Will Benitez still be Chelsea manager next week?

01/03/2013 no comments »
Will Benitez still be Chelsea manager next week?

Many doubt that Rafa Benitez will still be “Interim Manager” at Chelsea next week after the Premier League match against West Brom. Avram Grant or Steve Holland are likely to replace Benitez.

Benitez described his relationship with Abramovich “excellent” and said that he will be manager until the end of May in an interview with Football Focus.

However, many doubt that Abramovich is still backing Benitez after his angry reaction following Wednesday’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Middlesbrough where he criticized Chelsea supporters and the club. Many even doubted that he will still be manager the following morning.

Benitez will still be on the bench this weekend against West Brom, however, according to different sources, Chelsea is considering replacing Benitez with Avram Grant or Steve Holland until the end of the season before bringing Jose Mourinho back as manager in the summer.

Grant is available and still has a close relationship with Abramovich and other senior figures at Chelsea. However, he was far from popular with Chelsea fans after succeeding the Mourinho in September 2007. Holland, on the other side, is currently assistant first team coach at Chelsea and managed Crewe Alexandra until November 2008.

Benitez also seems not very popular among his players. Earlier this week, it was reported that he was involved in a heated exchange with Terry and other players at the training ground following the 2:0 defeat against Manchester City. However, Benitez denied those stories, insisting the players backed him “100%”.

It is a matter of time until Abramovich has enough. Chelsea needs to win the next game in order to qualify for the Champions League next season. If they fail against West Brom, Abramovich will surely react in his usual manner.

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