They were eliminated from the Champions League and they looked to have no possibility of winning the Premiership, but will success in the Europa League and FA Cup be enough to save interim manager Rafa Benitez?
The short answer would appear to be: No. Following a 1-0 first leg win in Europe against Sparta Prague, and an easy 4-0 defeat of Brentford in yesterday’s FA Cup, the future is suddenly looking much brighter for the Spanish manager. That is, unless you happen to be boss at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo won the coveted Champions League last season but was still shown the door at the end of a victorious campaign. It seems as if nothing short of a clean sweep will satisfy billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, and not possibility is well gone for Benitez and his side.
Many observers believe that the manager was merely brought in as a short term option in order to rekindle the fire in wayward striker Fernando Torres.
Benitez had certainly got the best out of the player at Liverpool, and following a disappointing start to his Chelsea career, the arrival of a friendly face was seen as the answer to all the clubs problems. For a time this bold move appeared to work, but Torres has failed to continue his run of form and Benitez is anxiously looking over his shoulder.
Recent rumours of a rift with club captain and Chelsea legend John Terry, will do little to help his cause. While both men have denied that there is any truth to the reports, there is seldom smoke without fire.
While outright victories in the two remaining cup competitions but certainly add to Benitez’s stock as a manager, it still falls short of the very high standards set by Abramovich.
In all probability he already has his sights set on a new boss, and as with Di Matteo last season, no matter what Benitez achieves in the closing months of the season, it will not be enough to save his job at Chelsea.