The Badger – November 27th


In a special Christmas edition of The Badger, we are given some important career advice all the way from Azerbaijan

They say Premier League sackings are like lazy metaphors comparing everything to poor bus timetabling: none come for three months and then you get two at once. Chelsea fans have welcomed Rafael Benitez’s appointment in much the way you’d expect of a group of fans who know nothing about football to.

According to the head of the Glory Hunters Trust (also known as the Chelsea Supporters Group), Rafael Benitez is not a good manager. In fact, a spokesman for the fanzine CFCUK believes that certain managers were born to manage Chelsea, meaning that he believes Chelsea should be hiring a nine year-old, since that is how long Chelsea have been relevant as a title-contender.

What continues to amaze The Badger is how short a memory every football fan seems to have. Rafa Benitez is definitely not the greatest manager to ever live, but he was never sacked by West Brom, unlike the man he is replacing.

A quick look over Benitez’s CV shows two La Liga titles with Valencia, which is almost like winning the Scottish league with Aberdeen. Benitez also won the UEFA Cup with Valencia as well as a Champions League with Liverpool, as well as almost winning the Premier League too.

It amazes The Badger how few people seem to remember this when talking about whether or not Benitez is right for the job. Abramovich seems to think so, giving him a contract for the next two seasons (winter and spring).

The Badger finds some irony in Chelsea appointing their ninth manager under Abramovich in the same week that Manchester United unveiled a statue honouring Alex Ferguson’s time at the club.  For some reason, The Badger doesn’t see Rafa lasting as long at Chelsea.

In another part of West London, ‘Arry Redknapp has taken over the mighty QPR. The Badger is possibly the only one not to welcome this news, as The Badger had hoped that Tony Fernandes would take a different approach and follows the example of FC Baku, the champions of Azerbaijan, who recently appointed a manager based on his achievements in the Football Manager games.

In fact, The Badger would argue that Mark Hughes’ transfer policy as QPR manager sometimes made it look like he was playing an old version of a Football Manager game, since that is the only way to justify buying so many players past their prime.

The Badger considered sending off a CV to the QPR headquarters, which includes three consecutive Champions Leagues titles with the UCD imitation team ‘Dublin FC’, but The Badger decided he didn’t have the heart to keep lying to the likes of Bobby Zamora and Anton Ferdinand by telling them they aren’t crap.

Maybe it would be better to just wait for the Manchester City job to open up again.