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Rafa delivers a fact, sadly not a surprising one

By Dan Wheeler




Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the Spanish Cup semi-final second-leg football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 26, 2013
Real Madrid's Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the Spanish Cup semi-final second-leg football match FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on February 26, 2013

Everyone knows Benitez never had a future at the club, regardless of what he achieved. How could he? He had just replaced the man who got sacked after winning the European Cup. 

Other “facts” have conspired against him. His poor record at Chelsea, disastrous when you compare it to all the other managers since Jose Mourinho, was the biggest hole in the hull. His association with Liverpool and the club’s inertia over club icon Frank Lampard’s contract situation were others. As was Eden Hazard’s stray boot against the world’s oldest ball boy as they crashed out of the League Cup to Swansea. 

Then there is the constant insinuation of discontent in the dressing room with senior players (who else?) something that Benitez has to constantly deny. When you add all that to the hostility aimed at him every week from the supporters it is perhaps a surprise that Benitez, with his legendary inelastic capacity to cope with criticism, has lasted as long as he has.