That was one of the more printable ditties that Chelsea fans serenaded Rafael Benitez with during the 2-2 FA Cup quarter-final draw at Manchester United.
It rings most pertinent for its glorious timing, the chant raising above the embarrassing din at the exact moment Benitez brought Eden Hazard and John Obi Mikel on for Victor Moses and Frank Lampard.
By the time Ramires had clipped home the equaliser, the chant had become a most glorious irony. Hazard’s introduction changed the game, while Mikel put in a fantastically controlled display behind Ramires, whose energy and drive is maximised when afforded attacking freedom by a defensive midfielder.
“You don’t know what you’re doing”
The one thing you cannot lay at the feet of Benitez is that he is tactically inept – he has made game and title-winning changes throughout his career, the biggest of which ED doesn’t need to remind you of. Player testimonies hint that Benitez’s main faults are social awkwardness and uncomfortable man-management, neither of which sits well in the ego-ridden dressing rooms of Cobham and Como, where Chelsea and Inter train respectively.
The less palatable chants, those of a personal nature, probably had more foundation, although ED is unsure that Benitez has ever worked in catering.
ED is also unsure what fans meant by “we want our Chelsea back” – did they want the late 1970s Ken Shellito vintage that got relegated, or the grinding early 90s outfit of Ian Porterfield? Because anything since has been marshalled by two lovely fellas, Ken Bates and Roman Abramovich, ruthless businessmen of varying resources and intelligence who probably represent the true image of the club’s current fan base more than any romantic swinging sixties notion of Kings Road FC. In case you care which side ED's bread is buttered, there were some ironic Porterfield A4 print-outs doing the rounds at these offices over the last fortnight.
Benitez is also incredibly stubborn and, having been afforded unprecedented power at Liverpool before the Americans got involved, expects a level of power that few outside the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are afforded. Even Jose Mourinho doesn’t get that kind of control.
Benitez’s only lack of judgement and understanding lie in his conviction that he still lies at the top of the managerial food chain, not in any tactical incompetence. When it comes to sensing how he is perceived and valued, he really doesn't appear to know what he is doing.
Following his acrimonious exit from Liverpool – acrimonious with the then-board, not the fans, who largely revere the man – Benitez repeatedly insisted he would only take top jobs at clubs with the ambition and resources to challenge for major trophies. That's something Sky Sports News failed to note when they mistakenly unveiled him as the new Aston Villa manager (it was Alex McLeish).
It’s too late now, and there is no way Benitez will still be there by the end of the summer; he may well be gone by the end of the month. But while he is sticking around Chelsea’s supporter base needs to grow up and get what they can out of the situation, lest their club end up finishing fifth. Fourth would still be tough – a play-off against Milan or Malaga would be some way off a foregone conclusion.
That probably won’t happen. Chelsea's fans will continue to berate Benitez, arguably hurting the confidence and stunting the development of players like Oscar and Moses. Indeed, ED sensed that fans were relieved that David De Gea’s boot denied Juan Mata a late winner against United, as victory would have been too much to stomach.
Speaking of United, ED never thought it would blame the loss of Nani on consecutive Mancunian capitulations twice in the space of a week.
The Portuguese winger’s dismissal on Tuesday famously led United to implode – both on and off the pitch – as the 10 men panicked and Sir Alex Ferguson raged when he should have been making tactical adjustments to cope with the introduction of Luka Modric, and the extra man Real had on the right.
This time Nani’s injury was not a key moment – Chelsea’s tide turned, while United’s poor defending has been a recurrent theme this season – but the hapless display of Robin van Persie was worrisome at best.
Van Persie has not scored for six matches, yet Ferguson – who, incidentally, may be the greatest man-manager and football strategist of all time but is tactically a shade weaker than Benitez or Mourinho – persists with the Dutchman, who is showing major signs of burnout.
At least they’ve got Reading at the weekend.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"You have to understand the problem is the emotion and intensity of Tuesday night had taken its toll on one or two of the players. Understandably I have no problems with that part but it made it a long day for us and they were by far the better team in the second half." – Seriously Fergie, move on already.
If you thought the Premier League and La Liga were one-sided this season, Olympiakos have already sewn up the Greek title – their 40th no less – after a 3-0 derby win over AEK Athens. They lie 16 points clear with five matches remaining, having reaped the rewards of being one of the few Greek clubs not to have overly felt the economic crisis engulfing the country.
Aside from the sacking of Rafael Benitez, if fans of both Chelsea and United are to be believed, it is relatively quiet day for fans of top-flight football, although Hull City can move second in the Championship if they win at Burnley, with the real sporting action the ongoing Indian Wells Masters event as the world’s top tennis players do battle with a gaggle of American wildcards with points to prove.