December 1, 2023
John Obi Mikel
  • John Obi Mikel revealed why they never accepted Benitez
  • Clashed with John Terry
  • Benitez won the Europa League with Chelsea

WHAT HAPPENED? Benitez took charge of Chelsea as an interim manager in November 2012 after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo but the Spaniard could not keep his job beyond the 2012/13 season. Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel recently revealed that the Blues dressing room at that time did not accept Benitez as their manager due to his past association with rivals Liverpool and how a clash with club legend Terry resulted in his ouster from the club.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking on talkSPORT’s White and Jordan show, John Obi Mikel said, “No, we were not. We made that clear. I think obviously Liverpool was a big rival for us, but coming into the club as well, I think the fans also didn’t like Rafa. I think there was something about Rafa and the fans that the fans didn’t take to him. Same as the players, we didn’t accept him as one of us.

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“Then we had the thing with JT where JT got dropped, JT wasn’t playing as much as he wanted. Obviously, JT always played and Rafa came in and was like ‘you’re not going to play every game’. Obviously, JT wanted an explanation, ‘why am I not played?’ and Rafa didn’t give him that. JT got together by himself and decided yeah, your time is gone!”

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WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? After beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-1, Mauricio Pochettino’s men will now prepare to take on league leaders Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday.

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