Why Rafael Benítez may never be accepted by Chelsea fans
Affection remains for Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, making it a tough introduction for ‘Rafa the Blue’
Rafael Benítez pretended to busy himself with the seating arrangements on his bench, Roman Abramovich staring out impassively from his box high up in the west stand while the mutiny rippled round the arena. Neither betrayed a flicker of a reaction, the Spaniard later trying to suggest he had not heard the abuse but, inside, both must have been reeling at the brutality of the reception. His adopted side had yet to kick a ball and, already, this season’s interim manager appeared to be fighting a losing battle.
Another week of blood-letting in south-west London has ended with a club in open revolt. The boos were bellowed prior to kick-off, the roar punctured only by a livid chorus of “Fuck off Benítez, you’re not wanted here” spat viciously from all sides. The pitch-side announcer had made the mistake of actually using the new manager’s name when offering his pre-match introduction as the Spaniard ambled from the tunnel’s mouth and into the maelstrom. There was to be no playful wave to the crowd, no roared approval for the new man at the helm. Rather, the smiles and handshakes Benítez shared with members of Manchester City’s coaching staff represented the extent of his warm welcome.
Full story: http://beta.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/nov/25/rafael-benitez-chelsea-fans