Rafa Benitez has told Chelsea fans to “stop wasting their time”. He’s complained about the “Rafa out” banners and the persistent chanting against him.
This is not the first time he’s had an unpleasant outburst against the only people, let’s remind ourselves, who actually pay to turn up to football matches.
Last time, while he managed Liverpool, he claimed: “Chelsea fans lack passion.” Now, when they prove him wrong by showing they hate him with a passion he accuses them of “wasting their time”.
When he arrived at Chelsea he promised to win fans around by winning games. He’s done the exact opposite. He’s turned an exciting team which, unforgettably, became Champions of Europe against the odds last May, into a dull, defensive one.
They won in Europe largely because of tremendous team spirit engendered by Chelsea favourite Robert Di Matteo. But now, under Benitez’s leadership, the team resembles a collection of disinterested individuals who appear to be given no guidance apart from to hoof it upfield.
His team selections are baffling and his constant rotation policy (he changed eight players again last night) means there is no chance for consistency. If it turns out he’s been paid to destabilise the club, it would come as no surprise.
The sooner he is shown the door, the better. But let’s not forget that an owner who understood the club would never have contemplated appointing Benitez in the first place.
Simon Read has been a Chelsea fan since 1970 and is a former season-ticket holder at Stamford Bridge