Life has not been easy for Rafa Benitez. He failed miserably at Inter. He started a website. He wrote a book. Amazon discounted his eBook to a single dollar. Yes. ninety-nine cents. He has not managed a club for a few years. At his website, he has penned some thoughts on foreign leagues, the EPL, and even how to structure a club. With the dole about to run out, we can’t blame him for taking a job at perpetual-coach-firing Chelsea. Who doesn’t like to ride on a carousel of beheadings? The severance pay package is admittedly enticing.
However, I am upset about one thing. Rafa’s betrayal of his own principles.
On his own website, Rafa articulated a pretty coherent structure for a soccer club. Here’s an image:
The hierarchy. The clear delegation of responsibility. The chart above makes sense. So, the question must be asked: why did he sign for Chelsea FC? After all, everybody knows that Chelsea’s organization chart looks like this:
Clubs in Europe vs. England differ a bit in the delegation of duties. Is there a sporting director? Who calls the shots on transfers? Who scouts potential signings? However, even ignoring this difference, Chelsea’s unique structure really seems at odds with Benitez’s preferred “I am 100% in charge” model. First, the owner will tell him what to do and hold him accountable for every single game. Then, the aging players who are rarely fit to start, let alone last 90 minutes, will be yelling at him non-stop.
Benitez failed to inspire an aging crew at Inter, so why agree to coach Terry, Lampard, and Cech on the wrong side of 30? Masochism? Self-doubt? Masochistic self-doubt? Furthermore, his site has some box banner ads and thus probably generates millions of dollars in revenue per year.
Where will ravenous fans of Rafa’s prose, such as myself, go to read his latest thoughts on soccer? Where will I find conveniently placed Liverpool area real estate banner ads to click upon? Will PPC change to PPT as “touches” replace “clicks”? Will touchscreens reduce the amount of ad clicks, thereby forever fucking Google’s obnoxious advertising model to the benefit of the universe?
IMAGE: Rafa Benitez