Good morning Blues. I hope you are all coping better than Rafa. Wedneday night went well for Rafa until Rafa decided he had to screw it up. I will begin with what went well that night for Rafa. Rafa picked an inspired lineup for the Middlesbrough game. The lineup had some fringe players, few regulars and a new starter. There was a lot skepticism on my twitter time-line about the lineup’s ability to win us the game. Many were concerned that Juan Mata was not on the bench to rescue us should the game not go according to plan. I had my reservations about the lineup too but I always hope for the best.
The lineup did very well. Nathan Ake impressed. The boy has good technique; he was constantly aware of what was happening on pitch. He moved around and positioned himself intelligently. He played as if he was a first team regular. Mikel may soon have real competition. Back to Rafa, Rafa was proactive against Middlesbrough. When Middlesbrough started putting pressure on us, he did not wait till we conceded to perform a substitution. He brought Hazard on and Hazard helped us keep the game in Middlesbrough’s half. We scored a second goal and it helped calm Chelsea nerves. It was good game and result. What is even fantastic is that we achieved it without using all our key players. Wednesday night had gone Rafa’s way.
Then Rafa screwed the night in his post match interview by launching a scathing attack at our management and at us the supporters. Here is Rafa’s statement and my comments:
“A group of fans, they are not doing any favours for the team when they are signing and wasting time preparing banners.
Many supporters don’t like being told what to; you made your situation worse by saying, we are wasting our time.
“It’s because someone made a mistake. They put my title ‘interim manager’, and I will leave at the end of the season, so they don’t need to waste time with me.
Many would prefer you leave before the season ends.
“Why put interim in the title? Why did they need do that? Maybe they thought: “He was at Liverpool”, so put interim in”.
“I have been in charge in football for 26 years. I have won the Champions League, won the FIFA Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the Italian Super Cup, the Spanish league twice, nine trophies, all the trophies you can win at club level.
You have won one out of three FIFA Club World Cup competition you have been in. You seriously damaged an Inter team that had won a treble the previous season. Inter saved your reputation by dismissing you. You took part of Liverpool’s demise. Sometimes I wonder how you won all those trophies.
“The fans have to concentrate on supporting the team, that’s what they have to do.
We support the team. True support is being real and honest when the club is not moving in the right direction.
“In the end, they are not doing any favours to the club, to the rest of the fans and to the players.
If the club wanted favours, they wouldn’t have appointed you. Especially after sacking Di Matteo, a Chelsea legend as a player and manager.
“Every game they continue singing and they continue preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team.
Again you’re not endearing yourself to your ‘haters’.
“If we cannot achieve what we expect to achieve, that is to be in the top four and be in the Champions League for next year, I will leave; they will stay in the Europa League.
Tells me you really don’t give a damn about us.
“They have to take responsibility too. If they put players under pressure, they don’t create a good atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, they have to realise they are making a big mistake because the rest of the fans would like to see the team in the Champions League next year.
We always cheer the players on. Are Rafa ‘boo boys’ to blame when we lose away like we did at Manchester City?
“I’m the manager and I will be managing the team. I like to manage players and not names, so I will pick my team, and I will make decisions and at the end of the season, I will leave anyway because I am interim like they said.
That’s great. I am sure there will be special send-off parties in your honour.
“Again, they are wasting time, they are wasting time. I have proved in these three months that I want to win every single game.
‘Want’ doesn’t cut it at Chelsea. You need to win every game. Dictating to us how to spend our time won’t help you.
I am a professional and I am sure if we win, I will be the happiest man in the world.
I guess ranting is part of being a professional. I thought you would be happy after we won at Middlesborough. This rant is not coming from the happiest man in the world.
“But if a group of fans continue with their agenda and they continue not supporting the team and wasting time with these things, it’s their decision, but they are not doing any favours to the team, to the club, anyone.
“I have a very good group of players who are working very hard. It’s a top club, so it’s not a problem.
“The problem is a group of people who think they can say what they want instead of supporting the team.
“Again I will say I have won nine titles, all the titles that you can win at club level, in three different countries, so I think I have enough experience and enough quality as a manager to hear a group of people with an agenda carry on.
“They don’t realise that I will leave at the end of the season. They don’t need to be worried about me, but what they have to do is support the team.
“If they don’t do that and we are not in the Champions League at the end, they can blame whatever they want, but we will see the next year the Europa League.
Rafa as manager of Chelsea, you must not flirt with the idea of not qualifying for the Champions League. The thought itself is criminal.
“This group of fans, they have an agenda, they say ‘We are right’. They can be right at the end of the season, it’s simple.
“They put me there with the title ‘interim’, so why do they have to bother about that? Just carry on supporting the team.
Di Matteo had the title ‘interim’ in his job description, it did not bother him. Di Matteo gave his best and won the FA Cup and the Champions league.
“It’s a team in transition – they don’t realise.
“In the past, we had Drogba, Essien, Kalou, these players, it was a very strong squad, players with experience in the Premier League.
Di Matteo’s team was a team in transition too, he wasn’t blessed with the quality of Hazard, Moses, Ba, Oscar, and Azpilicueta. He faced Napoli, Barcelona, and Bayern with our worst team in a decade and still did the job. This season Di Matteo lost the community shield, super cup and failed to get us out of the champions league group stage. It is a serious ‘crime’ to lose trophies at Chelsea and he was not pardoned for it. He was dismissed. Rafa has also lost two trophies and has done worse than Di Matteo in the league. It amazing how he is still in the job.
“Now we have a group of players with talent, really good players with talent, but they need time.
Rafa you don’t get it. There is no time when it comes to Chelsea. There is no waiting 8 years to get a trophy. Every manager that stays beyond a season must win something. You must deliver.
“It’s a time of transition. But they don’t realise it was a time of transition when I came here.
“The team was not in the Champions League, the team has lost some trophies, so I am trying to do my best and I will try to do my best until the end, until the last minute.
It looks like your best is not doing it for Chelsea because we have lost two more trophies and there is a possibility that we might not make top 4.
“It doesn’t matter what they say. I am a professional, I have experience and I will do my best.
“But if they carry on in the same, they have to take responsibility because they are damaging the image of the club and the rest of the fans because people think all the fans are the same.”
The club damaged their image by sacking a champions league winning manager and by appointing you. I no know not one Chelsea supporter who likes you, it is either indifference or strong dislike.
Rafa was brought to steer the club in the “right direction”. All Chelsea supporters know this is not the right direction. Rafa believes many Blues dislike him because he was successful with Liverpool. This is not the case. Many of us dislike him because he called Drogba “a diver”, he said Lampard was ‘overrated’ and he said Chelsea fans were ‘plastic’ and lacked ‘passion’. If Rafa took one of his initial press conferences to apologize sincerely for those hurtful comments, he might have gotten a different reception. Instead he further alienated us by stating we dislike him because he was successful at Liverpool against us. Mourinho was successful with Inter against Chelsea but there are many Chelsea fans who will welcome him back in a heart beat. Pep beat Chelsea with Barcelona but Chelsea supporters wouldn’t mind him here. It is called respect; it is something that is earned.
The pressure has gotten to Rafa and I believe he is drowning under the pressure. We might not make top 4 if we do not dismiss him. After all, previous Chelsea managers have gone for much less. When I hear Rafa mention his trophies, it only tells me how bad a manager he has become. All great managers relish pressure and when they do not have pressure, they create it for themselves. The best way to silence your critics is to deliver results. If Rafa had won the Club World Cup or Carling Cup, no matter how much vitriol he receives, his name would be included to the list managers that have won Chelsea a trophy. History would look kindly on him. I think his rant is his way of telling Roman to dismiss him. He won’t resign as it would look bad on his CV and because he won’t walk away with the compensation he would get if he was dismissed.
Roman put Rafa out of his misery. Sack the man.
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