New Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is hopeful that he can win over the fans with the right results.
The Spaniard was appointed as the manager of the London club after Roman Abramovich unceremoniously sacked Roberto Di Matteo. Di Matteo’s dismissal, despite winning the Champions League last season, came as a shock for the fans and players and the appointment of Benitez was met with further disapproval.
Benitez was welcomed with boos ringing round the Stamford Bridge during Chelsea’s last match against Manchester City. Benitez during his Liverpool days had made many infamous remarks about Chelsea and its fans, which the Stamford Bridge faithful haven’t forgotten in a hurry.
Chelsea supporters’ group had earlier urged Benitez to apologize to the fans for the comments he made in the past. Although the Spaniard, who was out of job for nearly two years since being sacked at Inter, didn’t issue any apology, he is confident of winning back the trust of the supporters.
“The problem is we can analyse what I said and didn’t say. We can’t be checking if it’s true or not. I’ll try my best to win their trust. That’s it.
“But I’m here now, it’s my club, and I will do my best for them. That’s my explanation, very easy and very simple. I will try to defend my club, and this is now my club.” – Rafa said.
Benitez is also aware of Abramovich’s demands from the team. It is believed that although Chelsea won the Champions League last season, the Russian owner wasn’t please with the ‘way’ they did it. Roman Abramovich wants his team to play with flair of Barcelona.
Di Matteo tried to implement a much more attacking style into the team this season, but he didn’t find the right balance between attack and defense; Chelsea were left vulnerable at the back. Benitez now has the unenviable job of pleasing Abramovich, but the Spaniard believes that the Russian’s demands are realistic.
“Roman says he wants to see the team playing well but not with the Barcelona style.
“He knows we don’t have [Lionel] Messi, Xavi [Hernandez], [Andres] Iniesta, players who have been working together for years. We have different players.
“I think we can play attacking and defensive football together. We have to find the balance.
“We have players with talent in attack. We have to give the ball to them to create, that’s our main issue, how do we link with them and give them the freedom to perform and do well.
“But they have to be organised as a team as well.” – Benitez said about Abramovich’s expectations.
The fact that Benitez was appointed as the ‘interim’ coach till the end of the season, suggests that Roman only sees him as a temporary solution. The Russian might very well be waiting for another Spaniard to come out of his sabbatical. Either way, it is hard to fathom Benitez gaining anything from his current position.