It is no secret that Rafa Benitez was not a popular choice as the Chelsea boss after the universally popular Roberto Di Matteo was fired. Benitez needed to get off to a really fast start as the Gaffer to stand any chance of winning over the Chelsea faithful. Unfortunately for the club and for him he just has not been able to direct the team on any kind of sustained run of form and thus continues to hear all about it from the supporters.
We have been running a poll over the past week on ChelseaNews.com asking readers who they think should be the next permanent Chelsea manager and with over 600 votes counted so far, the results are no surprise given the comments on this topic by readers. Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho, the most successful Blues manager with 5 trophies won in his 3 seasons in charge, is far and away the first choice with over 60% of the vote and the second choice, with only 10% of the vote, (and also my choice) is wrongly fired Roberto Di Matteo – he only won 2 trophies in his just over 6 months in charge! Next is another former Chelsea manager, Guus Hiddink with 8%, then it is Borussia Dortmund’s current manager, Jürgen Klopp with a fraction under 8% of the vote, followed by Frank Rijkaard with 4%, next is former Blues player Brighton’s Gus Poyet with 3%, then comes Swansea City’s Michael Laudrup with just over 2% and it comes as absolutely no surprise that Rafa Benitez is coming in last.
I think it is football’s worst kept secret that Rafa Benitez will not be hired on as the permanent Chelsea boss and I think he will be lucky to see out his interim contract. Sadly, RDM should have been given time and shown patience, and he would have succeeded as manager because he had the dressing room on his side and winning 2 trophies surely proved he could motivate the team. Let’s not forget that he did oversee the miracle comeback against Napoli in the Champions League when we looked down and out of the competition but bringing back RDM would require Mr Abramovich to swallow his pride and acknowledge that he made a mistake which I just cannot see him doing. This is also the reason why Jose Mourinho, even though he is clearly the popular choice, is unlikely to be rehired in my opinion as Roman would have to swallow his pride to get him back and Roman is not big on swallowing his pride. Guus Hiddink says he is retiring at the end of FC Anzhi Makhachkala’s season but maybe he can be incentivized to return to take the Chelsea reins on a full time basis this time around and he does obviously have the Russian Oligarch’s respect and I believe would have his patience and long-term support. I don’t believe the other candidates in the poll are genuine options, so in my opinion, it really is down to Hiddink and whether he really wants the job on a full-time contract unless someone like Jurgen Klinsmann comes into the reckoning late in the piece.