Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City – you may have noticed all the ‘Rafa out’ signs and what not, given the lack of anything else of interest on show – so we hung around online Blues joints CFCnet and The Shed End listening in on what folk had to say about the appointment of a man who aimed barbed comments at their club while managing Liverpool not so long ago…

Mata’s Left Foot, CFCnet…

I don’t see how “Rafa out” signs are going to make a difference. our board look like a joke right now but now our own fans look like a bunch of spoiled brats. what manager would want to manage this bloody team in the future? support your team instead of looking like morons with stupid signs that are helping no one. you hate Rafa? me too, but I’ll keep it to myself. you’re making the whole club look more of a joke than it already is. might as well have a “Roman out” banner? oh wait you wont. bunch of hypocrites.

Big thanks to some for making signs to support Roberto.

Zola, The Shed End…

As much as I DON’T want Rafa here, it was a little embarrassing to see those RAFA OUT signs.

It should have been much more about Robbie.

Harvz, CFCnet…

So I’ve decided to grow the f… up.

I hate Liverpool. I very very much dislike Benitez. Do I want him here? Hell no. Do I feel that the club has sold out on the part of the fans/club/team by hiring someone so vehemently opposed to everything he’s now meant to stand for? Absolutely. Am I suddenly going to start believing every word that comes out of his mouth under the guise of ‘its now my job to say this’. Nope.

But I simply cannot justify hating or very much disliking the club and team that I love, and now that our interests are all aligned, its too difficult to separate the driver from the bus and the passengers to hate on Benitez without in a sense also selling out on my loyalties and support for the club. So I won’t be booing. Nor will I be singing any songs against Benitez. He won’t be getting applauded onto the pitch. He won’t be the target of any applause should we score or win a game – even if its down to his tactics. But I am not going to be a part of further damaging the atmosphere around the place, or in here for that matter, when it is exactly the opposite to what is needed.

Not going to be easy though. At the end of the day, I hate Liverpool, and I very very much dislike Benitez.

Nobly Bobly, CFCnet…

I remember as a kid in the 70s ( before all the media live coverage) sitting watching the World of Sport vidi-printer reel of the scores, biting my nails praying for a Chelsea win, which rarely came in those days. Never in all the years since then has that feeling left me. But I have to admit that there’s a part of me that wants Benitez to fail miserable so he will not be retained in the summer.

I feel a little ashamed but also angry that my club actions have put me in this stupid frame of mind. “How dare they” I keep thinking.

I cannot grow up. Not yet anyway. I will never ever like that man as a manager or a person. If that’s childish then I will just have to live with being childish. I’ve been called worse things.

Sheva, The Shed End…

I remember when Blackburn fans were out in force against Kean, that was uncomfortable viewing. I felt the same today. I am not going to chant his name but i am not going to boo it either.

synavm, CFCnet…

Not going to lie. I’m pretty embarrassed by our fans today. Rafa could turn out to be a good manager, give him a chance. He’s not ideal, he said horrible things, probably not a nice bloke but I’m over it.

RDC Williams, CFCnet…

I’m pretty embarrassed that people like you support Chelsea.

What we witnessed today were the virtues of honesty, dignity and integrity; the stand of the fans of Chelsea Football Club against the selfishness, spite, greed and disloyalty of a spoilt brat Club owner.

I don’t care if Benitez brings success to the club; the price of any success would be too high: Benitez is an Anfield creature, a fundamental hater of our Club and our heroes; Di Matteo is a Chelsea man, and was doing what was asked of him – making a transition between one style of football and another. Any incidental success produced under Benitez would be like your 8 year old daughter producing a nice picture in an art class run by Jimmy Saville, worthless, distasteful and certainly not a vindication of The teacher’s character or methods.

This appointment is wrong and if a majority of supporters believes that Abramovich can do anything he wants because of the money he has spent, then the soul of the club is lost. He has no such right and we have an obligation to show him that we are capable of drawing a line in the sand.

As things stand we are a joke and he is a clown. Both facts sadden me.

I will always support Chelsea. .

I currently do not support Abramovich. When he shows the club and the fans the respect we deserve I may reconsider.

I will never support Benitez.

nonotnowjim, The Shed End…

I thought our fans were poor today. They showed a lack of class which is something they dont usualy do. I know that people hate Benitez, i am one of them, but the reality is that he is here now, and the spectacle of fans booing, waving vitriolic banners around doesnt help anybody, and only goes to show the club in a bad light.

Thoroughout the 1st half, the fans were more interested in chanting against Benitez than supporting the team, and we were outsung by Man Citys travelling crew. It improved a little in the second half, but overall i thought our fans put up a poor show today.

Michael Tucker, CFCnet…

He’s not going to be retained in the summer, no matter what we achieve on the field for the rest of the season. Dear Roman has eyes only for Guardiola. And if he spurns Roman’s advances (which if he’s smart, he will), then I think that they’ll go after Mourinho, who may be tempted since he seems to have burned too many bridges at Real. I can’t see Benitez being anything other than the shortest of short-term appointments. Another Avram Grant, who would have been punted out the door, even if we’d won the CL final that season.

evissy, The Shed End…

Why can’t the fans say they don’t like Rafa? Why?

He was a rival coach and said bad things about us leading a team that I probably hate the most. He is a big boy and understand’s it.

I accept him as soon as he does things better than Robbie.

Paul Mcgoochan, CFCnet…

What a bloody mess,yet again. It’s like being married to the most beautiful woman in the world,but her family are one step down from Jeremy Kyle and you have to go round there for dinner. For a club that’s so concerned about it’s global image rights,it sure knows how to screw things up.
Rafa won’t get my support,but the team will.

Carloseyebrow, The Shed End…

Completely disagree with the view that the fans are wrong. Here is a man who disrepected us and the club , he has made no effort to address this , to be honest it makes no difference to me if he did or not I don’t want him here. But it might have appeased some.

No class , embarrassing , uncomfortable ? Yep that’s him , not the fans.

dwd, CFCnet…

I’d be shocked if our supporters let FSW into their hearts, I think they are very intelligent and see past his retoric.

It’s very plausible Jose leaves Madrid at the end of the season, though I am not 100 % sure it will be to Chelsea (Emenalo’s role IMO is a huge issue for a guy like Jose). He simply does not get the same amount of respect at Madrid, that he has had at every other club he has managed. The media over there also have a hard time stomaching his behaviour.

Counting the days till Benitez is gone…

Chippy, The Shed End…

Petr Cech said when asked if the players were in shock to hear the fans shouting to Rafa: “Well you can’t change the history.” Pretty much sums up the whole thing.

I’m all for the team. If Rafa makes us play well and justifies his position over Robbie he’s done his job.

Samdwich, The Shed End…

As for the football on show today… just what I expected, a negative Benitez side. It looked like we were relying on the front 4 to go and do stuff on their own with the team being quite restricted in general – it’s hard enough to do it normally, even harder when you’re carrying dead weight in Torres.

Benitez starts building sides by making them solid at the back, then building from that – it’s quite a slow process, his Liverpool side were scoring more goals each season of his tenure until the final one. This clearly takes a long time, so I’ve no clue why he’s been appointed interim manager, all I’m expecting for the rest of the season is dour, negative football where we keep tight at the back and hope that our attacking midfielders can produce some magic and nick us a goal while Torres gets in their way.

Droy was my hero, CFCnet…

Some right, a lot of wrong in here.
Anyone upset with the sacking of RDM needs their head examined. That stuff happens, and RDM had been promoted well above a level he could claim to have reached.

Anyone who thinks they as fans can put limits on what RA does is just being totally unreasonable. The later Mears were a complete disaster for the club. As a reminder on this day, Dave Sexton died. He rowed with some of the clubs leading players, and the owners backed him and sold off our stars. A year or so having backed the wrong horse, they sacked it. And he promptly took two of the best remaining players – Webb and Hollins – off to QPR.

That was irresponsible owners doing what they felt like. And they followed it by refusing the next manager, who’d got them promotion and an exciting young team lead by Ray Wilkins, the decent car he needed to get around and watch a lot of matches. £19k and a Jaguar is what they refused him (a year). Having promoted one cheap reserve manager and a bunch of kids to the top level they tried it again Shellito, who not long before had been youth manager. He was totally out of his depth and we struggled till Bates and John Neal took over.

The Mears were crap owners. WE had a right to moan about them. And I haven’t even begun to go on about the stadium and building contracts. You can’t compare RA with a bad owner. He doesn’t come close.

But moaning about the Supply Teacher is, I think, fair game. RDM’s major qualification is his past career as a player here. It is fair to complain that Benitez’s past history is a disqualification.

Snedger, The Shed End…

Again, on the TV only, the 16th minute thing seemed a bit half arsed. It came across as if it took the first 30 seconds for most to cotton on to what was happening.

The worst thing about this situation for me is not RDM’s sacking, nor is it FSW’s appointment, it’s the sad sight and sound of Chelsea fans ripping into each other on here and on TV and radio phone in shows and so on. The bickering over Torres got boring but this is just awful. I can’t wait for this to all be over one way or another. I just have terrible visions of Blackburn-esque protests dogging us for months. I’m not blaming the fans as we didn’t ask for this but, the site of tatty A4 sheets being held up at every game for Lord knows how long isn’t great.

As a distraction I think I’ll throw myself into stamp collecting for a while or maybe I can trek to the South Pole for charity.

Davey Baby, The Shed End…

If Roman wanted to rip the fans apart, this was the way to do it. He may think it’s an ends to a means, that hiring Benitez will ensure CL qualification and then we can ditch him. If so, the fans are right to voice their disapproval, as in this case, the end certainly doesn’t justify the means, and he should be made aware of that for future reference. That’s the point here that people are missing. It will happen again if you don’t do anything about it. Not in our name, Roman. Not in our name. It’s horrible to see these sort of things going on Snedger, but it’s right that they do, that’s my opinion.

TorresForever, CFCnet…

I don’t understand Chelsea fans. Why do you boo Benitez but not Abramovich?

Chrisb, CFCnet…

Benitez can’t have you sent to a Siberian salt mine!

How do you feel about the whole Benitez situation, Chelsea fans? Have your say in the comments section below…