Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Rafa gets little sympathy from legends



Former Chelsea players showed little sympathy for interim boss Rafael Benitez who said on Wednesday he was leaving the club at the end of the season and criticised the club's board and fans.

Instead, they rallied round their old club with former defender Jason Cundy saying Benitez had orchestrated his own downfall at Stamford Bridge by failing to adopt an attractive brand of football which would have won over the fans.

Former midfielder Craig Burley said Benitez and the club should go their separate ways as soon as possible, while bookmakers William Hill were offering short odds that he would be out of Stamford Bridge before Chelsea play West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.

The bookmakers also installed former boss Jose Mourinho as favourite to return to Stamford Bridge as the club's next permanent manager following another week when the image of the European champions has taken a pounding.

Burley told Talksport radio on Thursday: "Maybe it would be in the best interests for the club and for Rafa's own sanity if they go their separate ways as soon as possible."

Cundy said: "Benitez has not helped himself because if Chelsea were winning and had been playing attractive football over the last few months, it would have quietened the fans. The trouble is they have not been playing well.

"He should never have been offered the job and while I have a little sympathy with him for what has gone on, you cannot come out and attack the owner and have a go at the fans. You cannot get away with that, you can't," he said on Talksport.

Benitez said on Wednesday he was surprised and upset to be called "interim manager" and blamed the fans for creating a bad atmosphere at the London club.

Cundy responded: "I cannot accept that Benitez was surprised to be called interim manager because at the end of the day, Avram Grant and Robby Di Matteo had that title and they both got Chelsea to a Champions League Final."

As well as dealing with the Benitez outburst after the club's 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over second-tier Middlesbrough on Wednesday, Chelsea faced criticism for airbrushing former manager Di Matteo out of a mural at Chelsea's West Stand.

Di Matteo led Chelsea to Champions League success last season when they lifted the European Cup for the first time, but was sacked in November and replaced by Benitez.

"I said last summer that if Chelsea finish third and win a trophy, then that would have been a decent achievement," Cundy said.

"Di Matteo could not have done better than that, Benitez could not have done better than that, but the style of football is not as good now as it was at the start of the season."

Cundy, who described the situation at the club as "crazy", said captain John Terry could emerge as a shock contender for the manager's job.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...