While few would argue that the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was a ridiculous act of childishness this week, the Blues’ replacement manager is likely to excite fans betting on soccer nonetheless, as a Spanish brain returns to the Premier League title race.
In Rafael Benitez, Chelsea not only have a man with the managerial ability to match the ambitions of their owner, but also the tactical mind capable of controlling and instructing the host of talent in Chelsea’s squad.
Indeed, his expertise on Spanish football will come into play this season, with Chelsea’s Fernando Torres and Juan Mata expected to benefit from his leadership.
Granted, Chelsea fans are right to be disappointed that the man who won them the European Cup has been cast aside for someone once regarded as a rival.
Under the Jose Mourinho era at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea and Liverpool – then Benitez’s team – battled out a series of intense games that sparked a rivalry fuelled around tense press conferences.
Many Chelsea fans still see Benitez as the complaining Reds boss that challenged Mourinho at every opportunity and it is unclear what the reception will be like when the European champions meet Manchester City this weekend.
However, despite the history that Benitez has with Chelsea, there can be no complaints over his managerial record. Two La Liga titles for Valencia came before he won the Champions League with Liverpool. And, in the space of six months at Inter Milan, Benitez won the European Super Cup and the World Club Cup.
The pundits on Bet365 betting Australia expect that his Spanish tactical head will get the most out of the stuttering Fernando Torres, who has struggled with form recently, and with Chelsea teetering on the brink of Champions League exile, there will be opportunities for youth players to develop in the Europa League, come the spring.
Chelsea fans, please give Benitez a chance; he could work wonders at Stamford Bridge this season