Chelsea has been up and down over the last few years. In 2011 Carlo Ancelotti was fired as the club "only" made it to second place in the Premier League (the previous year he had led them to their first "Double"). For the start of the 2011-12 season Andre Villas-Boas became manager, and under him team performance dipped with a string of defeats.
Jose Mourinho was easing into the philosophical, waxing about "being where people love him" until he was rudely cut off by ITV's unfortunate interviewer. Mourinho is not often cut off in press conferences – especially when it's the English media asking the questions – but was there any real suspense in what Mourinho was going to say if his interview hadn't been bushwhacked by beckoning commercials?
A day after Jose Mourino took the stage at his press conference to more or less confirm he is leaving Madrid, Chelsea held their training session followed by their own press conference ahead of the Europa League semi final second leg against FC Basel at Stamford Bridge.
In light of the heightened speculation surround a possible return for "The Special One", it was clear questions would be asked of Benitez to his reaction.
What can Chelsea learn from Bayern Munich? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Bayern Munich are set to take on Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday night, with the Bavarians still in search of a momentous treble. It was Chelsea who faced the Catalan giants at the same stage last season, before overcoming Bayern on penalties in the competition finale.
When the curtain finally closes on this season in May, we will all have a chance to sit back and evaluate the season that promised so much for Chelsea.
Coming off the back of winning the FA Cup and finally the Champions League, with a new contract given to Roberto Di Matteo to become our full time manager, there was a real feel-good feeling about the Bridge heading into this season.
Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 in their FA Cup quarterfinal replay thanks to some great saves from Petr Cech and Demba Ba's 49th-minute goal. With both clubs playing on one day's rest, Juan Mata provided Ba with an exquisite long pass into the box, which Ba finished with impressive leg extension.
Andre Villas-Boas was sacked following a defeat to West Brom, Roberto Di Matteo was sacked following a defeat to West Brom... so Rafael Benitez would do well to avoid an embarrassing result at home to the Baggies this weekend.
Di Matteo based his Chelsea side around the creative trio of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata earlier this season, but Benitez has favoured a more cautious starting XI.
Chelsea link with Pellegrini adds pressure on Benitez - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Jesus Martinez, agent of Manuel Pellegrini has added further pressure on Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez, claiming an intermediary representing the London club has sounded him out about the availability of the Malaga manager, though nothing is official at this stage.
For those of you who are regular readers of my blog and MY blog posts in particular, you will be well aware of my feeling towards Rafa Benitez being our manager. For those of you who are visiting my website for the first time, I will elaborate.
I have been critical of Benitez in recent weeks about his team talks at half time, his tactical substitutions, I have called for him to be sacked and have promoted and signed an online petition to ensure that he is not given a contract beyond this season at Chelsea.
It all started with the introduction of our new manager..
After an all too familiar November slump at the Bridge, Chelsea decided to part ways with Champions League and FA Cup double winning manager Roberto Di Matteo, turning instead to Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard had reportedly been in contact with the club PRIOR TO the exit from the Champions League (courtesy of Juventus).
One thing we have been waiting for ever since he was sacked, Is to hear what Roberto Di Matteo has to say about his time at Chelsea, his thoughts on his sacking and the appointment of Rafa Benitez has his replacement.
He didn't speak of Benitez, never spoke of his sacking BUT he did thank the Chelsea fans for their continued support ever since he left the club.
It all got a bit nervy yesterday at Stamford Bridge when it looked like Chelsea could be on the verge of throwing away a second 2-0 lead in less than a week. As if Rafa Benitez wasn't already feeling the pressure he had the ghost of Roberto Di Matteo breathing down his neck during the [...]
Chelsea FC: A managerial wasteland? - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
The biggest transfer story of the 2013 winter transfer window hasn't been a player but a manager. For the last couple of days the news that Pep Guardiola has opted to succeed outgoing manager Jupp Heynckes as Bayern Munich boss were inescapable.
It's no secret that Chelsea and Roman Abramovich in particular have made every effort to entice Pep Guardiola to Stamford Bridge. If reports are to be believed, Chelsea made three attempts and offered big money to lure him to the Bridge and out of his self imposed sabbatical after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and last summer.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis, whose club plays against Chelsea, thinks Chelsea should retain Rafa Benitez as manager because wouldn't that be great for him? Said Pulis, while doing a noble job of holding back uncontrollable laughter (via Sky Sports):
Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luis Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo will all tell you the same thing about managing Chelsea - It's results and silverware that is all important for Roman Abramovich. Can someone tell Rafa Benitez to get his head out of his arse and realise that before it's too late!
What a year 2012 was for all of us!. It's a year that every single Chelsea fan all over the world will remember for a lifetime. After heading into the year being beaten at home by Aston Villa, with doubts about our team, our playing style and high defensive line under AVB, we finished the season under Roberto Di Matteo winning the FA Cup and Champions League and witnessed Chelsea battle against the odds to knock out Barcelona in the Nou Camp in three of the greatest games of last season.
It sounds ridiculous really considering what has happened at Chelsea in the last month but Roberto Di Matteo was named Coach of the Year last night less than a month after being sacked.
The Italian who delivered the Champions League trophy to Roman Abramovich in May — only to be ditched by the Chelsea owner in November — picked up more silverware with the top gong at the Credit Suisse Awards in Zurich.
It's common knowledge that Rafael Benitez's appointment as interim manager of Chelsea didn't go down too well with fans still reeling from Roman Abramovich's shock decision to give Roberto di Matteo the sack. Since his appointment, his early and results haven't been too encouraging, but the thinking behind his arrival is that he can get the best out of a consistently underachieving Fernando Torres that he's merely keeping the Stamford Bridge hot-seat warm for the possible arrival of former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola in the summer.
Gary Cahill has criticized Corinthians midfielder Emerson for dramatically selling the tackle that will now see the Chelsea star miss the club's next match.
The Blues were beaten 1-0 after they failed to respond to a Paolo Guerrero goal and in addition to losing the match, last season's UEFA Champions League winners also lost Cahill for the League Cup quarterfinal against Leeds.
Chances are, by the time you wake up, the champion of the Club World Cup will have been crowned, as Chelsea takes on Corinthians in Yokohama, Japan. Corinthians is looking for their second title, as they have returned to the tournament for the first time since winning the first Club World Cup in 2000.
Chelsea's interim manager Rafael Benitez (Photo via Reuters)
Chelsea FC are in Japan this week as they take part in the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. The Blues qualified for this event by winning the UEFA Champions League last season and will match up against the winners of the other FIFA Confederations beginning tomorrow as they take on CF Monterrey of Mexico (CONCACAF champions) in a semi-final match.
What to make of recent events at Stamford Bridge? Rafa Benitez is on a hiding to nothing after taking the Blues job on an interim basis and, after three games without a win and just one goal, it has now developed into a much more difficult start for him than anyone could have envisaged. Let us be clear - this appointment is not going to work.
Didier Drogba hosted a lavish soiree in London last night in order to present his former Chelsea teammates with a little something to remember their Champions League victory last season by £800,000′s worth of 'little something' to be specific.
A day after this year's vintage had crashed out of the tournament at the first hurdle, Drogba presented his former Champions League comrades with personalised Superbowl-style winners' rings at a dinner he'd thrown atWyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour though several players, including Fernando Torres, Petr Cech and Juan Mata and winning manager Roberto Di Matteo, were all unable to attend.
So apparently everyone got together and decided it's time to blame the managers for everything again. Roberto Di Matteo gets sacked six months after winning Chelsea's first Champions League title, Roberto Mancini gets dumped on for not doing well in Europe after winning City's first Premier League title in, like, eight million years and in Paris Carlo Ancelotti is getting fitted for a noose since he hasn't won the league in December.
Ducky's Note: Swaraj is a Chelsea fan (yes, that species we are beginning to see a bit more out here on BFZ) who has written a Champions League final preview for us before. Here he pays tribute to the man most of Chelsea is currently wishing was not sacked Roberto di Matteo.
Last week many Chelsea supporters were left shocked as Roberto Di Matteo was sacked. The former player led the club to a historic Champions League victory against Bayern Munich, making him a legend in every fans eyes and cementing his place in the Chelsea history books.
Liverpool is hoping that the change in manager at Chelsea will not affect their January transfer plans for striker Daniel Sturridge. The England international forward has been heavily linked with a move to Merseyside in recent months, with The Daily Telegraph claiming the 23-year-old remains the Reds' prime target for the New Year.
A week ago Chelsea sacked Roberto Di Matteo six months after guiding Chelsea to winning the holy grail, the trophy Roman Abramovich, the Board, the players and the Chelsea fans wanted and by typing this down now on paper makes it really hit home just how ridiculous the last seven days has been.
Manager Rafael Benitez chats with Fernando Torres (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Chelsea is truly at their wits end over the tough luck they have had in regards to Fernando Torres. Their record £50 million signing has never produced the goods and according to NESN on Nov. 27, 2012 the Spanish attacker remains on the fence as to whether or not his future is still at Stamford Bridge.
After posting that Roman Abramovich had (reportedly) given Jose Mourinho a £350,000 watch recently it seems as though he has finally admitted that he needs to bring back the "Special One" to Stamford Bridge.
If press reports and rumour are too be believed there is just one stumbling block in all of this and that's Michael Emenalo.
1. Rafa Benitez attempted to throw his weight behind the Roberto Di Matteo protests by encouraging his team to score 16 goals against Aston Villa. 2. You know you're in trouble when you've lost 8-0, your goalkeeper has saved a penalty and was your best player by a mile. 3. Puffa coat-wearing manager watches his [.