4 Changes that Rafa Benitez Needs to Make to Get Chelsea Winning At Home Again

Chelsea have struggled of late at Stamford Bridge, having only recorded one win in the last 6 matches with an overall record of 1-4-1. The Blues were unable to defeat Southampton as they gave up a 2-0 halftime lead to draw 2-2 midweek. And prior to that, Chelsea fell 1-0 to QPR in one of the shock results of the season.

Away from home, the Blues are undefeated in their last 6 matches with an immaculate overall record of 4-0-2. This indicates that their recent lack-luster performances at home have nothing to do with the ability of the team and all to do with a deeper issue in the squad. Recently, Chelsea have been labeled as “the worst Champions League winners ever”. This is mainly because of their failure to win the Club World Cup and to qualify for the knockout round of this year’s Champions League competition. It is understandable why they have been given this label and Rafa Benitez has been brought in to change that.

Benitez blamed the string of poor home results on the traveling teams’ tactics going into the matches. Blues fans still haven’t warmed up to the interim manager after two months in charge and won’t anytime soon unless Chelsea’s home record improves drastically. It is rare when a team feels uncomfortable playing in front of their own supporters and Benitez believes this could be having a negative effect on the players. The chair of a Chelsea supporters group blamed the poor results on a lack of confidence due to a ‘toxic’ environment but the Chelsea manager disagrees and believes it is something else. In an interview, he stated that when the Blues are away from home they have more space to play but when they are at the Bridge it is a much closer atmosphere meaning Chelsea has to be more precise.

In an interview after the match against Southampton, Rafa Benitez said: “We had chances, we had a lot of chances again. Taking our chances has to be the key”

“We can’t be happy drawing at home; The next game has to be totally different, we have to win. I am disappointed.”

Chelsea are hosting Arsenal on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, if the Blues want to turn around their poor home record under Rafa Benitez, they must not let the supporters have a negative effect on their play. Benitez and the players know what they are capable of and this weekend will be a good test to show it. The Chelsea supporters were not happy about Benitez coming in as interim manager back in November and their opinions will not likely change until the Blues can start giving good performances at home. Fans cutting Benitez some slack is not the solution for Chelsea. The solution is being able to play like they do when they are away from home while coping with the uncomfortable environment at the Bridge.

In my opinion, the four changes that Rafa Benitez needs to make pronto to get the team winning at home again are:

1. Start Fernando Torres and Demba Ba up front together to see what it produces,

2. If Torres doesn’t do well in that partnership, drop him and play him in League Cup and FA Cup games until he regains his form,

3. Sign Frank Lampard to a new one year contract (i.e. win over the fans and players), an

4. As a result of the above changes, Chelsea will start winning games and eventually the vocal minority will be silenced.

Does Benitez have what it takes to stand up and make changes? Or is he (or Abramovich) too stubborn to be adaptable? It’s a classic case of football supporters thinking that they know more than the manager. In this case, who is correct? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

Follow me on Twitter @jakevendramin for more insights on the world of football.

31 thoughts on “4 Changes that Rafa Benitez Needs to Make to Get Chelsea Winning At Home Again”

  1. Okay Jake, the Number 2 did you really think of that all by yourself???

    three previous Chelsea managers tried same exact thing and got sacked by Roman!!!!!!

    and regarding your suggestion number 3, why didn’t the Chelsea board and Rafa think of that. oh wait i know this, cause Roman hates frank Lampard guts.

    Tell you what Chelsea fans you guys should be treating your owner like gold for all that he has given you( even i dont agree with this approach but still)…he should freaking dump their butts and go buy himself another club and let the chelsea go back to the hole they were in before he came.

    1. I apologize Jake, if came across too strong on your writing…if you are going to be a good sports writer you need to be able to take criticism not put crap article like Gaffer did on Luis Suarez couple of weeks back 😉

        1. jeez gaffer, chill out. Just like you said according to my opinion on the article was that it was crap…the article was cheap attempt to garner more readers/mouse clicks by catering to the public and i expected better from you.

          Suarez is a easy target for the media and the other team fans love to hate him…i am not wearing rose tinted LFC glasses either…. Does he dive? yup, he absolutely does…do i want him to stop his theatrics? yup, i would love for him stop doing that and focus on other parts of the game.

          But on that instance during the Mansfield, did he handle the ball? yes he did but to think that player planned to “purposefully” handle the Ball into the net within a fraction of a second is just beyond belief…purposefully being the operative word here.

          Like i said before, Where was your article on how Vidic was a cheat? cause he definetly knew he was the last man to head the ball outside and ManU got a goalkick instead of LFC getting a corner or how Evra and Vidic were boderline offiside for the second goal? I did’nt see them running to the linesman and Refree to fess up, so by your standards are they cheats?

          1. I’m not going to chill out. If you call my articles crap, I’m going to respond.

            It wasn’t a “cheap attempt to garner more readers/mouse clicks by catering to the public.” If I wanted to do that, I would be posting slideshows all day like Bleacher Report does.

            If I wrote an article about every Premier League footballer who cheated in a game, this blog would end up being a pretty boring and negative place. Luis Suarez handled the ball in a very high profile FA Cup game.

            The Gaffer

    2. Michael Owen, so what are your ideas of what Benitez needs to change to improve Chelsea’s home form?

      The Gaffer

        1. So are you suggesting FA Cup game between Liverpool FC and Mansfield is an high profile game and carries more importance than the game between LFC and ManU?

          1. No, but Suarez blatantly handling the ball was far more obvious than the referee and assistant referee missing the ball glancing off Vidic’s head, while he was in an offside position. The first is cheating. The second instance was not.

            The Gaffer

  2. I don’t want to crap on the “4 things”, but…

    There are not 4 changes. There are three and a (potential) conclusion.

    1 & 2 contradict each other: play them together, or don’t play them together… Besides, if Torres is as crap as he’s been playing and relegated to knockout competitions, he has about 2 matches left this year.

    If you play Ba and Torres upfront together, there’s no way you can play a midfield four that includes the decreasingly mobile Frank Lampard. Even at his height of power, he was part of a MF 5 that left guys like Essien to do the hard graft so Lampard could hang out nearer Drogba. There’s no way you could even think to play with a back three as long as John Terry in the mix.


  3. Simple, These below exact words from Roman to the fans
    -” Shut the F up and stop harassing the home team or I will appoint Mark Hughes as the manager and I will sell the club”

    The problem with Chelsea is because that the team is scared to touch the ball when the home fans are against them….like Dust mentioned kick the ungrateful fans out and play behind closed doors and watch Chelsea go unbeaten at home turf till the end of the season…Stamford Bridge has the same atmosphere now as Anfield when Roy Hodgson was managing LFC.

    Also personnel wise they need one more player either De Rossi or Javier Maschreno or Eissen in his prime type of players to stablise the Midfield and take charge of the game when the shoulders start dropping.

  4. Torres is done. Get over it and move on.

    Lampard doesn’t want a 1 year contract. Roman is not going to offer him a 3-year contract which is what Lampard wants.

    The only way to silence the vocal minority will be for Roman to fire Benitez and unless Chelsea lose consistently that won’t happen. Also, now that Guardiola has rejected Chelsea only a pre-agreement for Mourinho to come back will satisfy the Plastics fans.

    How about the fans just getting over the firing of RDM and start supporting the players and manager. Stop the silly applause at 16 minutes at every game. It’s getting tiresome.

  5. hahaha whatever Gaffer…it’s your website so i guess you can put out whatever you want.
    i see you have disabled the option to reply to your posts lol.

    If you put stuff out there in the internet to the public, you need to be able to take as you dish out…just my 2 cents.

    but as a peace offering, i will say this though i like listening to the poscasts and reading the articles however _ _ _ _ 😉 i think they are and generally the site is doing a good job so keep up the good work.

    1. I haven’t disabled the reply to comments feature. Each comment only allows a set amount of replies to that initial comment.

      I don’t mind constructive criticism and a good debate. No worries.

      The Gaffer

        1. So you made an assumption over something you didn’t notice or understand and lamely attempted to mock The Gaffer over it. Well played.

  6. Its simple, stop playing at home on Wednesdays!!! I think we might be cursed or something. First QPR, Swansea then Southampton…. But on a more serious note I do not understand whats going on at the bridge, before we lost that unbeaten home record against liverpool, we had GUTS, we were VERY hard to beat at home, now you got this teams coming to the bridge to get 3 points. I miss those days….

  7. Man, I do not know what exactly you do,but your suggestions are really really stupid.

    1- try and see what happens?!

    2- if torres does not perform?! Hello!

    3- sign FL! that is original, i.e a player is bigger than the club!? wow!

    4- Conclusion!? based on those tried and failed assumptions!?

  8. The team needs a) leadership and b) experience. Luiz will do well from a set piece in one game, and then place the ball in the rafters time and again for several games running. He makes an effort, but it’s the wrong kind, and this failing pervades the younger and newer members of the team. In the last ten minutes of the recent Southampton match, Chelsea continually sent long balls to the top of the opposing box to no effect whatsoever. Oscar has great potential, but is easily rattled. Ramires will put in a great defensive show one game and then revert to countless fouls and errant passes the next. Mata can look like a genius for two games out of three, but in the third you would think he was absent. There is nothing left to say about Torres. Ba and Hazard have been pushing the team in recent matches. But there is far too little leadership (Terry is missed) or experience in managing and retaining leads or fighting back from being a goal down. Someone needs to step up and take responsibility for these things and assert himself and lead by example – much as Terry did against Liverpool before Suarez ran into him. Lamps has done the best job at this recently, but you can’t do much when you’re on the bench or subbed out in the 70th minute. Chelsea are in for a long transition at this rate, and it’s not looking like the best managed transition, is it?

  9. the home losses are hard to take but they’re flukes and beginning this weekend chelsea will beat Arsenal and Chelsea will be rolling again.

  10. Now that the Russian crook finally got his grubby little hands on the champions league he will become bored rather quickly and look to sell the club. They are destined to go back to being a mid table team and being a cup team.

  11. The solution to chelsea’s problem ℓ̊Ƨ̷̜̩̌̋ @ da end of tis season when Benitez leaves. Look back to da days ☀̤̣̈̇f Morinho, the guys have fighting spirit.
    Why ℓ̊Ƨ̷̜̩̌̋ mata always playing even wen he looks ℓi̶̲̥̅ke̲̅ ̶̥ he gat ₪☺ clue ☀̤̣̈̇f wat else to do. U̶̲̥̅̊я̲̅ two defencesive midfielder can dictate the game, mostly i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ recent weeks we lose out our midfield to the opposition then gets beaten for it. Lampard ℓ̊Ƨ̷̜̩̌̋ not the player he used to be S̶̲̥̅Ơ̴̴̴̴̴̴͡ get A̶̲̥̅̊ decent DMF ɑ̤̥̈̊πϑ pls stop this sentimental work. I̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ M̶̲̥̅γ̲̣̣̥ opinion this following players should sit out the game
    Mata *torres *cezar
    Cezar i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ the last game against southaton (sorry for the spelling, did nothing to input i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ the team, torres as not being A̶̲̥̅̊ chelsea player ever since even his runs contradict the team. Mata shld rest, lampard out for oscar, ramires with warning ☀̤̣̈̇f ₪☺ unnecessary offensive work bt shld sit i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ defensively. ɑ̤̥̈̊πϑ above all bring back Morinho who doesn’t care who U̶̲̥̅̊ are or where U̶̲̥̅̊ Ω̴̩̩̩rє̲̣̣̣̥ from

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