Benitez backed by Chelsea hero
Gianluca Vialli has expressed his belief that the Chelsea fans must get behind the unpopular Rafael Benitez.
Benitez has remained the Blues boss despite an outburst after the club’s FA Cup win over Middlesbrough where he criticised a number of the Chelsea fans for their desire to drive him out of the club.
Speculation circulated that Benitez would then be dismissed, after he also revealed his frustration at being named ‘interim’ manager for his time at Stamford Bridge, yet the club still say it is business as usual.
Vialli understands Benitez’s wishes to urge the supporters to put their focus on backing the team, rather than display their anger towards the former Liverpool boss, and the Italian believes there could be a positive outcome.
Vialli, who was dismissed in the early stages of the 2000-01 season after two-and-a-half-years at the helm of the club, said, according to the Daily Mail: “I think Rafael Benitez has finally realised it would be impossible to change the chairman’s mind about giving him another season.
“I think he’s also realised that there’s no doubt the fans are not going to support him.
“I think he’s done the right thing which is to ask the fans to forget about not liking the manager but to keep supporting the side and the players because the players need support.
“There’s no doubt they’re suffering a little bit from this situation.”
The Italian job
Vialli also expressed his belief that the club could do worse than consider another Italian for the vacancy, after his spell and those of Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo.
He added: “I hope it’s going to be an Italian.
“We’ve had four Italian managers at Chelsea in the past 12 years and I think the majority of them have been pretty successful. Hopefully it would be me.”
Vialli, who hasn’t managed since being sacked by Watford in 2002, said he would “absolutely” go back to Chelsea, however such a situation seems unlikely.