Does Benitez Really Face A ‘Mammoth’ Task At Chelsea?

By on November 23, 2012

Rafa-Benitez

So, less than two and a half hours into Rafa Benitez’ reign as Blues boss, he was already recieving intense pressuse from the media and fans. Many websites and evening newspapers were already using the phrase ‘mammoth’ task while reffering to the Spaniards job in hand.

I’m taking a deeper look into what Rafa realistically has to achieve to make his stint as Chelsea’s interim manager positive right from the off.

Benitez was very successful in Europe during his time at Liverpool. He led The Reds to two Champions League finals, winning one, and one Semi-Final. The 52 year old will have to illustrate that sort of magic in Europe again if Chelsea are to defend their title as ‘Champions of Europe’.

Chelsea sit third in their group, two points behind second placed Juventus. Making Chelsea reach the next round is probably the main reason the media are calling his job a ‘mammoth’ task. However, despite it being completely out of Rafa’s hands; their is still a plausible situation in which his new club will qualify for the last 16. If Chelsea beat Nordsjaelland at home and the travelling Juventus suffer defeat in Donetsk, The Blues will end up second in group E.

Apparently, Chelsea’s league situation is awful too. Despite the fact that a home win against 1st placed Manchester City in Benitez’ 1st game, will put The Blues one point away from the Manchester club.

To be truthful, only a handful of writers have actually said anything positive about Benitez’ arrival and even when they have it has been a very limited complement to say the least. The Daily Mail, The Sun and The guardian have all released similar articles on Rafa Benitez being able to fire up an out of form Fernando Torres. Here is an extract from The Daily Mail’s story:

‘For two seasons, with Alonso feeding Gerrard and Gerrard delivering balls to Torres, that triumvirate were practically unplayable. It wasn’t aesthetically beautiful football, like the kind Barcelona play, but it was devastatingly effective; relentless and ruthless. Torres loved it.’

‘ “Rafa taught me to demand the maximum of myself every day and never to relax,” Torres once said. “When you are in a team that is doing well the players tend to relax, but you should always push yourself, never relax and try to give your maximum every day. You can’t stop after scoring 20 goals and say “Done it, there you are”” After scoring 20 goals for Benitez’s team, he comes to you in training and pushes you more every day, all week. He shows you more drills. There are days when you think ‘Good God, this bloke doesn’t let me breathe. There are times when you don’t realise that he only wants you to improve, to progress in life, to never stop. You need a person close to you to help you do it. You can’t do it any other way.”

‘With Benitez, it is all about tough love. Torres knows this will be no easy ride but, if the goals start flowing, the controversial appointment Abramovich had made will be vindicated.’

In my opinion the real task is winning over the Chelsea fans who are not happy with the appointment. Honestly, to say that Benitez’s adventure in succeeding Roberto Di Matteo has not been received with acceptance by every one of Chelsea’s supporters, is to fall upon a major breakthrough in understatement.

Will Benitez excel at Chelsea? I can’t tell, but if The Blues are sat 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the Premier League when December begins I am sure that Chelsea can come out of the winter period as, with all due respect, The London clubs fixtures are relatively; dare I say it easy.

Are Chelsea fans happy with Rafa’s appointment? Get involved in the comments section.

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