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An Open Letter to All Chelsea Fans

rafa benitez chelsea An Open Letter to All Chelsea Fans

Dear disgruntled fans of Chelsea Football Club,

It’s time to stop. It’s time to stop this petty belittling of Rafa Benitez. Your point has been made to Roman Abramovich and the board that you disagreed with the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and subsequent hiring of Rafa. As a fan of multiple mediocre professional sports teams here in the lovely state of Ohio, you learn to take things with a grain of salt.  At least try to look at things with more of an open mind.

Chelsea have not had a full 6 days break between games since November 17. That is nearly a 2 month run of having a midweek game EVERY week. Normal travel and exertion, coupled around a very taxing trip to Japan, has got to be very difficult on a person’s body. The fact of the matter is, Rafa is not the problem currently. He is the scapegoat for problems that lie much deeper within the Chelsea hierarchy where it seems that the players have way more control over the situation than is necessary. The squad is clearly not deep enough. Most of Chelsea’s league performances have been very good as evidenced by stabilizing their 3rd spot. Clearly the cup performances have been disappointing, but it seems as if the performances lack more of the cutting edge that we have seen in league games.

Clearly an emphasis has been put on the league finish by Abramovich. He knows the importance of finishing in the top 4. Last season was a magical run. Mired in disappointment over AVB not being ready for that intense player power grab and languishing in 6th position, up steps a Chelsea legend who rallies the fragile group with great camaraderie and defensive mindsets. Brilliant player manager for one-off, knockout style games. But simply put, I was unimpressed with his tactical efforts in a lot of league matches this season. I don’t think he deserved the sack but, over time, I was unsure about his long term prospects. Previous struggles at West Brom may have pointed towards a bigger issue.

Start with the use of Mata, Hazard and Oscar all at once. Clearly, Mata is the best of the bunch, but all three are very technical players. However, they seemed to narrow up very easily. All three want to turn and face the ball to collect, and then subsequently dribble one-on-one with a defender to create space. Teams were happy to sit off Chelsea as a result and just clog up the area just outside the top of the box. Not enough width and the underuse of Victor Moses were a huge detriment to Chelsea’s early season attacking efforts in tough matches.

Two other glaring weaknesses are the lack of pace in the back half of the field and lack of a future captain. It is clear that the board and Roman don’t always seem to agree. The jettison of squad depth over the summer was shocking to say the least. It is obvious that Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel both lacked the pace to play the holding midfield role against teams willing to press high up the field like Shaktahr and Juventus.

Nobody on the pitch in that loss to Juventus showed a will to lead the team forward. Sometimes eras are just meant to come to an end. Rafa has been around the block before. The only man to unseat the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga twice, and giving Liverpool it’s crowning achievement in recent memory, dethroning a dominant Milan side in a thriller. He has made mistakes just like anyone else, and I’m sure the time off helped him evaluate himself. The fact that everyone harps on him for playing mind games is crazy. He tried to play along, and it occasionally backfired. Let us not forget that some of the Liverpool-Chelsea Champions League ties were some of the most drama-filled matches in recent history.

The fact of the matter is this: Lighten up and enjoy the ride. Demanding utter perfection out of these players is crazy. Abramovich clearly cares about the club, as evidenced by him saving it from Ken Bates. He has invested loads into the club, and the board/ older players seem to get in the way of the business decisions he wants to make. There is a brilliant business mind locked up there, whether or not you agree with his policy on managers. Ever since Mourinho got into the first of many spats with ownership over his career, things were new levels of great for Chelsea Football Club.

Woe is you for airing your petty grievances. The stadium is a place to go to wear your support for the cause, 100%. Rafa needs this stepping stone to get back on the international scene. And who knows, maybe if fans are more willing to be reasonable, then great things can still be achieved this season. It’s all a part of the sporting drama we love so much.

Sincerely,
Justin Yerina

This entry was posted in Chelsea, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to An Open Letter to All Chelsea Fans

  1. Alfredo says:

    This is incredibly condescending.

    • Justin says:

      How so? The fans made their points known, but at the end of the day, Roman and the board are the people in power and the fans are not. It is time to move on.

      Blaming the manager for everything is a cop out. Do you honestly believe he is solely at fault for the team’s “struggles” this season? Third position is about where we had this squad pegged pre-season anyway. That is exactly how things have worked out.

  2. Justin says:

    Here is a word of advice for the protesting fans: The only way you make a real statement to the board is by not showing up to games. Hitting them in the pockets is the difference. Paying all the money to show up and just yelling your displeasure will not change a thing.

    I don’t agree with that strategy here, but to each their own.

  3. ed of course says:

    The underlying assumption in this ‘open letter’ and subsequent discussion is – Anti-Benitez elements are logical and literate beings who are willing to alter their behavior.

  4. Joe Tyler says:

    As a massive Chelsea fan, who regularly attends matches, and runs one of the biggest supporters clubs in the uk, what you dont realise is this is not about results, or the team, it is that we have hired someone that we hated before he arrived, still hate and will always hate. People like me who put their lives, passion, time, feelings and money into something that means so much to them have every right to air their feelings. Players and managers come and go, the fans and the club live forever and we want what is best for us, at the moment we are not getting it.

    • Justin says:

      point missed. how can you say that? just based on research on what the club was pre-Abramovich would point to a club that was potentially headed for the abyss under Ken Bates.

      Roman may not always make the right moves, but posting a profit last fiscal year is certainly a positive move. Winning another cup double last year was a wonderful achievement, and their league position has improved 3 places.

      Again, what exactly is there to loathe at the moment? Are you that crazed for success every season? Sometimes, results don’t fall your way. It happens to the best of them. Ask United last year.

    • daddyblue says:

      What is important is what is best for the team, the negative effect that these so called fans are having on the team is disgusting.

    • Justin says:

      Can you explain this mentality that UK supporters have towards US fans? IS there a reason why we can’t have our opinions without being backlashed for not “being there” in the early years?

      I just fail to see the relevancy. Success is a wonderful thing, take it in stride and enjoy the good times. Not many clubs have an owner that is willing to pump in the resources Abramovich has, no?

      • Joe Tyler says:

        As I said I run one of the biggest supporters clubs in the uk and as a result speak to cfc fans frequently from all over the world. In fact I had a good chat with the lads from belgium in the stands on sunday. We have hired a man who a few years ago openly admitting to hating chelsea. He is only here to boost his own stock and has no interest in making chelsea what so ever.

        • Justin says:

          Things like that happen in rivalries. People are capable of changing. Learning from mistakes and trying to do what is best for themselves and their career.

          Those are the facts of business life. In order for Rafa to get back to where he wants in his career, he needs results badly. There are shortcomings with this squad, and the summer dealings/Africa Cup are showing that with this heavy heavy fixture list

          • Joe Tyler says:

            Thanks for proving my point completely. Where rafa wants to be? Who cares?

          • Justin says:

            Nobody does. You’re right. But that’s what happens when you give somebody an interim tag. He wanted to get back into coaching, and he was seemingly the best available at the time.

            We can both agree that Di Matteo was sacked unfairly, but who would be doing better at this moment in time who would have been willing to take this task on?

    • Henry says:

      How does your behaviour help the club in the short or long term? Roman is the boss and, like him or not, he will always call the shots. He may have fired a lot of managers,popular and unpopular with fans alike, but at the end of the day Chelsea continue to remain one of the top clubs in the world. Without him, where would Chelsea be? The man likes to win and is willing to do whatever it takes to do so, even if it means losing money in firing managers.

  5. Jamie Clarke says:

    Woe is you Justin for cursing the fans for airing our grievances. Woe is you for calling those grievances petty. Are you sure you are even a fan? Very very crazy article. You sound like you work for Rafa!!!!!

  6. Joe Tyler says:

    Good, more chance Benitez will be sacked. Would happily be relegated if thats what it took to see him leave. I’ll be having a party when that day comes.

    • Ranners says:

      What an idiot you are, get behind the team as suggested above, or, if you really don’t like the current set up stay away. It is people like you who are making the atmosphere at SB so sour and thus directly affecting home performances. In fact, as you say you represent supporters, why not make an appointment to see Abramovich and tell him what you think, I am sure he would give some of his time so that you can explain what you think of him.

      • Joe Tyler says:

        I always support the team, in fact in one of the few remaining who is still cheering Torres. Unfortunatly if our protest affect the team then so be it a the moment. If people like me never attended, how would they know how we felt? I can’t just phone up Roman, how ridiculous

  7. Jamie Clarke says:

    We are very sure to post a loss next year for this crazy season,do you know how much we stand to lose if we miss out on europe next season? Rafa’s record is the worst of any manager since Roman bought the club,there are no assurances that we will make top 4 given what we have seen so far. Go check his record at liverpool,He wins the big matches and struggles in the easy ones. How do you explain losing to QPR,Corinthians and the others?

    • Justin says:

      Reasons I listed above may help. Roberto was a great servant, and deserved a full year, but simply wasn’t a good tactician either.

      The manager is not responsible for every game. Open your mind and check out other possibilities and look at all scenarios. It will fascinate you.

      • James says:

        You need to explain this comment with regard to Di Matteo being poor tactically. Barcelona he was near perfect, ditto against Bayern. The games that cost him his job, Juve home and away we were very unlucky. A win at home and we wouldn’t have needed 3 points away. We weren’t that bad away, 2 deflected goals, and a third in injury time. The worst we actually played was Shaktar Away and we simply tried too soon to play like Barca against a very very good counter attacking team.

        Tactically he did very little wrong. See Spurs away, Arsenal away and Man Utd. At home. TSpursnfor 35 minutes and Man Utd. Until we went to 10 men, was the besti have seen chelsea play since we beat Barca 4-2 at home,

        And you have to go along way further back to when we had Zola and Poyet going forward to find the flair Robbie was building.

  8. Ashley says:

    I’m a Man United fan but can totally understand disgruntled Chelsham fans stance. He insulted the Chelsea fans directly when he was managing the scum. He’s done very poorly since taking charge of them.

  9. Jamie Clarke says:

    Oh Justin,Trust me,the manager is responsible for every game. EVERY GAME!! He knew the status of the team before greedily taking the job,he acted like a politician making empty promises at the press conference. He said..’I will win the chelsea faithful over with wins’.
    He had 2 great opportunities to do that,he failed on both occasions. We scraped through Monterey and lost to Corinthians. I can only imagine what Rafa would be saying had he won that CWC. He would have been claiming all the plaudits for that success,why cant he take all the blame then if things go south? Cmon,wake up and smell the coffee.

  10. Jamie Clarke says:

    Good managers take the pressure off their players by claiming to be at fault when things dont go right. SAF,Mou,Capello and Guardiola all do it. Rafa has never taken the blame for anything,at any of his teams. He always has some reason why it wasnt his fault. The scum! He should simply come out and say…hey y’all,i have bitten more than i can chew. Can you employ someone with a good footballing brain to help me out? Also,he needs to understand that he isnt a very likeable person,he hasnt got that aura of respect,yet he goes about his business like he is some demi god.

    • Justin says:

      Sir Alex? The same man that berates the officials every chance he gets if hi team drop points?

      Fergie is a brilliant manager, but to say he accepts blame all the time is laughable.

      Sure, Rafa has some qualities that you don’t necessarily adore as a person. However, there are plenty of coaches all around the world in different sports who are the same way. It is the controlling aspect of the job

  11. Rendevouz With Rama says:

    Justin sounds like someone employed by a PR firm that’s been hired by CFC. Benitez won’t apologise for referring to CFC supporters as plastic fans. There can be no rapport until he does.

    • Justin says:

      Supporting my club’s decisions, no matter how strange they may be, makes me seem like a PR guy? Again, why exactly does he have to apologize? I’ve never seen a manager apologize for playing mind games with a fan base before

      • Joe Tyler says:

        Ive never seen an opposition manager attack a fan base before

        • Justin says:

          He made fun of the plastic flags that promotional departments gave out to the fans. Big deal. Dumb promotions are funny. Nothing to see here. Only fans of the club know how much they care. He is here to do a job, and no matter what conspiracies you spin up, he is doing his best with what he has. This is a multi-faceted issue.

          • Joe Tyler says:

            If you had done some more reasearch you may have read the following, I would never take that job, in respect for my former team at Liverpool, no matter what. For me there is only club in England, and that’s Liverpool.

          • Joe Tyler says:

            He also had his comments made into plaques which still proudly hang at liverpools training ground.

  12. jtm371 says:

    the fat waiter messed his bed now he has to lay in it.he has know one to blame but himself like your has said be careful what you say it might come back to bite you in the A$$.

  13. James says:

    Refreshing to see proper fans posting on websites. Sick of wannabe fans who think they know what they are talking about. I have to disagree with the article because I personally feel that Rafa has made poor tactical decision which have affected our team. I can understand not play Hazard, Mata and Oscar every single game (although I think Messi gets a rest maybe twice a year) but When Benitez came in we decided to drop off and play very much on the counter attack. People seemed to miss that our problem was in defence, but in defending whilst playing the way we did under Robbie. We should have continued playing the same way this season, and written off trophies. Now we have a completely different style than at the start of the season (where we were the best attacking team in the league) and just needed to sort out our defending. It also doesn’t help that Torres effectively lost Robbie his job (because we had no back up that he trusted) and now that we do he sits on the bench.

    • Lkc says:

      When you sort out your defence, you have to compromise the all out attacking style. That’s what Banitez trying to do.

      • James says:

        You don’t need to go from a possession based team to counter attacking to have a good defence. That’s how Benitez has tried to solve our problems and it is a mistake. Oscar and Mata are perfect for a possession based game.

  14. Zane says:

    I don’t quite understand these fans. For me it isn’t about the coach/manager but the players and success rate. Have you people maybe heard of transition in football?

    Did any of you expect this side to play champagne football and winning 90% of the games? My answer is no. We were destined to get knocked out of Europe anyway. Look at Juventus and Shakhtar,two complete teams who’s players have multiple seasons together as a unit. Well we Chelsea have new players,a new system and a new playing style.

    RDM successfully had a passing team but one who were leaking goals right left and centre. He later on then made grave mistakes in leaving certain players out,playing a starting eleven non stop with one change here and there and not fixing the problems.

    Benitez on the other hand came and tightened up the defense,plays probably the similar possession style RDM implemented but as a unit. The thing is Benitez doesn’t have a certain Moses now as an option for the direct approach on one wing to stretch teams. With the players he has now,the team is narrow and finds it hard to penetrate tight defenses.

    That isn’t his fault and the season could have been worse under a remaining RDM who clearly didn’t know how to fix the defense. Fans have to realise that this man is an interim manager who will probably leave at the end of this season so why the fuss? Hate? That’s stupid. I’d rather support my team before I anger myself with hate for a manager who isn’t a long term employee of the club anyway. All I want is a top four finish this season to be able to compete in the UCL next season. Anything more than than that is a bonus.

  15. Smokey Bacon says:

    I think they should get off Benitez’ back. After all, give it another few weeks and he’ll be one if their longest serving managers :)

  16. David says:

    It was clear that RDM was running out of ideas to get Chelsea winning consistently. The boss decided it was time to change now rather than later. Roman has always done this and it has always worked. Benitez may not have been everyone’s choice but who was out there that could do the job? Benitez, like him or not, is very good tactically as seen by how he helped Liverpool with lesser talent beat Real Madrid and Barcelona. So for the short term it made sense to hire someone who has experience in the EPL with a decent record.

    Just look at how he was able to change his team and tactics over the weekend to force a replay in the FA Cup. Compare that with Mr Rodgers at Liverpool who was tactically out-thought by a 3rd tier manager.

    Continuing to show displeasure with the manager at games only hurts the team, not help it.

  17. Brian W says:

    Incredibly condescending. Of course, the fans in Manchester and Liverpool were allowed to engage in open warfare upon their owners and were praised for being “loyal supporters.” Now, we Chelsea stand up to let the owner know his mistake and that Rafa has no place at SW6 and we are hanged.

    Pathetic double standards.

  18. KTBFFH says:

    The day you pay for my matchday tickets and membership fees and invest in the time and emotion I put into Chelsea Football Club then you are free to instruct me how to support MY club. Till then I respectfully suggest you stick to your “multiple mediocre professional sports franchises in the state of Ohio”

  19. Rick Parker says:

    I understand the sentiment of wanting people to stop complaining about Benitez, but the fact of the matter is it is never going to stop for as long as he remains in charge of Chelsea. There are several reasons for this.

    He disrespected the fans and even though he had ample opportunity to apologize for his comments about not just the fans, but the club – chances that could have easily cooled off a lot of the tensions fans have towards him – he refused. This shows a lack of disrespect for the fans, that even if he does harbor, should never be shown.

    He’s not a very likable person. You can see this from his refusal to apologize for comments when he took over at Chelsea. And the fact that a lot of people absolutely hate him. You have him engaging in open warfare with Materazzi who he managed at Inter even now.

    These are all reasons that fans and just people in general have to dislike/hate Benitez. I don’t like him for those reasons.

    But the reason I hate him the most and want him away from my club is the simple fact that he is just not a very good manager or anywhere as tactically aware as people like to spout off that he is (most of whom are Liverpool supporters, and we all know how deluded they can be even on a good day).

    First, let’s look at Rafa’s history at Liverpool. He had a good run there, admittedly. He got some nice pieces of silverware. However, this was done with a team that he didn’t put together. When he did start making his own moves, the club suffered. and aside from one season where Liverpool managed to finish second, immediately after that they dropped to 7th and Rafa was sacked. Rafa likes to blame his disappointing league performance on the fact that he was outspent by Manchester United. However, over the 6 years Rafa Benitez was in charge at Liverpool, he spent over £248 million on transfers, while bringing in only £150 million from the sale of players. Taking a quick glance at Manchester United’s spending, you will discover that over the same period Man U spent £184 million on purchasing players while making back £162 million in player sales. Now, I am no mathematical genius, but it looks to me like Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool spent £76 million MORE than Manchester United did in that time frame. If something doesn’t work, it can’t possibly be his fault.

    So after he was sacked at Liverpool, he took over at Inter Milan. Inter Milan at the time was one of the strongest teams in Europe. A total juggernaut. This seemed like it should have been the easiest job in the world based on the talent. However, Rafa somehow managed to turn one of Europe’s strongest teams into a mid-table side in a mediocre Serie A. By the time he was sacked in December, Inter were 13 points behind the league leaders in 6th place with 2 games in hand. But you know, a lot of people like to sweep his terrible record at Inter underneath the rug because, you know, he won the Club World Cup that year. With one of Europe’s strongest squads. Against a team from the Congo who somehow managed to get to the final.

    He has shown his tactical weaknesses at Chelsea. He refuses to make changes before the 80th minute, and when he does, it is typically like-for-like. Look at the 2ng leg League Cup semi against Swansea. I am not going to fault his lineup on that one, but when Chelsea failed to get at least 1 goal back in the first half, it was clear that more of an all out attacking strategy needed to be taken. So Rafa makes a change in the 70th something minute (going off of memory here sorry) like-for-like at the back and not giving us any extra attackers, then bringing Demba Ba in at the 80th minute for Torres when we still needed 3 goals to advance to the final, instead of oh, I don’t know, playing them both together up front so we had a bit more firepower to try and get a couple of goals before the whistle.

    He did the same thing in the CWC, not bringing in any additional attackers when we are a goal down until the 80-84th minute, when these changes might actually be helpful between the 60th and 70th minutes, when the attacking reinforcements have more than 5-10 minutes to actually get something done. Of course that doesn’t excuse the very disappointing performances from the team in those games, especially in the CWC which was disgraceful, but it doesn’t help them either. And isn’t that what a manager is supposed to be able to do? Use tactics to overcome shortcomings in his own squad and exploit weakness in his opponents?

    The best thing Rafa has done at Chelsea, and I will give him credit where credit is due on this, is to move David Luiz up into the midfield.

    Rafa supporters/apologists like to point out that RDM was tactically weak, but I don’t really see it. In fact, tactically the only questionable thing he did was go with a wonky lineup in that 2nd CL match against Juve. Which really wasn’t questionable tactically, as much as it was a ballsy move. But with the terrible form Torres had been in then, it could have worked. And if it did RDM would have been hailed as a genius. Maybe we’d be better off in the league, maybe we’d be worse if RDM was still there. I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I do think that RDM should have had this window to shore up the attack and plug the holes in our back line, then given to March before getting the axe. That was the same chance AVB had. Anyway, getting off topic. We are talking about Rafa here.

    Let’s look at Rafa’s performance at Chelsea. With the draw against Brentford, that puts Rafa’s win percentage with CFC at 52.6%. The only Chelsea manager that has been worse since 1998 is AVB. And the fans all wanted him out too. Why? Because he was in over his head. The same as Benitez is only AVB has more of an upside as a manager than Rafa.

    Now, I am a Chelsea fan. I want Chelsea to win every single game. I don’t care who is in charge, I want my club to win. That doesn’t mean I have to want who is in charge in charge. That doesn’t mean that just because I think Rafa Benitez is a tactically inept, fat waiter who is just at Chelsea to attempt to further his budding career as a blogger and that he has no business managing at the top flight that I ever, EVER want to see Chelsea lose. So you can’t say just because I don’t support him I am “not supporting the club.” Because I don’t view it that way. I don’t view blindly going with whatever the club does and not being expected to hold a different opinion to what is the best direction for the club as the only way of “supporting the club.” Nor do I think that people that support Rafa are “doing it wrong.” I disagree with it, but we all want the same thing – for Chelsea to win.

    Hell, I think what is happening with the club telling Lampard to hit the bricks when his contract is up is incredibly wrong, disrespectful to an incredibly talented club legend, as well as short sighted when it comes to helping younger players develop (look at how Man U has used Giggs and Scholes to help mentor young players coming up. They aren’t just telling them thanks for your service, now don’t let the door hit you on the way out). That doesn’t mean I am going to suddenly quit supporting Chelsea just because I strongly disagree with how the club appears to be acting in regards to that.

    You mention you are from Ohio, and that you have a long history of supporting mediocre teams. I know how supporting mediocre to terrible teams goes. Let’s say just for the sake of argument that you are a Browns fan. The Browns are terrible. That’s just a fact. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to support them. You will still watch every week and hope that they win. You will hope that the powers that be will make changes and take steps that will transform them into a contender instead of the butt of every joke about the AFC. You will complain when things don’t work out, or if the club makes a move that you feel will not be in the best interests of a team that you love. That is all that those of us who do not want Rafa being in charge want. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t supporting your team right just because you complain about a decision made that you don’t think is at all wise.

    The other thing about supporting teams is there are expectations placed upon clubs of any sport as to what the fans expect from them. Obviously, for Chelsea, a team that has had considerable investment into it by Roman, and has been known as a top side, the expectation is to be a title challenger every year and to make it to late rounds of knock-out cup competitions. With the amount of money Chelsea has spent on its players, the insane amount of high priced talent on the team, and coming off of a season where we won the Champion’s League, going into this season I was expecting us to win the title. Or at the very least if we were going to be in 3rd place, it would be a very narrow third and possibly going back and forth with City and United. It would still be close and we would still be challenging for 1st up until the last. I don’t view that as an unreasonable expectation. Nor do I think “just enjoy the ride and hope we finish better than last season” is a good mindset to have. From this team, I expect more. Chelsea is not a mid-table team, and we shouldn’t look at their performances like they are. If we finish mid-table, that is failure for this team. Roman hasn’t invested that much money into the club for them to finish in 6th. We’re not a newly promoted team that just needs to build on what they were doing right last season and try to finish a bit higher on the table, where 6th place can be considered a respectable finish. That’s where expectations are. Not “oh, it’ll be nice if we finish in a Champion’s League spot.” Is that you, Arsene Wenger? Is this me? Of course, that doesn’t mean if god forbid we end up missing out on a CL spot this season (won’t put anything past Agent Benitez), next season I won’t be right back watching every game and hoping that we win ever single one. Because I love Chelsea, and I support them. But goddamnit, that doesn’t mean I always have to agree with them.

    • James says:

      I don’t think I could agree any more with this point. Completely agree. I would also point out Rafa getting credit for putting Luiz in midfield should be taken with a pinch of salt, everyone could see he should be tried in that position. I agree with the Robbie tactics approach, maybe not his tactics away in the Cl but we got a very strong group. We only had to realize that against the strongest teams (city, united, Juve and Shaktar) we weren’t quite good enough to play a high pressure, high possession based game yet. Against everyone else we faced we were. Basically teams that counter attack very, very well we hadn’t got that balance sorted yet, Di Matteo saw that we weren’t far away at all.

    • dust says:

      Now THAT is a post…get in there Rick Parker! I don’t agree with most of the assertions but it is passionate!

    • Justin says:

      Rick, thank you for being respectful about your disagreements. I probably should have left out some of the jabs in the article, but too late now.

      As far as Benitez goes, he is not long term. I personally at the time did not understand the decision, but you suck it up and bear down until the end of the season.

      This is an extremely fragile squad at the moment. Young players look like they are playing not to lose in fear of inciting the crowd’s reaction towards Benitez’s tactics. Having young players playing in fear of making a mistake is not healthy. At least while in the stadium, and for the full 90 minutes, personal grievances need to be left elsewhere. The club are not “in danger.” Show your support and then air your concerns pre and post match. That can’t be that difficult to achieve?

      • Rick Parker says:

        How much of these young players “playing in fear of making a mistake” is because they don’t want to hear the fans sing to Rafa “you don’t know what you’re doing” (which he clearly doesn’t) and how much of it is because Rafa is just a total dick of a person in training? Hell, even Phil Collins Enthusiast Steven Gerrard has said that all he ever wanted to hear from Benitez was “good job” and he never ever got that. He alienates players because he is a jerk who doesn’t know what he is doing. He constantly tries to fit square pegs into round holes. He alienates fans as well by being a jerk who doesn’t know what he is doing. I really don’t think that the fans wanting Benitez out has anything to do with the poor form at home. The fans always cheer for the players. The only exception to that has been a couple of times this season towards Torres, but this comes after 2.5 years of singing his name and being completely behind him and still getting poor performances.

        Plus chanting “you’re not welcome here” and “you don’t know what you’re doing” at Benitez is the only way the fans have to protest his appointment to Roman. It works a lot better than some poxy “petition” that has been floating around.

        Last season, fans were singing “Jose Mourinho” and “you’re getting sacked in the morning” to AVB. Nobody batted an eye at that. Why? Because AVB did a terrible job at Chelsea, and it was clear that he didn’t have the experience or the right mindset to manage a club such as Chelsea and he kept using questionable tactics that didn’t work. I fail to see any difference between fans being upset with AVB’s performance and Benitez. The only difference is Benitez didn’t start the season, he came in midway and is well on his way to doing worse than AVB did.

        You say that the club is not “in danger” but I am not sure what you mean by that. I think the club is very much in danger this season. We are only 4 points ahead of Tottenham, so we don’t even have 3rd place locked down, and we are 6 points behind City and 11 points away from the top. That’s bad. We could easily see Spurs and Everton take over the 3 and 4 spots on the table. With the way we have been playing, I would say we are in danger of that. And that is on Rafa, not the fans.

  20. Krawmn says:

    all these problems stem from the owner and board. signing big ticket strikers for year while failing to build a strong midfield, have more wingers, and previously not having a top right back. changing managers is a problem, but the squad itself hasn’t been good enough to “play football” confidently in any given match without kicking the ball around in 2nd gear, lacking cohesion.

  21. Fernando says:

    You touch on some valid points in this piece.

    However don’t tell supporters what to think, who to like etc.

    You’ve undermined your points by going off in a ridiculous rant. Absurd.

  22. Stateside says:

    All valid points here, but I think the main idea is that Roman, the board, Rafa and the players have seen the signs, heard the chants, rants and songs. They get it, fans are not happy with the clubs decisions. BUT all of these attempts are not going to change these decisions. Continued negativity during matches is not going to help the team execute. It’s time to move forward and support them unconditionally. If your disagreement is so strong that you can’t keep from hating out loud, don’t go. Your absence will speak much louder than hateful rants. If they fall out of the top four then the SB fans should know the part they played in the downward spiral. Of course it goes the other way too, support your team for success and you play a part in that as well.

    • James says:

      I understand your point, but it is too easy to confuse acceptance with simply not booing Rafa. If everyone stopped booing him next week, the board may think, ah well maybe we can keep Rafa permanently. I say continue to tell Benitez he is a moron.

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