Rafael Benitez is on a hunt for another English club

Rafael Benitez

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has seen many ups and downs during his short tenure with The Blues, and despite his descent performance during this short spell, he could never be a popular manager among fans ever since he took over the charge from Roberto Di Matteo in November 2012. It is now confirmed that he will be discharged from his managerial duties after this season, hence he has started his hunt for another job with an EPL club probably. Though, he has kept open all the options, but England will be his first priority. Some of his noticeable achievements for Blues include Europa League final in Amsterdam against Benfica and second one is qualifying Chelsea for the Championship league by finishing on the top four at EPL defeating Aston Villa by 2-1 on Saturday. Normally, a manager with this kind of record doesn’t have to go all of a sudden, but he faced wide criticism over his failure in the EPL and more especially for his bold statements in the media which never let him become a popular manager among fans. Since he was appointed on interim basis, he had to go, but nobody had expected in such a way. Notably, he has won the manager of the month award for April and has also done some brilliant work at his previous clubs, hence finding a suitable placement should not be a concerned for him.

The face who is expected to take his place is fifty-year-old Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho who has also worked with Chelsea back from 2004 to 2007, though these are just rumors running in the media and nothing has been officially confirmed either by the cub or Mourinho. Talking about his new hunt for a respectable place in England, he said, “The Premier League is a fantastic league. My family still live in England, so it would be easier. If not, I will go abroad. There are two options for the future: to get a project, two or three years to build a team like at Liverpool; or maybe a top side with money, where you can buy some players and challenge for trophies from the beginning.”

He further added about Chelsea’s Championship qualification that “I am really proud, not just for me but for my staff and everyone involved because we have been working very hard from the beginning and you know that it was not the perfect environment. I remember in England some managers, with hostility in the stands, they couldn’t cope with this situation.”

Chelsea’s Rafael Benitez hopeful to shine at Europa League final

Rafael Benitez

While Rafael Benitez’s role as Chelsea manager is going to end after this season, there is something he can cheer about. Earlier, he promised two things: one he wanted to see his club finishing among top four in the EPL, and second he also wanted to win at least one title this season. Both of his wishes are likely to be fulfilled if his club could perform well in the Europa League final where they will clash with Benfica on 15 May in Amsterdam. Moreover, they are at the third spot in the EPL and hopefully they can finish among top four if they could win a home game against Tottenham, who is just three points behind to enter in the top four. This is not the first time Benitez has reached into an European final coz earlier he has taken Valencia and Liverpool to European titles, and now he sees a real opportunity to show his worth after losing in League Cup and FA Cup semifinals. Actually, this is second consecutive year Chelsea has reached into the European cup final and main contributors for its final repeat are Fernando Torres, Victor Moses, and David Luiz.

Taking about his next two EPL matches, Benitez said, “It is important to show this character and keep the momentum. We have difficult games left but hopefully we can do it. Now they realise how important every single game is. The reaction in the second half showed their character and now I think they will be like that until the end. To get three points in every game will be massive because we are so close. We have to do our job and hopefully other teams will make mistakes.”

Likewise, he talked about his experience in the European finals and added, “I have been in a lot of finals, and a lot of games in this kind of situation, but another one with another club means you have good staff and good players. It’ll be tough because Benfica are a very, very dangerous team and hard to play against, but at least we are there. With the commitment and the quality, we’ll have a chance for sure.”

At last, he showed his pleasure with the way they could enter into the European final and said, “I am very pleased to be in the final. We have been working so hard to reach another one. I came to do a professional job with the commitment of the players. I am pleased for them and everyone here. We have had a very good atmosphere inside, the players have always worked hard, they have always done their job. I was pleased with them before this game and I am pleased with them now.”

Terry says he is comfortable to play three games per week

John Terry looks to be confused about his stand in the Chelsea squad off late; coz he did not play too many matches this year citing his injury, especially missing FA Cup’s semifinal against Manchester City was an alarming bell for the starlet. Though, he later played on Wednesday against Fulham and showed that he is right in the form as required by the interim manager Benitez. Actually, there were rumors that he had a clash with interim manager over some issue (obviously ignoring in crucial matches), but he also denied about anything like that. Chelsea recent performance in few matches has been miserable and that is why it is trying hard to at least finish among top four teams to remain interesting in coming summer transfer window, and Wednesday win just made it sure they are here to stay in the main league. Rubbishing reports that Terry can’t play too many matches now, he said, he is as much comfortable in playing three matches per week as any other player in the team is, so he cleverly answered his manager’s doubts whether he can be a part of his new rotational policy.

He said about his future and club’s new policy that “There will be no frustrations publicly. Naturally, everyone is disappointed if they don’t play football matches. We all want to be on the field, but unfortunately with a big squad that’s not always the case. It’s not an automatic selection but at the same time we respect that. That’s the manager’s decision. If he chooses not to play us we are very much professional and we will do our job whether we play or not. When we do get a chance to come in and do well and obviously to score the goals, it’s an added bonus for myself. (New policy) is very different but it’s important I maintain my sharpness in training and I’m ready when called upon.”

“This is what we’ve been stressing before the game. It’s very important that we pick up the three points and really push and cement this third place because it’s so vital to this football club. Maybe we can make some signings in the summer, but that could all depend on Champions League football. That’s where we want to be. At the same time we are in a strong position in the Europa League but ideally we want to be playing Champions League football next season.”

‘Interim Manager’ Rafa Benitez to leave Chelsea

After lots of criticisms and bad waves about Chelsea’s interim manager Rafa Benitez, he finally announced his departure from Stamford Bridge after the end of this season. He blames club fans of bashing him all the way despite his serious affords to revive Fulham club. He talked about his future at the club after their 2-0 win at Middlesbrough and said since he was just an interim manager; he would have to leave anyway. Notably, Chelsea has been advanced to FA cup quarterfinals where they will clash with Manchester United, and as per early predictions, it would be a tough task to defeat United under current stretchy managerial post. Last week, Benitez asked the owners to think twice before taking any harsh decision, coz according to him, he is in best position to the lead the team, perhaps he also made several promises to win at least one title in coming years. Now, when he has lost all the hopes to remain at the club, he finally admitted his departure. He also blamed his past where he used to be associated with Liverpool; this is something which was not in liking of Chelsea fans. Talking about fans’ anger, he said,

“I have been in charge in football for 26 years – I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies, all the trophies you can win at club level. A group of fans, they are not doing any favors for the team when they are singing and wasting time preparing banners. It’s because someone made a mistake. They put my title `interim manager.”

This is not the first time something like this is happened to a manager, coz Benitez himself replaced former manager Roberto di Matteo in November who was fired in similar fashion when he could not deliver the results. Though, Benitez knew right from the beginning that his job is just temporary, yet he was living with a dream that he can lead the club on a permanent basis if he could show some successes in the field. Likewise, he won some matches, but off late, his strategies were not in liking of a large section of Chelsea fans especially his few critical decisions, like resting John Terry for City clash.

He further added, “I am the manager and I will be managing the team I like to manage – players and no names. I have proved in these three months that I want to win every single game … If a group of fans continue their agenda … they are not making any favors for the team. They should concentrate on supporting the team. They put pressure on the players and don’t create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge. They have to realize they rare making a big mistake. … it would be much better to have a good atmosphere.”