What’s in a name, anyway? No more interim for Rafa
While speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live reporter Alistair Yeomans last night, an unexpected outburst by Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez towards unhappy fans of the club has left the world of football in shock.
February 28th, 2013
Millions upon millions of listeners pressed their ears against their radios – rather than just turning them up – to hear a post-match interview by the not-permanent manager descending into a vitriolic rant against doubters. Asked only if the FA Cup remained a viable target for Chelsea – as opposed to all those other trophies they stand to win – Benitez launched into a tirade.
“They gave me the title of interim manager, it’s a massive mistake. I am the manager and I will manage the team until the end, every single minute,” he said, adding later that the specific translation of the term “interim” did not add up.
“It’s just to say to everyone, ‘Because he was in Liverpool and just in case, we will put interim and then we will wash our hands’.”
Taking aim at the section of fans who greeted his arrival with something less than enthusiasm, Benitez said: “They have to support the team instead of wasting time doing banners or singing songs. What they have to do is support the team and create a good atmosphere in Stamford Bridge. If we cannot achieve the target that we are looking for, to be in the Champions League… If they continue singing and talking and talking then I think they are not making any favours. They have to support the players, they have to support the team, I have experience as a manager – I will do my best until the last day.”
Few are ready to spring to the Italian’s defence; he was the man in charge of the opposition when Liverpool bested Chelsea in three semi-final ties during the last decade, and it appears that some are unwilling to bury the hatchet – rather than giving the man the credit he deserves for performing his job well enough against their side to recognise his ‘quality’.
Benitez also confirmed he would leave at the end of this season; incidentally he’s 4/9 with Coral to be the very next Premier League manager to be shown the door.