AN HONEST AND OPEN LETTER TO RAFA BENITEZ.
Rafa, This is one of the hardest posts I have had to write on my blog and being honest I was undecided on posting it. I have not been y...
This is one of the hardest posts I have had to write on my blog and being honest I was undecided on posting it. I have not been your biggest fan since you came to the club and ask anyone on here, they will tell you the same! I want to start by telling you where I WAS at when you were appointed as Interim Manager to a couple of months ago.
I have taken a lot of stick from some people on here because I personally do not like you. I am sorry but put yourself into my shoes and think back to those Liverpool games and the things you said. I hear you when you say that at the time you had to do your best for the football club you were working for but you have to understand that you personally insulted us.
We support our football club and have been here from day one. We will remain Chelsea supporters for a lifetime and it's as simple as that. Owners, Directors, Board Members, Managers, Players and staff will come and go but one thing remains and that's the Football Club and it's supporters.
You questioned our integrity, you criticised us and made a mockery of our support and for some people that can never be forgiven. I was one of those people! Surely by now you can understand the reaction to your appointment whether you like it or not?
Moving forward and you have to hold your hands up and admit that you had made mistakes here. Chelsea dropped a ridiculous amount of points this season from winning positions in games and dropped points to sides we never should have done. You made the wrong substitutions, team selections and decisions that cost us.
We were so close to the top of the table when you took over and all of us could see us slip further and further away into the distance. As a result, our title challenge faded into the new challenge of ensuring we finished inside the top four and a Champions League place.
As paying Supporters, we have every right to express our opinions and we could see what was happening, didn't like it and expressed our frustrations. This all came to a head at Middlesborough with your now famous rant at us.
For a second time, you questioned our motives and questioned our support. That was never in question as no matter what, we always want our team to do well but once again conflict. I will be honest, I wanted you sacked and expected it to happen. If everyone is honest, even people that did support you at the time, we all thought we would wake up to the reports that you were!
Now looking back it seems as though it was a turning point / a masterstroke as it signalled a change. Those same supporters still sang their song about you but not as much. They still felt the same but were not as vocal. If anything, they did exactly what you had asked.
Six months on from your appointment, with Champions League qualification directly through to the group stages AND the Europa League trophy won, people still have differing opinions but that's life though isn't it. No matter what you do, there will always be someone who sees things differently and that's just something we have to accept.
There is the opinion that you were asked back in November to achieve a top four finish and to win a trophy and all you have done is exactly that, all you have done is achieve what has been asked of you. Their view is that you have not exceeded expectation at all this season. Looking at the bigger picture here, you can understand why these people think like that.
I would like to state now on record where I am now. I can appreciate that it's been difficult for you but as I explained earlier, you had to expect it. But, you have kept your head down, worked hard and carried on with what seemed like an impossible job.
I look at the players and the way they have embraced you of late and to me that talks volumes. I can see that they are all in for the fight with you, want to play for you and for each other and that is a credit to you.
You turned things around when it seemed to be heading down the pan. You continued to work hard, realised that playing Hazard, Mata and Oscar together was the way forward and we started to turn things around, winning some big games.
With our fixture schedule being a total nightmare, you have done a great job managing the players and rotation and as a result we finished unbeaten in ten games in the Premier League. The form of the players has improved week by week, despite the difficult run of games and it's important people realise that.
I would like to end this post by saying "Thank you". I have respect for you and the job you have done here.
I wish you well for the future.
Carefree & KTBFFH!