Its been almost exactly one month since Robbie was sacked and an 'Interim' Manager in Rafa was signed till the end of the season, and although we have had mixed results so far, our recent results have been pretty good. Now I know we will never accept Benitez's appointment as our manager, but for now let us just ignore that fact and concentrate on the changes he has brought along with him.
I will try and make this post as a review of his first month in charge pointing out both the negatives and positives of his reign so far.
Let us first look at the negatives.
1) The beginning of his reign did not get off to a good start, Although the draw against City was probably fair and there could be few complaints about that result, same cannot be said about the next two games which followed. The dull draw against Fulham at home and a very disheartening away defeat to West Ham. The main problem with these matches were that we never looked like winning these matches comfortably even though we were leading at West Ham after the first half.
2) The next disappointment of Rafa's tenure is surely the defeat at the hands of Corinthians in the Club World Cup final. More than the performance of Chelsea it was the tactics used by Rafa which were more disappointing. His failure to make a change until the 72nd minute when clearly his tactics were not working was very disheartening.
3) Another negative of his short reign have to be his substitutions towards the end of the Leeds game where he preferred to bring on Paulo instead of any of the 3 youngsters available on the bench even after leading 5 goals to 1 in the same game.
These three points along with his stubbornness in failure to apologize to Chelsea fans when provided with ample opportunities will surely stand out during this one month.
Yes we all hate him and the above points have only made things worse, but there were still some good things which we got to notice in this one month which should not go unnoticed.
1) I think the best thing Rafa has done so far is his deployment of Luiz in midfield. I know a lot of people who were calling for this step to be taken for over a year now and some credit has to be given to Rafa in finally taking this step. Although its still early days and nothing can be said with surety about this experiment, but so far it is looking very good and i am sure everyone would love to see more of the same. Credit to Rafa for this.
2) I know it makes for a great story that Rafa has got Torres scoring again with 6 goals in 7 games. But on watching closely you'll have to say that Torres has been performing at least a bit better than the previous days. He is looking at least a bit more dangerous in the box and has started to make some good runs. I don't know how much of that is down to Rafa and how much down to other factors but we will surely take it.
3) Another positive we can take from Rafa's reign is the squad rotation taking place in the starting 11. Although its not much but it was clear that all of our attackers were pretty tired after playing in every game from start to end and also it is good to see Marin finally getting some minutes and Piazon making his debut in PL, and moreover who does not like to see Paulo on the pitch ;).
These are some of the factors which have factored in Rafa's first month.
One thing i would like to request to all the community members is that please don't make this post as 'We Hate rafa post'. Kindly just think of Rafa as just a manager of Chelsea and not a Human Being. Thanks in Advance :)