Congratulations Rafael Benitez, you have won the prize for the worst start in recent managerial history!

Did you ever think the next guy would suck so much? - Laurence Griffiths

It's been a little over a month, a dozen matches, since the Spaniard took over from the beloved Roberto Di Matteo. Seven wins from twelve is his record. It is not good.

Repeating yourself much, history? Twelve years ago, an ex-Valencia manager took charge at Stamford Bridge, replacing a popular Italian ex-Chelsea-player-turned-manager who had brought tremendous European success and had made a bright initial start to the new season. Dozen years ago, the principals in this tragicomedy were called Claudio Ranieri and Gianluca Vialli. To be fair, Vialli fell out with the players (including Zola and Deschamps) rather than the upper echelon but such details are small enough to be glossed over.

Ranieri struggled and was not an instant success. Just four wins from the first twelve, half of which were lost. The six losses included 2-0 shutouts away to Charlton Athletic and - wait, have to look up the spelling - FC St. Gallen 1879, a mid-table Swiss club, which eliminated Chelsea (who had held a 1-0 home leg lead from Vialli's time) from the UEFA Cup. Then again, in those days, expectations at Stamford Bridge were somewhat, shall we say, lower.

Four years on from St. Gallen, Jose Mourinho waltzed into town and created an unprecedented culture of quality, strength, and winning. He won nine of his first twelve, losing just once to Manchester City. This record would be repeated or bettered by four of the next six managers - only Avram Grant and Andre Villas-Boas fell short of the mark with eight wins from the first twelve. Yet both of them lost just once as well, to Manchester United, coincidentally enough.

Of course, all good things and all good trends must come to an end. And the latest ex-Valencia man has done just that. Read 'em and weep:

Benitez_first_12_medium

The accomplishments are numerous and impressive. Least number of wins (7)? Check. Least number of home wins (2)? Check. Most losses (3)? Check. Most home losses (1)? Check. (Tied for) least number of "super important" clean sheets (4)? Check.

Ladies & gentlemen, Rafalution!

NB: This article originally stated that Mr. Interim only had three clean sheets. But it's actually four clean sheets! Apparently my counting skills are on par with his managerial skills.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Join We Ain't Got No History

You must be a member of We Ain't Got No History to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at We Ain't Got No History. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker