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  • Robert M Robert M Jan 30, 2013 22:56 Flag

    Is our manager fit for purpose?

    Yes, it's Chelsea but I need your opinions.

    79 minutes gone, Brentford 2 Chelsea 1. Substitution, Benitez takes off defender Ivanovich and with Ba sitting on the bench, sends on defender Azpilicueta. Ba comes on several minutes later and almost immediately sets up Torres for the equaliser. 2-2.

    92 minutes gone, Reading 1, Chelsea 2, Reading have their tails up having just scored. Benitez takes off Torres and, with JT sitting on the bench, puts on Ba. Reading equalise, 2-2.

    Is it just me or is there something obviously daft about these substitutions?


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    • Double agent Rafa Benitez strikes again - he drinks his Sangria shaken not stirred.


    • Why isn't Ba on from the start? Torres continually shows he can't hack it these days (well, months).

    • Well as Rafa being intrim manager I don't think it matters too much

    • That's Rafa all over. i'm surprised the substitution didn't happen at 64 minutes. You used to be able to set your watch by him.

      To be fair to Rafa I think he's probably the only manager I know with the abilty to bankrupt Ambramovich. Now if he could find that key to the safe.... ;o)

    • From what I can remember I think its typical Rafa thinking. What I find more amusing to contemplate is the effect that team selection must be having on Demba Ba. It took a full year and a half before he got pissedoff with Newcastle and Alan Pardew......out of the fryingpan, into the fire,so to speak

    • I am not that sure about the analysis, Azpilcueta is a much more attack minded right back so it is actually a tweak in attack rather then a whole hearted assault, great strike from Fernando by the way! Either way, they did recover the 2 goal lead so they kept alive unlike someone else I know.

      Against Reading I guess hindsight would suggested maybe slotting JT in might have helped 'see it out' but whilst Reading were pushing forward and commiting bodies maybe the idea is put on a strong forward who can hold the ball up to relieve pressure on the defense to kill it on the counter attack. My assumption is that if you take your centre forward off and bring on a centre half that you will be sitting in your box for the duration, the Reading defenders would have been concerned about Ba.

      Obviously it didnt work out but if he had scored for 3-1 then it would have been clever. Fine margins this managerial malarckey. It isn't like Reading havent developed a knack of robbing teams in the last few minutes of late!

      • 1 Reply to Hobsey
      • Obviously hindsight is a wonderful thing and maybe the post was a little harsh.

        Nevertheless, against Bradford with not much time left his first substitution was Azpilicueta and just a few minutes later Ba for Bertrand. Wouldn't you think that Ba was the higher priority *and* that both should have come on at the sme time to minimise time lost?

        The Reading substitution happened with just three minutes left of added time. It seems to me not that there was tactical sense to it but that either it was an attempt to waste time or it was to give Ba the feeling he had contributed. But the fact remains that Reading were pressing for an equalizer and the best stopper in Chelsea history was sitting on the bench. I'd like to know what JT thought about it afterwards. "******* **** ****", I imagine.

        Benitez claimed to be mystified by the Reading result. That's reassuring!


    • Hi Robert

      I think I said after his opening game at SB that no, he wouldn't succeed (and therefore is not fit for purpose for Chelsea).

      It seems he has no input on transfer policy, has taken over a team of "strong personalities" with talent but also form at throwing a sulk, has "Interim" in his title to remind everyone that he is only there short term and has a crowd that jeered him into the dug out before a ball was kicked.

      I think he's a great coach though and still think it will be a long time before anyone achieves the level of success he had at Liverpool.

      As for the substitutions - you know more about Chelsea than I do so I'll leave that for you to figure. As for the Liverpool fans above who think his subs & tactics were poor ... I wonder how he managed to get an ordinary Liverpool side to two Champion League finals. Must have dreamt it.

    • Robert,

      Another case of too literal, but I suppose in this case since you couldn't figure out, or assume after knowing my style, which in many (not all) instances, is an good attention to detail..

      So, in literal Robert terms, NO it did not count cup matches, it was first 16 games in charge of Chelsea in league matches. I suppose it's my turn to be literal, and the last time I checked, nobody gets awarded any points for any cup match, unless you know something I don't..

      For the record, since I can't send you the photo I took of the screen, it was:
      Joselina 41 pts
      Ancelotti 40 pts
      Avram Grant 39 pts
      Claudio Ranieri 38 pts
      Di Matteo 38 pts
      Guus Hiddink 37 pts
      Felipe Scolari 36 pts
      Avb 31 pts
      Rafa 30 pts

      And to clear up things in literal terms, it is first 16 games in charge, so obviously it includes taking over at various points in the season, though you knew that, but I need to explain everything crystal clear or you get confused, which is odd for a very intelligent person.

      Either way, are you happy with Rafa or not? Has my comment supported your unhappiness along with other Chelsea fans, and some LFC fans who still think he'll come back and magically fix LFC?

    • Looks about even Robert to me..

    • Jason, you should check your data more thoroughly before you either try to out-literal me or beat me into submission with sarcasm. The whole of the substantial part of that post is rendered nonsense by the fact that Benitez has not been in charge of Chelsea for sixteen league games. After yesterday he has been in charge for 13 league games, accumulating 22 points.

      Perhaps you should find out what your table includes, clarify it, and apologise for the gratuitous commentary.

      Am I happy with Benitez? I said at the start of his short unhappy reign that I didn't like him and the sooner he went the better for me. In the meantime I would like Chelsea to win every match. But whether we win or lose every match isn't going to change whether I like him or not or want him to stay.

      From an objective point of view, the results under Benitez have not apparently improved over his two predecessors. If anything, they have been getting worse. However, my impression is that the Chelsea team is absolutely knackered, having played two games a week with very little rotation since August. This goes some way to explaining why we have been shipping lots of goals late on in matches.


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