One could be forgiven for assuming that after a comfortable 2-0 victory in a potentially tricky tie to set up an FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford, fans and manager would be united in their contentment.
However, after another 90 minutes of chanting and banner thrusting, Chelsea’s fans were far from happy. As a result, in his post-match interview, after months of relentless abuse, Benitez’s emotion finally boiled over as he expressed how disillusioned he is with many of the clubs fans and the Chelsea hierarchy.
It is undeniable that Benitez has faced abuse since the day of his appointment. Surely a manager of his experience and calibre deserves more than to be disrespected so severely by the fans of the club he is trying to help.
He has proven his worth as a manager with Liverpool winning the Uefa Champions League, and at Valencia winning La Liga. Therefore, the reason for Chelsea’s poor form is not him, it's the fans and there persistent and destructive protesting.
The fans were behind the likes of Jose Mourinho, Roberto Di Matteo and Carlo Ancelotti throughout their tenure, and the Blues were successful.
However, under Benitez, they have never given him a chance, consequently Chelsea have been unsuccessful.
Benitez is also correct about his poor treatment from the Chelsea board. Both of the last two managers have been treated disgracefully, with Andre Villas-Boas given the boot after just 27 games and Di Matteo given the sack just months after winning the Champions League.
Abramovich and the club’s directors surely want to avoid a repeat of another high profile sacking, and by appointing Benitez as an interim has implied that his contract will be allowed to expire so the club can appoint another manager at the end of the season.
With fan groups stating that they will continue protests, the situation looks set to worsen for Benitez, who will have to brace himself for yet another harsh reception during Chelsea fixture against West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
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