The pressure that has been building in Rafa Benitez over the past few weeks was finally vented by the Chelsea manager after the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough.
Not only has he had a training-ground bust-up with the players last Monday, but he has now had a go at Roman Abramovich, who appointed him, and the fans. So apart from the tea-lady, there is no one else for him to fall out with at Chelsea.
No manager of Chelsea has dared criticize Roman Abramovich before now, but this just shows how much all the sniping at him from different aspects of the club has affected him.
Regarding Abramovich and the Chelsea hierarchy, Benitez said: “They gave me the title of interim manager which is a massive mistake. I will leave at the end of the season.” After hearing that, I’m quite sure Abramovich is likely to make it a lot sooner.
But if that wasn’t enough, he then turned his wrath to the Chelsea supporters, saying, “They are damaging the image of the club. They have to support the team instead of making banners.”
Then he went on to list all the trophies he has won as a manager, before declaring: “Nine trophies. All the trophies you can win at club level.” Indeed they are, Mr Benitez.
Ironically, the previous two Chelsea managers were both sacked by Abramovich after defeats against West Bromwich Albion – guess who he has to face next at Stamford Bridge? The only difference this time is Abramovich probably won’t wait until after the match.