Chelsea beat Championship side Middlesbrough 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup with an odd hodgepodge starting XI. Though you might think the club's first win in three matches would bring a smile to despised interim manager Rafa Benitez's face, it actually proved to be the opening act to his inevitable press conference meltdown (video below). Perhaps his most notable since his infamous "facts" rant while at Liverpool. Although, calling Marco Materazzi a liar nine times in 30 seconds last month was also interesting.
Said Benitez after the Middeslbrough game (via the BBC):
"Chelsea gave me the title of interim manager which is a massive mistake. I'm the manager."
If it was a massive mistake, why did you take a job with that title?
"The fans are not helping us. At the end of the season I will leave. They don't have to worry about me."
Why not leave now then? Instead of complaining about the fans and your job title, if you just left you might've been able to salvage a bit of dignity from the experience. And as for the fans "not helping," you previously said, "The atmosphere doesn't affect the players. We are professionals and we concentrate on our job." So which is it?
"A group of fans, they are not doing any favours for the team when they are singing and wasting time preparing banners," he said.
"They have to concentrate on supporting the team, that's what they have to do.
"Every game they continue singing and preparing banners, they are wasting time. What they have to do is support the team.
"I am a professional and I am doing my job. What I want to do is win every single game for Chelsea."
When Benitez first took the job in November, he was disliked by Chelsea fans only slightly less. He knew this. So at the time, he said this (via the Daily Mail):
"Results always change people's minds - this is the business we are in. If you win, people can talk about you much better than they do if you lose.
"I think when you come into this business you know that's how it works."
Well, Benitez hasn't gotten the results -- of Chelsea managers under Roman Abramovich, only Andre Villas-Boas has had a lower winning percentage -- so he hasn't changed any minds. And just like he did at Inter in 2010, another club that won the Champions League the season before he arrived, he's cracking under the pressure after a few months of underachieving. For someone who claims to know how the business works, he sure isn't showing it.
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