Chelsea shouldn’t dismiss Rafa Benitez as a short-term solution

The idea of ​​bringing Rafa Benitez back to Stamford Bridge is, of course, not very popular.

When he joined the club in 2012 as an emergency fix for the mess Roberto Di Matteo left behind, Benitez was greeted with a vicious chorus of boos. Fans were disgusted that this former Liverpool manager, who had publicly mocked Chelsea fans in the past, was now demanding their respect.

Rafael Benitez
Benitez’s time at Chelsea has been controversial | Christof Koepsel / Getty Images

It was a union that only lasted around six months, but there are a few rumors suggesting we could be set for the second round.

Benitez recently left the Chinese side of Dalian Professional amid concerns about his family’s health during the COVID-19 outbreak, so his name can now be added to the list of managers who could immediately replace the boss under the late Frank Lampard, whose Chelsea side are in a bit of a rut these days.

The Blues have fallen to ninth place in the Premier League, tied on points with tenth Southampton, who have a game in hand, and this has led to speculation that Lampard’s header could roll in the very near future if things go. do not improve.

Is history about to repeat itself? Could Benitez come and stabilize the ship after a turbulent period under a Chelsea legend?

Frank Lampard
Lampard’s position is threatened | Pool / Getty Images

The toxicity of his first stint at Chelsea is exactly the sort of thing the Blues don’t need right now, but there is one important difference between the 2012/13 season and the current campaign – the lack of fans.

It was the supporters who made Benitez’s first stint at Chelsea uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, they had very good reasons for their animosity towards the Spaniard, who had directly criticized them in the past, but that didn’t really help matters.

However, when it comes to the players, it’s safe to say that Benitez has been fairly well received.

Under the Spaniard, Chelsea bounced back to finish third in the Premier League and reach the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup, but their biggest achievement was winning the Europa League trophy when all was said and done.

Benitez led Chelsea to another European trophy | ADRIAN DENNIS / Getty Images

Benitez came in, got the players back in shape and managed to save a season that seemed destined to be a huge embarrassment. Seems familiar?

With fans not returning to Stamford Bridge anytime soon, there would be no outside distraction. Benitez could keep his head down and focus on getting results with his players, knowing he won’t be booed for breath.

The only thing that would matter would be Benitez’s ability to get the most out of his squad, and while he’s no longer seen with the same mystique he was during his first stint with Liverpool, there’s no denying that Benitez brings the kind of features Chelsea need. these days.

Rafa Benitez
Lack of fans could be a good thing for Benitez | Craig Mercer / MB Media / Getty Images

“He’s always focused on the little details, a very organized coach and making sure the individuals are well trained in every position and then he goes through the units,” Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard told BBC Radio 5 Live in 2017.

“He has always shaped the team on a daily basis. This is probably the part of training that he focuses on the most, when the coaches around him, for example, could do a shooting session, take possession and other things. But when it comes to how he wants his 11 to be drilled in possession and out of possession.

“He always makes sure that every player in his 11 and in his unit, those who are ready to step off the bench, know exactly what is expected of them.

Chelsea team appear to lack structure | RICHARD HEATHCOTE / Getty Images

For Chelsea, the talent of the team is not a problem. The locker room is brimming with individual quality, but that’s how these individuals came together into a unit that focused on the management of Lampard.

If owner Roman Abramovich is losing patience with Lampard, the belief is that he would like to involve someone in a long-term deal, but calling Benitez to save the day once again shouldn’t be ruled out.

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