Football

Rafael Benitez steadied the Chelsea ship

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Benitez won the Europa League at Chelsea (©GettyImages)
Benitez won the Europa League at Chelsea (©GettyImages).

Many Chelsea fans will feel a strange mix of emotions, as Rafa Benitez has completed his final competitive game in charge of Chelsea. 

On the one hand, Benitez has always been unpopular at Stamford Bridge, however, on the other, he leaves behind a very well organised squad, and delivered a third place finish and a trophy; more than Arsene Wenger achieved this year.

There is almost a general agreement that, were it anyone except Rafa Benitez, the Chelsea faithful would be almost sad to see him go.

The squad Benitez inherited from Di Matteo was extremely unbalanced, unorganised, and very poor defensively to say the least. Benitez didn't exactly get the team back to winning ways, but improved the cohesion and the way the whole team defended to no end; that much cannot be denied of the Spaniard.

It is safe to say that his rant against the Chelsea fans, after their victory in the FA cup against Middlesbrough, proved a turning point in his season, the fans, almost like told-off children, responded by getting behind the team and, unsurprisingly, results followed.

Still, some tactical decisions have infuriated Chelsea supporters; the most recent one being the bewildering move to bring on Yossi Benayoun whilst drawing 2-2 with Tottenham, a crucial derby game.

However, taking these aside, there have been occasions this season where Chelsea have been nothing short of majestic; performances against Manchester United spring to mind, with the creative trio of Mata, Oscar and Hazard carving the Premier League champions open at will.

Fernando Torres has also enjoyed a quiet resurgence this season under his former manager, whilst a cool finish today broke another Premier League drought for the world cup winner, however 23 goals is a tidy return for a man who once looked a certain for the exit.

All in all, it is safe to say that Rafa Benitez has ensured what could have been a public crucifixion into an amicable farewell against Everton.

 

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Topics:
Chelsea
Football
Premier League
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