Benitez: Chelsea squad not strong enough

_65476337_benitez1 Photo: Bildbyrån
Do you agree with the Chelsea manager?

Rafael Benitez revealed he had told Roman Abramovich that Chelsea’s squad was not strong enough to cope with the demands of this season.

Interim manager Benitez blamed the Blues’ unprecedented series of major trophy failures on a lack of depth and variety in a playing pool that has also been riven by injury and suspension.

Confirming he had spoken to Chelsea’s billionaire owner about transfer targets after Sunday’s win over Arsenal, Benitez said: “We had a good conversation the other day but I have to concentrate on football and the game and tactics and all these things. That is my job.”

Benitez spent much of Friday’s pre-match press conference dropping hints he did not have enough resources at his disposal and when it was suggested that was what he was effectively saying, he replied: “Yeah, I know. When I talked with them [the board], I gave them my opinion and the club, they listened to me.

“They gave me their opinion, so we share opinions and we have these conversations and that’s it.”

Benitez denied Chelsea were guilty of poor pre-season planning ahead of a campaign during which they are playing an unprecedented number of matches.

But he was clearly hinting at a lack of numbers being behind the failures for which he is personally accountable: in the two trophies that were the most winnable this season – the World Club Cup and League Cup – as well as the demise of a league title challenge.

Benitez said: “The money that was spent before and was spent recently is different, and the other teams are also stronger, they are spending money.

“When you analyse the stats, you have to put in context or they don’t have any value.

“It’s not just about winning trophies.

“It’s a key part of the game but the way and the tools that you have to win these trophies, that is the key.”

He added: “The team is scoring more goals, conceding less goals.

“You can see that we have more balance but still we have some problems that we have to manage in these games.

“We have the styles or the characteristics of our players, for playing in a way that you have to manage.

“Some games you cannot and you have to change, and we don’t have the other options.

“It’s a style of football that we have to create with the players that we have, so we have to carry on.

“We cannot play long balls and try to win second balls like other teams. We have players that they have quality and we have to try to play this style of football.”

Liverpool have submitted a third offer for Philippe Coutinho and are adamant it is their final attempt to persuade Internazionale to sell the talented Brazilian midfielder.They have again offered around £8m for the 20-year-old, a fee that Inter rejected on Wednesday, but their latest bid increases the amount the Italian…