Chelsea supporters’ groups have moved quickly to make their voices heard over the imminent appointment of Rafael Benitez as temporary Chelsea manager.
It is thought that Chelsea are lining up the former Liverpool boss to take care of the side until the end of the season in similar fashion to how Guus Hiddink took control over the side during the 2008/2009 season.
Trizia Fiorellino of the Chair of the Chelsea Supporters’ Group has said Benitez is not a good manager while a spokesman for fanzine cfcuk said Benitez is not who the Chelsea fans want as the next gaffer at Stamford Bridge.
There is still time for Chelsea to appoint a different manager but the overwhelming support for Benitez in the betting market suggests the club will get him to take charge of the team before a formal approach to make Pep Guardiola the manager over the summer.
If the Spaniard does become the caretaker of the current Chelsea side then it is difficult to see how effective the move could be which might substantially damage Chelsea’s chances of success on all fronts over the rest of the season.
If Benitez knows he’s not going to be in charge after the summer then he’ll be unlikely to make big name signings that the club may otherwise miss out on such as Radamel Falcao.
However, it could be the best solution available to Chelsea in the middle of the season regardless of whether the fans want Benitez in charge or not. Guardiola seems reluctant to budge from his pledge of not to manage another team until the summer and there are few other managers available of the quality that Benitez possesses.
It’s a means to an end until Chelsea can appoint who they really want as boss in the former Barcelona chief.