Chelsea FC latest transfer rumours, team news
It should be the crowning glory of any football manager’s career, the icing on the cherry, but contrary to reason Rafa Benitez awakes this morning as public enemy number one for his part in the dethroning of former Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo, and only positive results from here on out will satisfy the cries of his owner and the club’s fans.
As predicted in yesterday’s Chelsea transfer news and rumours column, Sports Bulletin pointed to Rafa Banitez as the frontrunner for the vacant position, who was officially sworn in as of today.
Benitez will hold the title of interim manager until the end of the season, as confirmed in a Chelsea FC press statement.
”The owner and the Board believe that in Benitez we have a manager with significant experience at the highest level of football, who can come in and immediately help deliver our objectives,” said the club.
As far as rumours and speculation goes, many insiders are talking up the Spaniard as the right man to revive a withering, unreliable Fernando Torres due to their time together at Liverpool several years ago.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has stuck by his £50m signing even though the striker has done little to convince fans he is happy in his lone role up front, and fellow countryman Benitez could help redress the unbalance within the team structure.
The official club statement went on to say of its new manager: “The two-time UEFA Manager of the Year comes with outstanding pedigree.
”He began his managerial career in his homeland, most notably at Valencia where he built a reputation as one of Europe’s top coaches by winning the Spanish League twice and the UEFA Cup. He then spent six years at Liverpool and led them to their fifth European Cup and an FA Cup.”
Even with the backing of the board and Fernando Torres, Benitez will be fully aware that the pressure is on to deliver silverware by the end of the season or face the boot, with long-term suitor Pep Guardiola, currently on sabbatical until the summer, ready to step in and take over full time.