Rumor has it in the football world, that Rafa Benitez is the favorite and most likely to take over for Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. Benitez had an interesting first stint at Chelsea boss back in 2012, where he lasted only half a season. To be fair, Benitez took over for Chelsea following the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo, but he did not bring much if any improvement to the Chelsea side.
Under Benitez, Chelsea failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, which later resulted in the Blues bringing home the Europa League title. Some may have seen this title as a success, but the Chelsea board clearly did not, as they did not extend Benitez’s time in London.
So Chelsea supporters, it seems like Rafa Benitezwill be coming back to Stamford Bridge, with hopes of lasting a bit longer than his first spell with the club. Chelsea have been linked to Max Allegri, Frank Lampard, Steve Holland, and even Jose Mourinho, but Benitez seems to be the clear favorite at this point.
According to reports, Allegri was the favorite, but he has turned down the Chelsea job. Allegri made the most sense due to his hunger of trophies, but honestly, Chelsea supporters should be relieved as the last thing they need is another Italian manager taking over once again. Chelsea have gone through previous bosses Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri as their previous two managers, so hiring another Italian probably wouldn’t be the smartest decision, based off their similar style of play and tactics.
So why not Frank Lampard? He is a Chelsea legend, has coaching experience, and the fans love him, which makes it seems like a no brainer. My take is that Lampard is not ready for this job yet. Soon enough, Lampard will get his shot, it just has to be in the right moment. The way I see it is, if Lampard gets the job now and fails, his Chelsea legacy will be diminished and he will never have a shot again at coaching his favorite club.
Chelsea lack the tools at the current time, as they are currently facing a transfer ban, and just lost their best player, Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. So at this time, Lampard just doesn’t feel like the right candidate to take over for Chelsea, but I am sure he will have the job, when the time is right.
Benitez coming back to Stamford Bridge might end up being a very good thing for the club, as Benitez brings experience and leadership that Chelsea have desperately been lacking over the past few seasons. Although Chelsea supporters might not like this decision, I don’t see many clear answers of who could be better for the job.
Over the past two seasons, Benitez has done a phenomenal job with Newcastle, as took a side with very small transfer budget, and brought in quality results. Over the past season in the Premier League, his side had the lowest total of goals scored and conceded combined. Benitez brings a very defensive style of football wherever he manages, so is this really what Chelsea fans want?
Benitez has the experience and capabilities to improve the current Chelsea side, without having to buy players. He will use youth and all the players returning from spells out on loan, in order to improve the current side. This could very well be Benitez’s last chance to manage a title contending club, so surely he will do whatever it takes to bring success to Stamford Bridge.