Interim deal makes Rafa Benitez's job harder, says Graeme Le Saux

Last Updated: 30/11/12 10:11am

Le Saux: It's hard for Chelsea

Graeme Le Saux says Rafa Benitez's short contract makes his task at Chelsea even tougher.

The former Liverpool manager was appointed interim boss last week on a deal which sees him in charge until the end of the season. However, it was an unpopular selection among Chelsea fans, who felt Benitez's Champions League winning predecessor Roberto Di Matteo was unfairly dismissed.

The Spaniard - who had a sharp rivalry with the Blues during his time on Merseyside - was booed by the home fans before his first game with Man City and after his second game in charge, against Fulham, which both ended in goalless draws.

"As a player, if you know somebody is only contracted for a certain period of time, how much do you invest in that person's philosophy if they're not going to be around for too long"

Graeme Le Saux

Le Saux, a former Chelsea defender and current ambassador for the club, says it is hard to criticise the Blues' policy of regularly changing their manager, given the success they've enjoyed since Roman Abramovich bought the club - although, he admits Benitez is a controversial appointment.

"The owner has changed managers quite regularly since he's been in charge and the club have been very successful, so there is an argument to say that is working," he told The Footballers' Football Show.

"The club are still moving forward and still winning trophies, but the fans have certainly made their voices heard over the last couple of games that they're very disappointed Roberto Di Matteo has lost his job.

Interim

"To compound that, given the history of Liverpool and Chelsea, particularly in the Champions League, Rafa Benitez coming in wasn't the most popular decision.

"It's very difficult for me [as a Chelsea ambassador] to talk about the decisions the club have made but ultimately you have to look at the overall picture of the club, where it's going and how consistent they are in terms of results, even though managers have changed."

Le Saux also admitted the move to appoint Benitez only until the end of the season is not ideal and believes it makes the Champions League-winning manager's task trickier in terms of getting the players to adapt to his style of play.

"The one difficult area which really stands out at the moment is the role 'interim manager'," he said.

"As a player, if you know somebody is only contracted for a certain period of time, how much do you invest in that person's philosophy if they're not going to be around for too long?

"He'll be telling the players 'if you win me games, I'll be here for much longer'. It's a real case of being judged on results. He needs to win games - and that's what's expected of him."