After their latest in a long run of disappointing results, there are rumours that Roman Abramovich is ready to get rid of Andre Villas-Boas, after just eight months in charge. Speculation surrounding the man to take over has been rife, with some areas of the media suggesting that ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez could be in line for the job.
A change is likely to occur sooner rather than later, with the Portuguese coach rumoured to have lost the dressing room at Stamford Bridge. Abroamovich is not known for his patience, and this latest revelation could well prove to the straw that broke the camel’s back.
A move for Benitez wouldn’t be the most popular decision among supporters of the club, who are believed to want Jose Mourinho back. Benitez could however be a shrewd decision on the part of the Russian, with the former Liverpool coach’s tactical knowhow and relationship with Fernando Torres.
Benitez’s finest bit of business in his last visit to the Premier League, was taking Fernando Torres to Merseyside. The striker was a revelation under the guidance of his fellow countryman, scoring and breaking records for fun in the north of England. However, after the dismissal of the ex-Valencia coach at the Reds, Torres’ form dipped, and then collapsed completely following his move to the capital. If there’s one thing Benitez does know it’s how to get the best out, on his day, one of the finest front-men in Europe, and this could be a deciding factor for Abramovich, who will be very reluctant to take a significant loss on the £50 million paid last January.
Another weapon in the coach’s armoury is his impressive record in the Champions League, a competition that the Russian billionaire has craved success in since his arrival at the club. Benitez steered his Liverpool side to victory in 2005, beating Chelsea on the way, with a squad that, arguably, had no right to win the tournament. He was again successful in 2007, coming runner-up to Milan, once more defeating Chelsea en-route. It’s no secret that failure in the competition has been a factor in the demise of previous managers under the Russian’s regime, which shows just how high the trophy, is on his list of priorities.
All of these successes were quite some time ago now, with Benitez having a less enjoyable spell at Inter Milan in the mean time, but Benitez’s knowhow in the world’s leading club competition, alongside knowledge of the Premier League, could make him an ideal candidate for the Chelsea role.
Although there has been no official contact as of yet, Abramovich wants the Champions League, and Benitez wants a job, it could be a match made in heaven.
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