Consider this something of an information dump, because I'm mostly out of 30 Years War references to drop on y'all*. In the past 24 hours we've seen Roberto di Matteo ousted as manager of Chelsea football club and replaced by a man that the Stamford Bridge crowd is used to describing as a 'fat Spanish waiter', and we've been very light on actual details.
*I'm not, but there's a time and a place, right?
Step forth Ben Jacobs! The Dubai-based journalist spent the evening with Rafael Benitez and is dropping some knowledge on us pitiful information-deprived peons. Take it away, Mr. Jacobs:
Rafa was offered the job eight days ago, so the midweek Champions League defeat had nothing to do with Di Matteo's dismissal #Chelsea— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 21, 2012
There's some useful information there (and more if you check his overall timeline). As it turns out, both initial reports of the contract length were correct. Benitez will manage Chelsea on a 18-month, £4.5 million contract but there's an opt-out clause for both parties at the end of the current season, so if we want him gone, he'll be gone. The wages aren't terrible, but he's hardly a bargain either.
The strangest part is the second tweet, in which Mr. Jordan mentions that this has been coming for some time -- ever since the 1-1 draw against Liverpool, in fact. That means that the back-to-back losses against West Bromwich Albion and Juventus were not the catalyst behind di Matteo's sacking (although one would imagine that being humiliated in Turin was the straw that broke the camel's back), which would bring some credibility to the idea that he'd been a dead man walking for some time.
As for the last tweet... well, I'm sure Rafa says a lot of things to make himself look good. Whether you believe them or not is rather up to you.
Anyway. That's what you need to know about Benitez right now. What you need to accept is that he's now the manager of Chelsea Football Club, whether we like it or not. When you wake up, he'll still be the manager. I'm not saying 'get behind him' or anything that lame, but it is what it is. Hopefully the rest of the season won't be a complete disaster.