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Silverware won't change opinion

Chelsea Fanzoner Sam Puleston admitted even with cup success this season, Rafa Benitez is still not welcome at Stamford Bridge.

Last Updated: 02/04/13 at 21:25 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Could leave Stamford Bridge with cup honours

Rafa Benitez: Could leave Stamford Bridge with cup honours

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After watching Chelsea's abysmal 2-1 defeat to relegation battling Southampton, I was appalled but not at all surprised.

It seems that we, as Chelsea fans, were constantly counting down the days for the next season, anticipating a trophyless season and the inevitability of us dropping out of the top four.

However, approaching the business end of the season we seem to have stumbled along two genuine chances of silverware, whilst still remaining in the top four.

There was something about Chelsea against Man United that has been lacking recently. Like most Blues fans, our leaky defence and lacklustre attack made me fear the worst when they stepped onto the pitch on Sunday, and yet it almost seemed like a routine 1-0 win that we used to see in the Mourinho era.

Solid in defence with a spectacular goal from Demba Ba, we looked like we could beat anyone, including Man City who have had the beating of us in recent times.

I can't help but cast my mind back to last year when our main target was to finish in the top four and suddenly we had European and FA cup glory. Maybe, we need to accept that our team are becoming more of a well-drilled cup team rather than a domineering league threat.

If we can get passed Rubin Kazan in the Europa League I don't see anyone that can stop us going all the way, similarly if we can beat City surely the FA Cup is a certainty with Wigan and Millwall in the other semi-final.

This being said, is our squad strong enough to battle for two trophies and a top four spot? The performance against Southampton would suggest not.

I'm sure I speak on behalf of the vast majority of Chelsea fans when I say I would rather see Chelsea in the Champions League next season than with a Europa League trophy, but there seems to be a difference in interest between Chelsea and Rafa.

Knowing there is no future for him at Chelsea (thank goodness!), it seems Rafa is more interested in a trophy for his CV rather than what best for the club.

If he manages to achieve all three targets then fair play to him, however if we lose a top four spot to Arsenal then I fear we'll be playing the Chelsea Dagger for all the wrong reasons! Either way, I won't be celebrating his lap of honour.

By Sam Puleston, FanZone's Chelsea blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @SamPuleston - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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