Rafa Benitez finally cracked today, and had his say about the booing coming from the Chelsea fans who "lack passion" during an unconvincing victory over a struggling Championship side. He's probably fully justified in his frustrations, as he's now been in the center of a very negative atmosphere for nearly three full months.
Here's the problem with what Benitez just did though...ranting about the fans being out of line is only going to make the atmosphere for this weekend's game far worse. Rafa can state as "fact" that basically no Chelsea fans alive can stand him, but if he's under the assumption that it's due to his association with Liverpool, he's massively mistaken. We have a certain other Spaniard that terrorized us in his Liverpool time on the books as well, and he was given absolutely ridiculous amounts of support from the fans during the first 18 months of his Chelsea drought. The fans have proven they can overcome a connection with Liverpool, this just goes beyond that.
if Rafa bothered to take the time to analyse the situation, he'd find it easy to deduce that the reason most fans dislike him is because he has shown no remorse for insulting them in the past. While he claims he was being a "professional" and "just doing his job", I never once in my coaching career ran into a situation in which insulting an opponent's fanbase in any way improved my squad. Before he ever started doing poorly at your job here, we disliked him because of the inappropriate remarks that he had about our fanbase.
With that in mind, today's rant was absolutely the worst thing Benitez could have done to attempt to quiet the fans. Blaming them for the club's poor form may make him sleep a little better tonight, but the vast majority of the fanbase will now have their anger renewed come Saturday's home tie with West Brom. The atmosphere's that he was complaining about today will surely pale in comparison to the one he's about to face, enough that I'd be shocked if the club didn't have to take extra security measures because of it. Our trip to Old Trafford will likely be a less hostile crowd than our home stadium will be come Saturday, and that lies 100% on rafa's insane rant from this evening.
It's good news that Rafa has confirmed that he won't be at the club beyond May, but it would probably be better for the club to simply listen to their manager about the fans' lack of support hurting the players and deal with the issue tonight. They can continue on their current course, and any time the club is less than outstanding, the fans are going to boo. They hate the manager, he's terrible at his job, and they've just had enough.
Alternatively, they could part ways with Benitez right now, thus ensuring the atmosphere at their next home game will be one of the best in the history of the sport. Rafa is just not good enough at his job to overcome the mistakes he constantly makes with his comments, and he's only making a bad situation worse. Please Roman, Bruce, Ron, Michael, or whomever is making this decision...do the right thing and just get rid of him tonight. Stamford Bridge will be a better place for it.