Dunphy: Chelsea role was never right for Benitez

Updated: Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 17:05

Eamon Dunphy believes that Rafa Benitez should not have taken the role as temporary boss at Chelsea.

His comments came after the Spaniard launched a broadside at a section of the Chelsea fans following the FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

He also expressed his disappointment at the title of ‘interim manager’ that he assumed following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo and subsequently revealed that he will be leaving the London club at the end of the season.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Dunphy, while accepting that Benitez is a manager with a good track record, said taking the Chelsea job for a short period while the club is in transition was not the best move.

He explained: “Benitez’s rant is borne out by frustration. His record as a coach, while not unblemished, is a good one. He has a strong personality.

"However, he shouldn’t have accepted that job at Chelsea on the basis he’d only be doing it for seven months – it’s a poisoned chalice! What's going on there is akin to a soap opera.

"Chelsea FC describe him as their interim manager and he complained about that – insofar it weakened his position. He is caught in a soap opera. The owner makes all the big decisions with regard to the players.

"Only a few weeks ago, Frank Lampard – a great servant to the club - was offered a new contract after months of speculation about his future.

"Then you have John Terry not starting against Manchester City last weekend. Benitez chose David Luiz instead – but I think it was Roman Abramovich’s call." 

Dunphy continued: “Quite simply, Chelsea is not a club you want to manage. Pep Guardiola snubbed them recently by opting for the Bayern Munich job. I doubt if any self-respecting coach will want the Chelsea job.

"I won’t be surprised if Benitez’s contract is terminated before the end of the season.

"Chelsea are a club in transition. I think the owner wants a clean sweep; a new style of play. The likes of Lampard, Terry and Ashley Cole will not be there for much longer."