Rafa Benitez—Chelsea fans do not forget!
In Roberto We Trusted And Loved. In Rafa We Will Never Trust. Fact.
That is what a few of the banners at Stamford Bridge read when Chelsea took on Manchester City last week. And they will probably be on display for 'Fat Rafa' again when the Stamford Bridge faithful welcome Fulham.
But what about Roman Abramovich? Abramovich sacked eight managers, Abramovich bought Andriy Shevchenko — a player Jose Mourinho clearly didn't want. Abramovich was foolish enough to spend £50 million on Fernando Torres in desperation— only to be undone in the Champions League by £6 million Javier Hernandez. Abramovich was the one to sign to Rafael Benitez, a man who has always had a fractured relation with Chelsea football club.
Not a single banner against Abramovich. Not a chant. Nothing.
No disrespect, everyone loves their clubs and owners who bring them glory, but surely Chelsea fans can see who's in the wrong here? And when they don't boo and jeer and harass him, surely it means they're scared of doing so?
Yea, he may have won you a few trophies, but at what cost? He's helped Chelsea earn the tag of being the most difficult place to work at, plue their finances aren't in the best shapes. Investment: £1.2bn, profit: £1m.
Benitez may be a bad manager for a lot of people— but it's not his fault Abramovich appointed him. He was out of a job, weighed down by his failures at Inter Milan and in dire need of a high-profile role. Roman came knocking on the door and he took it. Nothing wrong about that.
He may be eating his hat wearing Chelsea's badge after what he said about them during his time at Liverpool, but it's Abramovich who's paying him to do exactly that.
When the hugely popular Chris Hughton was dismissed by Mike Ashley at Newcastle United, the fans minced no words. This guy had all the money with him, but Newcastle didn't care about that, they cared about a manager being sacked for no reason.
Take a look at Manchester United's fans. Their revolt against the Glazers was the highlight for most of the 2009-10 season. They saw that their club was being saddled by debt by the Americans and revolted in huge numbers. Heck, even David Beckham sort of joined in by putting a green and gold scarf around his neck during a visit with AC Milan.
The Glazers have never put pressure on Alex Ferguson. The Glazers have not sold or bought players on their wishes and the Glazers have constantly delivered trophies and profit for the club (while still being in debt), and still they get booed.
Liverpool fans did not hold back while showing their anger against Tom Hicks and George Gillett's era. Click here to see a timeline of events under Hicks & Gillett. During their three-year rein, Liverpool's performances were disgraceful but the fans still booed the owners, not Benitez.
Opposition clubs usually throw barbs against Chelsea fans for 'not having a strong enough history'. And maybe that stems from the fact that for almost every trophy won, Abramovich has sacked a manager (ten trophies, eight managers sacked).
Chelsea fans, you are part of the history of the club. You pay £40 every match. You pay for the season tickets. You cheer for the players and buy their jerseys. In far off lands, you buy the extra sports channel package to watch the team.
So, Chelsea fans, you need to stick it to the right man.