Benitez doesn't like slackers!
After finally having regained some sort of skill back to his legs, Torres seems to endorse Benitez more than Blues’ fans around the world, but mediocre opposition and the lack of competitive spirit made the Club World Cup semi final a rather dull affair. The game was nothing spectacular to write home about, but what it did do for Chelsea’s newest member was to grant him the benefit of the doubt.
Rafa seemed more that cheerful with Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Monterrey but did seem appropriately miffed that his side yielded their chance for a clean sheet. Benitez stated that he wasn’t happy about the conceded goal and mistakes like these could cost a team a win in the final. The interim manager went on to add that winning a game isn’t his primary motive but his intent is to win in style. He spoke of a winning mentality that a player must maintain throughout the ninety minutes of the game and the resultant of which would be a clean sheet for the goalkeeper and a stellar win for the team.
The Club World Cup seems to have touched a nerve with Rafa considering his past experiences, while he did win with Inter Milan two years ago; he also seems to have carried with him the baggage of the final that Liverpool lost despite having dominated the game for the most part.
In the game against Monterrey, Chelsea wasted several opportunities by looking listless and jet lagged, and they led by 1-0 through Juan Mata. The squad did look sufficiently awake in the second half with Torres leading the attack, while most would think this had everything to do with the ministrations of Benitez, the sullen striker did seem to have gotten some of his old zing back. Benitez’s string of losses seemed to have irked the Chelsea fans terribly but the sudden victories seem to have placated the mob until the next game at least. A win for Benitez as an establishing move is far more essential than the Cup in a larger scheme of things.
Benitez has explained the losses by saying “Now the team knows what we want to do, they have more confidence and are enjoying their football a bit”. Torres, who scored for the third successive match in the semi final, seemed to have upturned Chelsea’s fortunes a bit. Torres attributes his contribution to the game to Rafa stating that the team is functioning much better under the former Liverpool manager and his mentor. Whether or not it was a slight against Di Matteo, remains in uncharted territory.
Despite his lucky spell, Benitez isn’t leaving anything to chance for the Club World Cup final. The Corinthians are a tough side to beat and the Brazilians have a reputation for a reason. In fact, Benitez went on to warn his squad by saying that any sort of sloppiness could lead to a crushing loss to the Blues. Benitez is currently fielding a strong team and hopes to offer a sustained resistance to the opponents, come Sunday.