John Terry accepts rotation policy

Chelsea center-back John Terry says he accepts interim manager Rafa Benitez’s squad rotation policy.  The thirty-two-year-old has only made three starts for The Blues so far this season, and despite scoring two headers against Fulham in Chelsea’s 3-0 win on Wednesday, Benitez said he was not guaranteed a starting place in Chelsea’s match against Liverpool on Sunday.

The Englishman was an unused substitute in Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal defeat to Manchester City last weekend, and although featuring in the Europa League, has only made two Premier League starts since early February. Despite his lack of playing time, Terry recently denied a bust-up with Benitez, and has said that he accepts the Spaniards squad rotation policy. “There are no complaints,” Terry told the Evening Standard. “I accept the rotation system. I can definitely play twice a week, three games a week if need be. Continue reading

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Match-day Musings: What’s next for Chelsea

Chelsea, one of the best teams in the world, were heavily criticized this week by their coach Rafa Benitez. He said that he will leave them in the summer, and criticized their fans and also indirectly owner Roman Abramovich . But with Benitez leaving in the summer, who will coach Chelsea? Another risk is that the club is still battling for Champions League qualification, a requirement for most world class coaches and players.

At first it appeared that they had set their sights Pep Gaurdiola, but he announced that he will coach German club Bayern Munich when he returns to coaching in the summer. Another good candidate, Jose Mourinho, is probably out of their reach to, and in my view, he will most likely move to wealthy Paris Saint-Germain. After those two they don’t have a clear choice coach, and that brings up the question “who will coach them next season?

There is the remote possibility of their former coach, Roberto Di Mateo, who was sacked by Abramovich only six months after winning the Champions League, could return, and would be a popular choice with the fans, but Abramovich likely still wants a more high profile manager. But in my view, Chelsea’s best chance comes in the shape of Jurgen Klopp who currently coaches Borussia Dortmund. He won two consecutive league titles with them, and led Dortmund from being a middle of the table club to a side competing in the Champions League, and could be a perfect fit for them.

But in my opinion Chelsea’s reputation has been somewhat tainted no matter whom they appoint, and the Benitez attack certainly did not help. They recently beat West Bromwich Albion though, but scarcely and, only won off a Demba Ba strike in the twenty-seventh minute. But even if they recover from Benitez’s comments, if they do not achieve Champions League qualification it is hard to see any world class coaches wanting to coach them.

Benitez gets Chelsea backing despite rant

Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez has gained the backing of the London based club saying it is “business as usual” despite criticizing the Chelsea fans and owner Roman Abramovich following Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.  The European Champions will not sack the Spaniard immediately though, but will let him go when his contract ends in the summer.

After Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday Benitez slammed the Chelsea fans for still not giving him their backing, and said he was surprised with the club for using the word “interim” in his title.  He also confirmed that he will be leaving the club when his contract expires this summer after hinting that he would leave a few days ago.

“I have a title. Someone decided the title would be ‘interim’. Why? Just in case? If they want to blame me for everything that is wrong and then they say, ‘We will put interim just in case’, fine, that is your decision.”  Benitez said.

“I don’t agree but it’s your decision and now everybody has to take responsibility. If we are in the Champions League, I will be the happiest man in the world.”

“But I will leave anyway because I have finished my contract, so they [his critics] don’t need to be worried about me. What they have to do is concentrate on supporting the team.”

“I have a contract until the end of the season, that’s it, so they don’t need to be worried about me.”

Benitez was chanted against by Chelsea supporters in their game against Middlesbrough, but more subdued than the chants when he first took over for Roberto Di Matteo in November.  The fifty-two-year-old has been subject to many different chants since he took over at Chelsea because of his success as a manager at Liverpool, some directed to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich like “We want Di Matteo”.  He recently denied a that he had lost control of the Chelsea dressing room, but acknowledged that their had been an “exchange of opinions” after Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League.

Benitez comments hint Chelsea exit

Chelsea manager, Rafa Benitez, has hinted that he will leave the London based club when his current contract ends this summer.  The Spaniard was appointed Chelsea manager back in November, despite being unpopular with the Chelsea fans because of his success at Liverpool.  He almost won over the Chelsea fans minds when he won seven out of eight games in December, but once they lost 1-0 to the last place Queens Park Rangers in the English Premier League, the fans returned to protesting against his appointment.

He recently denied reports that he had lost control in the Chelsea dressing room after their 2-0 loss to Manchester City, but acknowledged that there was an “exchange of opinions”.

“You know, more or less, how things go (at Chelsea) in terms of what happens if you lose or win,” Benitez stated ahead of their FA Cup match against Middlesbrough. “I have a job to do and the players are clever enough and realize they will be here next season with long contracts.”

“I will be working hard until the end. We have to try to beat Middlesbrough and then move on. My job is to concentrate on the next game, not the speculation.”

“I accept we have had some games where we had to do better.  At Manchester City, we still had a penalty and two counter-attacks when we could have scored and made the difference, but we didn’t play at the level we could play and that is my concern.

“I think we have had a lot of games we could have won, two or three easily. Reading, where after 93 and a half minutes towards winning and we lost two points. We conceded two at Newcastle when we were ahead. You have to win those games.

“It’s not a question of character. It’s a question of mistakes, of attention, of a lack of concentration, but we fight till the end. Don’t forget, this team finished sixth last year, we have to fight now for the top three.

“I can guarantee the players know what we’re trying to do and believe in it 100%. I am here to be in the top three, and do my best in every competition. After that, we will see.”

Benitez has also hinted that he would like to move to Real Madrid when he leaves Chelsea, describing the Spanish club as his “sweetheart”.  Chelsea are currently sitting in fourth place in the English Premier League, but got knocked out of the Champions League and Capital One Cup.

Benitez comments fuel Real Madrid speculation

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has spoken of his love for his first club in his playing and managerial career, Real Madrid.  He described the club which he joined as a thirteen year old as his “sweetheart.”

Madrid’s current manager, Jose Mourinho, will most likely leave the club this summer, and Benitez expressed his interest in the job to Radio Nacional di Espana, “Real Madrid have a determined manager with a contract and this deserves respect,” he told them.  “As a manager, you always have your sweetheart.  I have a link with the fans and they have treated me well.

“I arrived at Madrid when I was 13 years old and I’m from Madrid.  But I don’t want to get involved in this speculation because my words aren’t always interpreted.”

Benitez also told Radio Nacional di Espana that his managing success at Liverpool has made it hard for him at Chelsea, given the rivalry he helped strengthen between the clubs.  He also expressed his interest in taking over as Spain manager once his current contract expires at Chelsea and after current coach Vincente del Bosque steps down from the post.