Is it just me or does everyone else think that poor old Rafa Benitez is on a hiding to nothing at Chelsea?
How can a team go from champs to chumps in the space of six months? It can’t all be down to Roberto Di Matteo‘s decision-making – nobody was complaining last season when he guided the Blues to the FA Cup and Champions League. Maybe luck just ran out for the Italian, or perhaps the loss of Didier Drogba left a hole that big that it couldn’t be filled. Fernando Torres certainly doesn’t look up to the task. As I write, it’s almost 11 hours since El Nino last found the back of any net. His body language suggests he’s not that bothered but can Roman Abramovic possibly afford to get rid in the transfer January window? Given his recent record, Torres’ stock must be at an all-time low though that hasn’t stopped Skybet on opening a book on where the Spanish striker will be after the next transfer window has closed. Former club Atletico Madrid, currently challenging Barcelona in the Primera Liga and likely to be looking for a replacement for Radamel Falcao next year, are currently 6/1 to get Torres’ signature with 16/1 on offer that he returns to Liverpool.
But he’ll be going nowhere unless Chelsea can find a striker to lead their line. Daniel Sturridge continues to be dogged by injury and the option of playing without a recognised front man against the top teams just isn’t an option if the Blues actually want to win now and again. John Terry‘s absence and speculation about the futures of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard is also hampering Benitez’ efforts to turn things around at Stamford Bridge and some layers believe his stay in west London will be short-lived given the open hostility many Chelsea fans have shown to the man who once labelled them ‘passionless’.
As shot-shy Chelsea continue to lose ground on their title rivals and teeter on the edge of Champions League oblivion, Benitez is just 33/1 with Stan James to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post with Pep Guardiola a best 11/8 with Skybet to be the next permanent boss. Chelsea are now 13/18 with bwin to endure a trophy-less campaign.