Grant backs under-fire Benitez

Avram Grant says interim Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez needs time to resurrect the fortunes of the club.

Last Updated: 30/11/12 at 09:52 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: New Chelsea boss faces an uncomfortable few weeks at Stamford Brid

Rafa Benitez: New Chelsea boss faces an uncomfortable few weeks at Stamford Brid

Benitez has had a hostile reception from the Stamford Bridge faithful since replacing Roberto Di Matteo and the anger has not receded with two goalless home draws in his first two games.

But Grant, sacked by owner Roman Abramovich despite leading Chelsea to the 2008 Champions League final, told Sky Sports: "It is not easy times for him.

"But it's been more difficult for him being outside the game. He was waiting for this. He's been too long out of the game and not coaching.

"He's not shy or a little boy. He knows what to expect, especially when he came to this club. The supporters don't like it so much, but Rafa knows he needs to win games and play good football and that's what's important."

The 52-year-old Benitez became Chelsea's ninth manager since Abramovich became owner in 2003 and some reports suggest the Spaniard is merely keeping the seat warm for ex-Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

When asked about Benitez's long-term job prospects at Stamford Bridge, Grant added: "Who knows? You are speaking about the job of manager at Chelsea! I do think he will do a good job and then he can think of the future."

Gus Poyet, Chelsea midfielder between 1997-2001, believes Di Matteo should have remained in the post and is not a supporter of his old club's new manager.

Benitez has vowed to win the fans over, but Poyet, boss of Championship side Brighton, said: "Time will tell but I don't think it's good for the players or the club.

"I don't think it's ideal and I'm very uncomfortable for everyone."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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