Rafael Benitez has reached a stage where he’s basically had enough. I don’t think he feels he can make a breakthrough with the Chelsea fans or players, and he needed a win before he said how he feels.
He knows it will come to an end and wanted to get his irritation off his chest, but chose to do so from a relative position of strength. Simple as that.
When you take over as manager of a new club and the fans don’t like you there’s usually a short spell where things are tetchy, but then they get on with it and get behind the team.
However this campaign against him has been relentless.
He feels that within the club there has been no support, as giving him the ‘interim’ just allowed his detractors not to take him seriously.
With that kind of title it’s impossible not just to please a fanbase that has already made up its mind, but to manage a complicated dressing room of players who are not exactly renowned for their patience.
The last straw was the loss at Manchester City which, under current circumstances, Rafa got the blame for. If Manchester United lost at City, the players, not Fergie, would be blamed.
Whatever happens at Chelsea, Rafa gets the bullet, even though City are the champions, even though Chelsea were a saved penalty away from taking a lead that they could have defended.
I think it’s going to be difficult for Rafa to stay even until the end of the season. Roman Abramovich won’t have been too impressed with what he said, and the fans will be at him again with renewed vigour.
I think some of them had actually tired of protesting his mere presence at the club, but they will be at him for every game now.
I don’t think he even wants to see out the season anyway – he probably sees it as more hassle than it’s worth.
He had the idea of coming to Chelsea and improving his CV by winning the Capital One Cup or the FA Cup, but he’s looking at it now and doesn’t see the point.
The whole mess is Abramovich’s fault. The decision to part with Roberto Di Matteo was unpopular if unsurprising, and now he has to solve this.
Abramovich has been at the club for around 10 years, and it’s only really worked with Jose Mourinho in charge. It’s a no-brainer – get the Special One back. It worked then and will probably work again.
Is it possible that he would return to Stamford Bridge? It think so.
Even when you ignore his attraction to England and London, Mourinho feels he has unfinished business by not winning the Champions League with Chelsea, which is the holy grail for someone like him.
As much stock as you place in national championships - and Mourinho has been linked to Paris Saint-Germain - it’s going to be hard for a French team to win the Champions League in the near future with the rest of the league in its current level.
Mourinho will not accept that – he generally only takes on short or mid-term projects, ones he can win titles with within a year or two. He doesn’t really bother developing young players, he uses experienced pros throughout his squads.
As far as owners go, Abramovich is the same – he only appoints the so-called top-class managers.
He went against this with Andre Villas-Boas, and he was sacked almost immediately. He was almost emotionally blackmailed into hiring Di Matteo, and got rid of him as soon as he could.
It’s pointless thinking he will go and give a young manager a chance, but the problem with Abramovich is that he doesn’t really know what he wants – he appoints experienced managers, but makes decisions on transfers and interferes behind the scenes.
You’d like to think someone like Michael Laudrup would be given £150m and three years to rebuild Chelsea, but – until he manages a big club as opposed to the alchemy he performed with Swansea and Getafe – he has a better chance of getting the Real Madrid job.
Mourinho is the only one Roman trusts to control all aspects of the club, apart from Guus Hiddink, who wouldn’t take the job anyway.
Mourinho thinks he is too good for long-term projects, and Abramovich thinks he’s too rich for them. It’s a match made in heaven.