Putting my personal feeling towards Rafa Benitez to one side here, I am about to prove to you people...

Putting my personal feeling towards Rafa Benitez to one side here, I am about to prove to you people how he has failed to make the right decisions to influence games when things haven't been going our way. I am about to show you NINE games, in those games we have dropped points in the Premier League or failed to win games in cup competitions.

I am sick and tired of people standing up for Rafa Benitez and telling me that the bloke is good tactically. I understand and acknowledge the fact that everyone has a right to their opinion but it doesn't mean I have to agree with it.

I have said time and time again on here that Benitez FAILS to influence games from the bench when others around the league or in the game are able to do it successfully. His substitutions leave alot to be desired and have left me confused and frustrated. I have people that agree with me and people that have given me stick for it so I thought it was time that I gave you all the facts and my reasoning here.

The data below has been compiled as per the match reports found on

Focusing on the games Chelsea have failed to win under Benitez, I wanted to look at his team selections and changes in games to try and understand his thought process. Players marked in Blue are players who have come on from the bench and the players in Black are the players taken off.

Anything marked in RED CAPITAL LETTERS are the changes that I personally can't understand and or key moments within that game.


Premier League - West Ham away - 1st December - Chelsea lose 1-3

Chelsea 1-0 up at half time. West Ham equalise on 63 minutes through Carlton Cole. BENITEZ WAITS ALMOST TEN MINUTES and then makes the first change - HAZARD OFF for Oscar. On 78 minutes he makes another Marko Marin for Victor Moses.

West Ham score their second on 85 minutes and their third in injury time.


Hazard should have stayed on the pitch as much more effective than Oscar out wide. I would have taken off Moses for Romeu as soon as West Ham scored to make it 1-1 and moved Ramires out wide right OR, switched to 4-3-3 with Romeu, Mikel and Ramires in the middle to get hold of possession of the ball.

Premier League QPR at home -  2nd Jan - Chelsea lose 0-1.

0-0 up to the hour. First change by Benitez - Hazard on for Marin followed on 74 minutes by Mata on for Moses.

QPR take the lead through Shaun Wright-Phillips on 78 minutes and Benitez responds by taking off FRANK LAMPARD for Ramires.


1-0 down and chasing the game, I would never take Frank Lampard off as he offers much more of a goal threat from midfield than Ramires. We were the home team. If anything, Oscar for Ramires should have been the correct change made in this one with Ramires wide right.

League Cup Semi Final first leg - Weds 9th Jan - Chelsea lose 2-0 at home to Swansea.

Chelsea concede in the first half on 38 minutes as Michu scores.

Rafa Benitez makes his first change on 70 minutes by taking off Ramires for Frank Lampard. Then TEN MINUTES later, Demba BA comes on for Torres followed by Marin for Oscar on 82 minutes. Swansea score a second goal in injury time.


Once again he reacts too late here. Oscar isn't a winger. Being a goal down at half time, we are chasing the game. Frank Lampard for Oscar at half time with Ramires moving wide right should have been the first change. Then BA on for Torres on 60 minutes if nothings working followed by a third change on 70 minutes.

Premier League -Southampton at home - Weds 16th Jan - 2-0 up at half time - Finishes 2-2. 

Chelsea 2-0 up and coasting against Southampton at the Bridge at half time and look comfortable.

Ricky Lambert scores for Southampton to make it 2-1 on 57 minutes. No change from Rafa. Jason Puncheon then makes it 2-2 on 74 minutes with (including injury time) around 20 MINUTES to go! Rafa Benitez responds after another FIVE MINUTES has passed (79 minutes) by taking off FRANK LAMPARD and replacing him with Fernando Torres.

**John Terry remains an unused substitute**


Again Benitez is too slow to react. What's wrong with closing a game out or making a change to tighten up at the back after they score to make it 2-1?

To wait until they made it 2-2 with 20 minutes left and then a further five minutes is a joke. Terry to come on for Oscar with Luiz pushing into midfield and Ramires wide right should of happened at around 60 minutes to close the game out and tighten up. OK it's against Southampton ( no disrespect to them ) but it's three points and not just the one we wanted in this one.

League Cup Semi Final second leg - Swansea away - Weds 23rd Jan - We draw 0-0 - Eden Hazard sent off.

Chelsea are 2-0 down after the first leg. We get to half time 0-0 and have 45 minutes of football to turn things round. No changes made at half time.

Benitez makes his first change taking off IVANOVIC for David Luiz on 67 minutes. NO OTHER CHANGES MADE AT THIS POINT. Eden Hazard is then sent off on 80 minutes. Rafa responds to this by replacing Oscar with Fernando Torres on 81 minutes and then Ryan Bertrand for Ashley Cole on 85 minutes. We fail to score a single goal in two games against Swansea and are dumped out of the League Cup.

**John Terry remains an unused substitute**


Being two goals down from the first game, I cannot for the life of me understand why Benitez waited for a full 67 minutes into the second game before changing things after it became obvious to us all that his team selection/tactics were not working.

Is Ivanovic a danger to the opposition from set pieces? Of course he is!. If he plays, why take him off when he gives you that option if you are chasing a game and need goals from somewhere.

Why does it take a further fourteen/fifteen minutes for Benitez to respond to what is happening in the game and he only does after Hazard is sent off??

Why not take Oscar off for Torres at the start of the second half and switch to 4-4-2 to attack Swansea? Why is John Terry sitting on the bench when we need a leader on the pitch and most importantly of all, the voice to keep people going.

FA Cup fourth round - Brentford Away - Sunday 27th Jan - Chelsea draw 2-2.

Chelsea concede a goal on 42 minutes to go in at half time 1-0 down. Benitez responds at half time and brings on Juan Mata for Marin. Oscar scores for Chelsea to make it 1-1 on 55 minutes. No other changes made at this point. Forrester then scores a penalty for Brentford to make it 2-1 on 72 minutes with around 20 MINUTES TO GO. Chelsea are chasing the game but no immediate response from Benitez. He waits until SEVEN MINUTES later and brings on AZPILICUETA FOR IVANOVIC on 79 minutes and then Demba Ba for Bertrand on 81 minutes around TEN MINUTES after Brentford take a 2-1 lead.

Torres saves Chelsea with a goal from an assist by Ba one minute later.


We go 2-1 down on 72 minutes and once again Benitez reacts too slow again. When he does react he brings on a defender for a defender when we are chasing the game and in danger of going out? Two minutes after he brings BA on and he has an immediate impact.

BA for Bertrand should have been made earlier to get the game won and not for when we went behind. Again the goal threat from set pieces that is Ivanovic was taken off!.

Premier League - Reading Away - Weds 30th Jan - Chelsea draw 2-2 after being 2-0 up.

Chelsea once again 2-0 up and cruising after 65 minutes. Benitez replaces Mata with Benayoun on 76 minutes. Le Fondre scores to make it 2-1 on 87 minutes. John Terry remains on the bench. Rafa response on 90+2 minutes (with a total of four minutes added time indicated by the fourth official) by replacing TORRES WITH BA. Le Fondre scores on 90+4 minutes to finish the game 2-2.

**John Terry remains an unused substitute**


Another fine example of two things from Rafa Benitez. Firstly, he doesn't make a change to bolster our defence after Reading score their first goal and are coming at us in wave after wave of attacks. Secondly, when he does make a change late on he replaces a striker with a striker when a defender should have come on.

John Terry is sat on the sidelines again when it has been blatantly obvious that on the night we needed his leadership and organisation at the back to cope with Reading.

Europa League - Thursday 21st Feb - Sparta Prague at home - Chelsea draw 1-1.

Chelsea find themselves a goal down against Sparta Prague, levelling up this two legged tie 1-1 and everything is all square on 17 minutes. Second half starts and there are NO CHANGES. Luiz, Marin, Hazard and Benayoun are ALL on the bench and available but Benitez chooses to wait until 22 MINUTES OF THE SECOND HALF TO MAKE HIS ONLY CHANGE on 67 minutes when he replaces Oscar for Eden Hazard.

Hazard scores on 90 minutes to put Chelsea through.


Poor performance by the players AND the manager in this one. Once again, Benitez fails to react to the situation that HAS happened in the game early enough. 1-0 down at half time, Chelsea need to change things to shake things up but it doesn't happen. He persists with playing Oscar out wide when Eden Hazard is sitting there in the dressing room at half time available to come on.

Hazard for Oscar at half time is what should have happened and Benitez is lucky that he stepped up with the last kick of the game and saved his blushes!.

Premier League - Sunday 24th Feb - Manchester City away - Chelsea lose 2-0. 

Chelsea go in at half time 0-0 having offered little attacking threat with just a single attempt on goal. No changes at half time. Frank Lampard misses a penalty for Chelsea on 51 minutes and Ramires fluffs a great chance on the counter attack on 60 minutes.

City make it 1-0 when Yaya Toure scores on 62 minutes. Chelsea chasing the game now. Benitez WAITS for SIX MINUTES and makes a double substitution - FRANK LAMPARD AND EDEN HAZARD REPLACED BY OSCAR AND VICTOR MOSES.

Benitez then waits a further THIRTEEN MINUTES to make his last change - Torres for Mikel on 81 minutes. Chelsea's shape is all over the place and we concede a second goal on 85 minutes and lose the game 2-0.

**John Terry remains an unused substitute**


Is there some sort of pattern here or something? Why is John Terry sitting on the bench anyway but in this "Top of the table clash" I can't understand the fact he never played.

Once again the changes Benitez makes baffle me. 1-0 down and chasing the game now, he takes off two of our biggest goal threats in Lampard and Eden Hazard?? Once again he persists with playing Oscar wide when Hazard is a much, much better option. Although Lampard missed his penalty, he still gives us a goal threat with his late runs from midfield. Hazard can create something out of nothing or even score you a goal himself like he did against Sparta so why take him off?

Terry should have started next to Cahill in this one with Luiz on the bench. We needed to be solid. Luiz for Mikel and Torres for Ramires switching to 4-4-2 straight after going a goal down to impose ourselves back on City.

  • 9 games featured above and we have lost 4 and drawn 5 of them. 
  • 15 goals conceded. 
  • One of these games is against League One side Brentford.
  • Oscar has started out wide in five of them.
  • In the other four games, Oscar has either come off the bench to play wide or moved out there.
  • Gary Cahill has played in ALL of them. 
  • John Terry has sat on the bench as an unused substitute in 4 of them. In those games we have conceded 6 goals within the last 30-35 minutes.
  • Rafa Benitez has only used all three substitutes available in five of these games.
  • Eden Hazard has been substituted twice with 20 or more minutes to go. Both times he has been replaced by Oscar and we have lost those games. 
  • In three of the games Frank Lampard has been taken off by Benitez when we are either behind and chasing the game or level with time still remaining. 

Surely you people can see what I am saying and have been saying here by now? Rafa Benitez has made mistakes time and time again in these games and it has cost us badly. We now sit fourth below Tottenham after they beat West Ham last night.

These are the nine games that Benitez has got it wrong so far and we still have 11 Premier League games to go and are still in the FA Cup and Europa League. How many more times will he make the same mistakes between now and the end of the season? What are we going to do when we miss out on the top four?

Finally, what do you people think about this blog post? Am I talking sense and you agree with me? Did you have a different opinion to me but have changed your mind after seeing the facts right in front of you? Do you still disagree with me?

I would love to hear from as many Chelsea fans from all over the world as possible on this to get a general opinion as there information is plain to see.

Rafa Benitez isn't and has never been good enough to manage our club.


Carefree & KTBFFH

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  1. Back here in Nigeria we fans are just tired of the mess Rafa has done on our lovely club,and i believe everybody know that Abramovich got it wrong by employing Rafa and sometimes it looks like this man called Benitez is here to ruin chelsea.I agree with your statistics and i cant just wait for the season to end.God bless chelsea.BJ

  2. You are very correct and accurate with your analysis of how benitez has been goofing with cfc.

  3. It's obvious that Rafa is on a mission to ruin chelsea....and he's about to do to us wht he did to liverpool in his last season finishing seventh...thou i won't blame him it is our owner who get things wrong by appointing him...and pls i notice the booing of this man has stoped Y? be frank Rafa is not a good manager.....blues.

  4. I agree with you CD (atleast 80% of our woes can be blamed on Rafa benitez). Now the players amount for the other 20%. Now battles/wars are not always won by the brilliant stratagem/strategies alone but by the players/soldiers/field agents, executing these tactics. Need I recall the numerous times we've given away the ball easily? Getting caught in possession? Poor judgements? Making the error of a fellow team mate obvious cos the recovery/cover-up is not there or very slow.
    Not doubt we are clearly missing key "On the field leaders"and "motivators". We urgently need those in every department of our team I.e Defense, midfield and attack (JT, Frank Lampard and Drogba kinda set up). Somebody needs to step up!!! And step up fast cos we are kinda stuck Rafa and his dumb tactics, cos clearly, he almost never has a back up plan whenever his first plan doesn't work. :(
    I love this club with all my heart so it hurts whenever we make a mess of a seemingly easy thing.
    God bless Chelsea KTBFFH and Carefree.

    @lordbillistic (guess I ain't "Anonymous" any more eh :-D )

  5. Very true, if fans would access right from time and say he is not the right man for the job I wonder what the board have been doing. I think by now fans are suppose to have forume where they contibute to the club how the access the clubs developement rather than just spectators, cus it interest them coaches will come and go but fans remain the stand the pains.

  6. Abrahovich pls act fast b4 it'll b 2 late...... RAFA OUT, BENITEZ OUT OF D BRIDGE, He'z nothing but a FAILURE.

  7. i totally agreed wit ur analysis. Rafa is a manager dat can access his players ability vry well, if hazard is replace by oscar den he shld played along the attacker.also y rafa is alway keepin Ba on the bench still 81min wen torres wasting alot of of opportunity. I luv d blues.

  8. You got it right man!thanks for the in depth analysis. I only thought for the game btw us and man city, harzard should not have been taken out,Oscar should have come in for lampard while moses for ramires. Mikel should have stayed till end because the whole back broke down after he left as if man city had prayed that he was taken off! If the duration of the game spanned much longer, more goals would have resulted. Also, such high profile game was for Terry,not Luiz! In anycase, up chelsea, up the blues!

  9. We the Chelsea fans in Nigeria are united and we support the 'kick Rafa out of the Bridge' chants by our fellow fans all over the world.Rafa is not the right man to lead our great club to glory...there is only 1 Di Matteo

  10. Rafa was a disaster from day 1 and things haven't changed either. He is just so dull for a coach. Even the fans who understand the history of cfc could have done better than the mess he has put us in. Abramovich is also contributing to the mess in the club. Just like Harry Redknapp said you are a DORC if you can't perform with a squad like Chelsea's and that is who Benitez is. Out with the the FAT ONE

  11. The fact that Rafa is a mess is not a news any more. But with the way u did ur analysis, I think u should be the new Chelsea manager. But bet me, u will still have ur own flaws. If Jose Mourinho would, then any body will.

  12. First he pulls down Liverpool, then Intermilan and now he's about to do same to our beloved cfc. I'm a Nigerian and i believe Mike Emenalo should also be heading to the exit door, he has failed our beloved cfc as the sport director. Out Rafa, out Emenalo

  13. All I see is a sabotage, knowing he won't be retain as a coach at the end of the season, he now want to ruin cfc, we read that people now avoid watching our match at stamford bridge, nonetheless the did has been done because he was a wrong choice ab-initio cfc cannot afford to sack him now but board can warn him, most importantly technical director, and show him all this fact because we know his precedent at liverpool and we can't see what is happening to inter milan today. Olaogun O. A. Bar. Naija

  14. If you think you can do a better job then why don't you convince RA to make you CFCs manager !

  15. Sometimes i wonder if benitez is realy a profesional.he is concetrating on rotation intsead of tactics.A good coach shold buld a solid team first b4 intigrating n rotating them with others.Simken mayor.Nigeria, til christ come.



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