Many Chelsea supporters have been less than impressed with Rafa at the helm and for most of the season they have a point, but have they forgotten about why Rafa was appointed to start with. Roman Abramovich had finally got what all other managers prior to Di Matteo had failed to do which was to win the Champions League, which he did with a team which Villas-Boas and himself built over the season. Villas-Boas had been sacked by Chelsea after a run of poor results and a player backlash against his tactical approach to games, Di Matteo was his assistant and he managed to get the players on his side and tactically outwitted many top European sides to get a place in the final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Di Matteo started the next season as full-time manager with a big budget to make sure the Champions League returned to Stamford Bridge for a second season and to challenge for the Premier League. Di Matteo managed to recruit Hazard, Oscar, Marin, Moses and Azpilicueta to start this charge and had a very good start to the season considering Chelsea lost Drogba as his contract had finished to allow him to make a move to Shanghai. Losing a valuable player and leader in your first defence of the Champions League started to show early on as Torres couldn’t match up to the Ivorian which lead to a loss of confidence and the new signings starting to get found out. When Di Matteo was sacked it caused a media frenzy and a call for Abramovich to step down as he had sacked another manager for not winning enough games with his financial backing; which is understandable if he gave his managers 2-3 seasons to make a squad capable of challenging for all trophies every year.
So without a manager and having been consistently linked with Guardiola who was on a sabbatical at the time Chelsea had to get someone in until Guardiola made a decision on where his next move would be. Benitez’s appointment was made mostly because he was not in a job at the time which suited the Chelsea board but not the fans. During his time at Liverpool, Benitez made himself a villain to the Chelsea faithful and when it was announced he got the job the majority of the fans did not reacted kindly. Having not even started yet Rafa had to now win over the fans and he started to get them on his side with a few decent performances, playing the attractive football the fans wanted, but every time the team drew or lost the fans then reverted quickly back to Rafa the Villain. Di Matteo was a popular figure with the fans and players which made his job an even more difficult one, and some of the players have allegedly started to question his tactics and man management. Within a few games it was becoming clear Rafa had taken a lot on.
Rafa had to take the Chelsea job as he needed to get himself back into management and Chelsea needed an experienced manager to warm the seat for a new manager in the summer. I would like to see Rafa get a job at another top European team as if he had more backing and time to do his job properly we will see the Rafa we know from his Liverpool and Valencia days.