Chelsea do listen, but will they act?

So it seems Chelsea are listening, but will they act, and if so when and how?


The week Rafa Benitez was appointed Chelsea Manager I wrote this article, which explains why I didn’t want Rafa as our manager and who my frustration, anger and protest is aimed against. This was born out of a question from a Liverpool fan mate of mine,’why hasn’t Roman been targeted.’ In the article I explain how I felt, especially following a Talk Sport interview with the pair, it is more Ron Gourlay and not Bruce Buck that seems to be taking the club in directions us life long, ‘generation hand me down’ fans don’t quite agree with. He sees the club as a business and not a football club. Yes in this day and age it’s wise to make sure we have the business side of the club making a profit but its the football decisions he then needs to stay out of.


I think they want me to jump

Some agreed with me, some thought they are equally to blame. I have since realised that Michael Emenalo is also a big culprit in the ‘Technical Director’ role and should have been mentioned, but I still stand by my views about Bruce. And I think this may help too.

On Wednesday 30th January 2013 Chelsea travelled to Reading for a league game, hoping to close the gap on Manchester City who had dropped points the previous night. Although we weren’t exactly in cruise control, goals either side of half time from Mata & Super Frank (his 10th goal of the season which makes it 10 or more goals in 10 straight seasons, and 1 league goal away from 10 or more league goals in 10 straight seasons) put us in control.

Then came the ‘tactical genius’ that in 2 separate recent games where we needed to score brought on a defender for a defender. However this particular night in Berkshire we were minutes away from a decent, professional 2.0 away win and needed to not concede. Enter our illustrious manager who brings off a misfiring Torres and brings on Demba Ba, who many believe should’ve started in the first place. Now I understand his thinking, assuming that his idea was to still keep pressure up front to stop the home team bombing forward. But this isn’t as important as the obvious sub option that we all expected to happen – take off Torres or a midfielder for the returning John Terry, who would bring calm and organisation to the back four, who went on to leave 3 Reading players free in the box to concede the equaliser in the 95th minute.

What followed was inevitable, the Chelsea TV phone in show being bombarded with ‘Rafa out’ calls (albeit they were still polite, tried to give alternate views which ended up back at Rafa and Gigi kept her composure well, still towing the party line) and twitter was awash with moans about the tactically inept manager. However I don’t think this game was the reason, it’s not a ‘we’d have not moaned about Rafa if we’d still have won’ situation, it’s been building up since day one, when we didn’t want him as our manager for non-footballing reasons, past indiscretions and slagging Chelsea fans off. Now our reasons are also football related.

A work colleague just summed it up nicely for me. He somehow won the Champions League with Liverpool and made the final 2 years later. This led to him being called a tactical genius, and his record in Europe IS good, but there is one major fault in this…IT’S NEVER WORKED IN THE LEAGUE!

It seems it’s time for him to go. But we do understand the dilemma of having to get someone else in the role until the summer, making it the 3rd manager this season, the season where we should have been enjoying being London’s First Champions of Europe. Instead we’ve become a laughing stock (thinking of the big picture and putting this into context of supporting the club for 30 years, and the next 30 years +, I’d still take this situation over having NOT won CL) and another manager for the next 4 months probably isn’t the answer. The answer was, in my mind, always to keep Robbie with the understanding it’s reviewed each summer.

Rafa was not the answer and now he’s proving it, but we’re stuck with him. I agree with the Rafa Out campaign but part of me just wants the circus to stop and get back to the football. This is hard to do and CFC fans need to keep up the singing ‘We don’t care about Rafa’ but just make sure, at home, we keep up the support for the team too (away are exempt from this, they’re brilliant). If we don’t keep it up, the board might think we’re warming to him. God forbid.
Lets at least hope Rafa’s European record helps us to go far in the Europa Cup, I’ll be in Prague so really want to come home with a win!!

Now, back to the reason for this article. Dan Silver, a life long Chelsea fan decided to vent his frustration with an email to the board. He’d sung the songs, ranted on twitter like the rest of us but like the rest of us, still wanted to be heard by those that make the decisions, so he decided to send a letter to the Board. When I was growing up it would have been a letter, obviously nowadays it’s an email. How he got Bruce’s email address is not important, he got it and sent him this, making sure that it was a much calmer message than what was probably going through his mind at the time, in the hope it won’t be ignored (in the same way I immediately ignore rants on twitter from ‘Internet generation fans’ comparing Rafa to cancer or wanting him to actually die).

From: Dan Silver
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:56 PM
To: <;;;;;;;;;;; Bruce <;;;;;;;;;;; Subject: A very upset & disgruntled fan


As I am sure you are aware 99.9% of Chelsea fans are at this current juncture extremely frustrated, angry and upset with the state we find ourselves in. After the euphoria of Munich, we now find ourselves as upset as we were happy.

Roman has been quite fantastic for us, that is an understatement, without him the last few years which have been amazing would not have been possible.

I have been a fan for 33 years and the club have been in my family for 90 years. This is the worst period I have experienced, it tops the play-off defeat to Middlesbrough, 94 Cup Final, Moscow etc.
It is not an over reaction I promise, this a measured response from a long term fan.

The problem is the manager.

His anti-Chelsea diatribes will not be forgotten, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for him but the inept displays, the inept substitutions and tactics and the inability to change a match when teams come and defend is simply not good enough.

His presence at the club is divisive, the true fans are angry and upset, he is hindering our progress. We have some outstanding talent at the club, we just need the right man to take us forward –
Rafa is not that man. He was unemployed for two years post Inter, which to me suggests that he can't cut the mustard, top coaches are not out of work for long unless it's by choice.

Substitutions at Swansea, Brentford etc were wrong; Swansea we were 2-0 down & needing goals; you take a chance throw on Fernando, switch to three at the back (they could cope with Michu) and go for it, not centre back for centre back. I am not a qualified coach nor an expert but that change was obvious.

In my humble opinion Rafa should go before he does too much damage.

I don't know if you will even read this or acknowledge me but I am so upset and angry I had to write a measured, sensible email without profanities!

Thank you

Your Sincerely

Dan Silver
You can follow Dan on Twitter @DanSilvs73

Now considering the frustrations of all Chelsea fans, I'm sure you'll agree this must have been a very restrained email.

Now here's the reply, which gives me a little more confidence that they accept the severity of the issue. Not because of what Bruce says, more due to that fact he says anything at all. He could easily have ignored Dan's message and no one would have complained.

From: "Buck, Bruce M" <;;;;;;;;;;;
Date: 30 January 2013 23:06:06 GMT
To: "' <;;;;;;;;;;;
Subject: Re: A very upset & disgruntled fan


Thank you for your email. Contrary to your expectation, I have read it.

You will appreciate that I cannot respond to the specific points you raise but the Board and Roman are as frustrated as you are with some of the recent results. We are all working as hard as we can to change things around.

I hope you will continue your support of the club as the boys really need your backing now.


Article by @pateramore for @the_sweetFA
Keep The Blue Flag Flying High
London's First London's Finest


22 responses to “Chelsea do listen, but will they act?

  1. I sent a quite similar email to Mr Buck re Avram and got back a spectacularly nasty reply, I couldn’t believe the response and showed it too a few people who were equally shocked,he’s obviouslyv had to PR training since

  2. “The problem is the manager.”
    I’m sorry I don’t agree that the problem is the present manager per se. There is a bigger problem and that is the “football board”. Whilst it is hard to know where the responsibilities lie in regard to who does what at Chelsea it does seem plausible that they must be responsible or at least advising RA on the hiring and firings of manager/coaches and possibly transfers in/out of players.
    As such the record of that board speaks for itself in the number of managers/coaches hired/fired in such a short number of years. And how they manage to get a depleted squad (with x numbers on loan) to play this season with so many games known well in advance is beyond a joke. Not helped by the coach not playing a recent signing to rest a “tiring” Torres!
    The problem now is that after so many bad decisions made they will be afraid of making more and stick to safer options.
    It’s so sad coming after last year – but in hindsight the writing has been on the wall ever since Mourinho was undermined. We have had at least some success from the spirit he built up. Sadly a lot of that now seems to have gone awry.

  3. Arthur. Can we see that reply please

  4. I agree that the experiment with Benitez just has not worked and that he needs to be replaced. The question is now one of timing and I find it hard to see how we can find anybody before the end of the season. It looks as if everybody involved, team, club, fans, and Benitez will have to go through a prolonged agony till the end of the season.

    I would have been very happy if Robbie had been allowed to continue, but I was prepared to give Benitez a chance. The present situation is by no means all his fault. The area that I would fault him most is his substitutions (other areas e.g. training may have been o.k.). But other factors have also been at fault. You can’t tell me that the players themselves don’t bear a huge slice of responsibility e.g. for the last minute collapse at Reading or the 0-2 home defeat in the COC tie with Swansea . As for the fan base, the whole situation has been a self-fulfilling prophesy. The hard core fans felt such hostility that many have almost willed defeats and draws; yet they then moan when their negativity is fulfilled with bad results.

  5. RDM should have stayed, we could have built on him

  6. Yes the problem is the manager and his decission and for this case is Rafael Benitez, but i will say it out loud, the much BIGGER PROBLEM is the board and their BIG DECISSION! i am a Chelsea fan since 1996 (not long enough) but continuing their progress from relatively small club (no with the other big club like ManUtd, Juventus, Liverpool, etc) and was changed onto a big major and famous club around the world! And i will be straight forward on this, STABILITY is extremely needed. But that stability is should be on the manager that being appointed, because we know the players will be come and go sometime. We need one manager who loves Chelsea and fight for Chelsea, and Di Matteo already fit the requirement for that, so its definitely wrong decision from the BOARD to dumped him from the post, especially where we are still lying at third position at that time. No matter what he or the team experienced at the Champions league this season, which the performance will be change since our current Chelsea team is now young and they need to be play together at least for one year, and the BOARD should understand this because the fans are understand quite clearly, we need stability more than a coach changing. I know club want to get evolve, but they can not expect it from one season only and dump the coach and change with the others, that’s just wrong thought process!! Rafa need to be dumped at the end of the season, and we need to get one coach for at least 10 season, and i see that on David Moyes figures (which i hope he could take the job later on). One reason why we dont need Pep Guardiola at Chelsea post is because he lose against Robbie!! and that’s the fact! strategy is better than skills! And Rafa can not use his strategy at all! at all!

  7. I think Chelsea need to find a scout who can succesfully unearth payers who are there for the passion and not just the money. Unfortunately the entire game revolves arounds extravagant amounts of money for very little output. 20 plus players on loan including 3 goalkeepers and they bid for Butland! The most effective Chelsea player I have seen recently is playing for werder Bremen. what will become of the players loaned to other English clubs?? We need Mourinho back, a clearout of dead wood and a team to make us proud again. No names but somebody needs to adopt a differeent approach here.

  8. Will you please send him one more e-mail saying that to use Malouda instead of Bertrand in this crisis time and to relieve him from his exile please!!
    Wellwin (From India)

  9. rafa is not of chelsea’s standard,he is a loser fool.he must be sacked coz his big head is only full of wrong tactics.he
    has made chelsea a laughing
    stock.let him disappear

  10. Chelsea’s pblm is more to do with how the club is being run than the manager.Lot and lot of level headed fans are crying out loud for more than 5 years now about “how we are winning trophies in spite of all the pblm in running the club properly”. We are winning trophies not bcz of our crazy board room decisions we are winning even with that. There is no MAN in the chelsea board to tell RA to shove it when RA acts like crazy(anyone remember FT?) Nobody is there to tell RA what is the pblm with the structure of CFC and how to rectify it by employing some astute football people. RAFA is horrible. 99% of CFC fans know that even before his appointment here. His ways NEVER ever work in the LEAGUE. He could get lucky sometimes in knock out format or get some wins like RM in his liverpool days. BUT RAFA cant wont win EPL even if he is given 200M to spend next summer. Every team know that this tactical genius will only play 4231 formation for the sack of it. CFC dont have the players now to play this formation yet he still playing this. WHY he cant go with 2 strikers to throw the opposition off balance of even a 4312 formation Even a 433. NO. He wont. Bcz RAFA dont know anything other than the rotton 4231. Even after this reading result i blame the BOARD more than RAFA. Our inept board thought this guy who is unemployed for more than 2 years when lot and lot of midtable and good teams changed their managers yet nobody gone near this guy. Yet our greatest board in the world Appoints him when they know fully well even if he wins all the available trophies he wont be accepted by CFC fans.

  11. Rafa is on a mission, to stop Chelsea finishing in the top four.
    Think about it, if you have already been told that you will not be kept on at the end of the season, wouldn’t you do your best to ensure that the club and your employers suffer as much as possible?
    Why would you continue to leave your best striker on the bench and play a show pony for 85 minutes or worse still why bring on benyoun when he’s not kicked a ball for us all season? ( remember last season when he played for arsenal on loan and some of the comments he made about wishing to remain at arsenal, not being concerned that Chelsea wouldn’t make the champions league etc…), Terry being left on the bench again when he was clearly needed at the end, the man wants Chelsea to fail and is doing his best to succeed!

  12. Dan, What an awful writer you are.
    It is quite clear that you have personal hatred towards Benitez and you dislike the man but why do you not make a true assessment of Benitez the Manager.
    How can a coach SOMEHOW make it to 2 champions league finals, when Mourinho with Romans millions could not ? or Ferguson could not before Rafa ? Also you say Rafa’s Europe record is GOOD, when the Truth is under 100 CL games HIS IS THE BEST !
    You also say that Europe record does not work in the League, but over seasons 07-09 his record of 6 defeats over 2 seasons is the same as Mourinho’s in his first 2 seasons with you without Romans Millions ?
    In 08/09 Rafa’s record of 86 points and 2 defeats is far superior to ancelloti who win the league with you with the same total or less ?
    You also talk about recent results which currently is played 20, won 10, drawn 6, lost 4, with 2 games per week consistently since he joined with your thin squad, but you do not highlight any significant results such as 8-0 against Villa, 2-1 against Everton, 4-0 against Stoke, Leeds 5-1, Southampton 5-1, Arsenal 2-1, and the opening draw against Man city without a pre-season and a hostile environment they are a pretty good sequence of results Do you not think ?
    Your article is pure agenda driven , and you are a really awful writer, why do you not try to be impartial and highlight the issues he is facing and that considering all the shit that has come his way, he is still holding things together.
    Also regarding he being out of work for 2 seasons, do you not think when shit managers like harry redknapp find jobs easily , a 2 times world coach of the year will be short of offers ???

    You know the answers already but your agenda and hatred of the man is getting in the way of any proper fair and accurate assessment.

    I hope this response is read by yourself and then ask questions about your integrity,impartiality, and if you are making a fair assessment.

    • Dear Zak,

      Firstly yes I dislike Rafa. Pease read this for a full explanation. (if the link doesn’t work, search the sight for ‘Why I Hate Rafa’)

      Here is my own response, in no particular order, to your comment, which I respect as your personal view:

      – Since he has become manager the reasons I personally don’t want him to stay are now also for football reasons too.
      As a football fan it’s our right not to be completely impartial. Also, it’s technically a blog site, not the BBC. However this site is open for all fans and we’re happy to report on and publish. Articles from any fans of other clubs.

      – I would suggest he isn’t holding things together considering our inconsistency.

      – I stand by my judgement about Rafas tactics in the league. He never won the Premiership, where as Jose did in both of his first 2 seasons at Chelsea. We could also argue we were robbed of 2 Champions League finals. As for Rafa being the best, he has won the Champions League once. Jose has won it twice. That’s the only figure that counts.

      – You mention that significant results werent mentioned. Are you suggesting losing at home to QPR, drawing at home to southampton after leading 2.0, losing a cup semi final at home to Swansea and missing out on our first world club cup trophy are insignificant?

      – You clearly haven’t read the article properly as you didn’t realise Dan wrote the email to Bruce, where as I wrote I the accompanying article. Therefore I’ll dismiss your attack of being an awful writer. However, I will compliment you on your writing, seeing that English is your second language, this is something I wish I could do.

      – Rather than attack Dan, even though he didn’t write the article, would you like to write your own response to this piece or your views on Rafa for me to publish? If so, please make it more impartial and spiteful as your comment.

      Once again, thanks for reading and visiting our site.

      The Sweet FA Admin.

  13. What does English being my second language got to do with my points against your agenda driven drivel !
    QPR was a bad result, but earlier on in the season you drew 0-0 with the same opponents under Di Matteo and with Huges incharge of QPR so these things happen once in a while, Blackburn beat UTD last season at Old trafford !
    I am sure you watched the Swansea game and if it not for individual mistakes for both goals by Ivanovich the tie would have been different for the second leg and therefore the possible overall result , so are those 2 mistakes Rafa;s fault ?
    Corinthians had been training for the World Club Cup for 10 weeks previously and in japan 2 weeks before Chelsea and had about 40000 fans in the stadium , so clearly they wanted it more right ? .it was more important to them right ?
    You also forget to mention that the squad is actually thin and with the hostility aimed at him, he somehow is still managing to steer the club towards some really important results and still on course for 3rd place (where he started.) and still in with a chance of the FA CUP and the UEFA cup, without a pre-season with the squad, without any signings, and without a week of just training.
    It is easy to highlight the negatives , but I believe a good fan and writer should actually cover both sides .
    I am 100% confident that by the end of the season, you may through gritted teeth may even acknowledge that he in fact is a world class coach who you juts don’t like , because he broke your heart in 2 Champions league semi finals, without an expensive squad, and replaced Di Matteo (which has nothing to do with him.) you just don’t want to give him any credit .

    • This is going to be deleted for calling Chelsea fans Juts. I don’t know what it means but due to your language in general this will not be tolerated on this site.

      Referred to English being your second language in a complimentary fashion.

      Once again, this is a blog, therefore we do not have to be unbiased – it’s opinion. You don’t seem to have grasped that concept and although I still leave the door open for you to write a response piece without name calling, your disrespectful comments will be deleted.

      Thank you.

      The Sweet FA Admin

    • Interesting comments about Benitez coaching abilities.
      perhaps you could explain why Liverpool saw fit to terminate his services. Did they not feel he had done enough for them as set out by your critique?
      And following that his term of office at Inter (following on from JM) was not a resounding success? And then why has he not been employed since?

      There have been the odd flashes of good performances, the first half v Arsenal for instance (obscured by the dire second half) and the win albeit slightly fortunate away win at Everton. Aston Villa, well seems an aberration now but then who isn’t beating Villa these days. As for Branislav’s couple of unfortunate errors v Swansea – might not have mattered if there had been any sort of action going on up front which might also be said for many recent games.

      You have a point that the squad may be under resourced and unbalanced. But then you are 100% sure of heading towards 3rd place with a “thin squad” when results against the lower placed clubs don’t indicate that at all, especially with some players looking “leggy” now with only just over half the season gone. The only saving grace so far is that it has been a transitional season for Arsenal and Spurs too with only the two Manchester clubs breaking clear (while not playing exceptional football either).

      I have stated above that I think the main problem with Chelsea are the folks making the decisions above the manager’s head (and that includes appointing/firing all the coaches since Mourinho) and both RDM and RB (let alone Ancellotti, Mourinho and the rest) have suffered from that.

  14. Unlike Zak, thought the letter got over the point many fans feel – I was against Benitez from the off, as many were. It reminds me of when Hoddle went and the suggestion was George Graham was coming in. The fans made the same protests before he was appointed, the board (Bates) listened and the rest is history. If only Roman had understod the fans and did not have yes men out to feather their own nest to advise him

  15. Rafa’s services got terminated from Liverpool because of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, who were hell bent on bankrupting the club and pinching every penny out of the club.(you may remember the well publicised courtcase played out in public for a week back in 2010.) Rafa called them out after the 2ND european cup final he had taken the club to in his first 3 seasons ( its taken Chelsea/Roman 10 years and £1 billion in total investment to achieve the same ) so naturally he was the enemy and needed to be ousted for power.
    Incidentally Liverpool have not even achieved the points total of his worse season (63) since he left after spending close to £200 million and 3 managers later !
    I totally understand your animosity towards him for those comments made in the heats of champions league battles , but I cant accept he is a bad coach his resume says a lot about the man without not being at rich club.
    Inter Milan after 9 games he was top of the league and also the champions league group from which they qualified with a game to spare, where previously under Mourinho for 2 seasons it was always on the 6th game !
    Also Inter Milan did not spend a single penny on there ageing squad which had 15 players over the age of 31 who had been squeezed to the maximum by Mourinho in their treble campaign who also spent close to £100 million in 2 seasons , so naturally injuries took there toll on the squad and rafa had to use young players (coutinho being one who liverpool have just signed.) and therefore from game 10 to number 15 the league form was patchy, but then he challenged Moratti to sack him or back him with investment publicly which sealed his fate and tenure , exactly like roman would do if any manager had done that.
    He did by the way win 2 trophies with Inter Milan, the super coppa and world club cup which the Italians take seriously, they had games in hand to come back into contention for the league title and were in the italian cup and CL knock out stage , so had he stayed the whole season who knows what else he could have won or how it would have ended up in the end.
    what Rafa had said about Inter needing Investment to replace the old legs well, last 2 seasons they have not qualified for CL, so he was correct after all right ?
    It is best not to always believe the crap journalists in the English media, try seek out the truth yourself or worse still avoid pundits such as Jamie Redknapp and Steve Claridge, they are no experts on football as you know.!

  16. You demonstrate how Benitez affects a few – tey support him, the majority do not. By hte time he left Liverpool, most were against, it will always be so at Chelsea

  17. I don’t have a great deal of animosity towards him for ill advised comments made about other clubs or supporters for that matter – it usually has unintended adverse effects, as happened in the Drogba comments and most probably the problems now faced. I reiterate my comment above that it is my belief that RB is not THE problem but the current make up of the football board. While Roman A has the enthusiasm and finance to move the club forward he really needs a Pat Nevin type who has the intellect and knowhow from all angles of running a club (that involves fan “inclusion” which CFC singularly lack at present).

    I do share your comments about the British media and more especially the tabloid press who only write what is guaranteed to sell, whether accurate or not. It would be nice to know how your information is any better sourced?

    But I do not share your faith in RB’s coaching abilities. If what you say is true it seems that he will be in the same postion he was in at Inter i.e. taking on somebody else’s (whose is anyone’s guess) team in transition, trying to bring in youngsters in place of “flagging” ageing players with restrictions on the numbers within the squad (as evidenced by the last minute return of Benayoun and one striker in, two, if including Piazon, out). What makes you think he will achieve better than his time at Inter?

  18. michelle austin

    pls mr abramovich appoint jose mourinho as manger because i am big fan of his thank you

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