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Finance

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

The Press Association-House prices have recorded their strongest quarterly rise in three years in a further sign that efforts...
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Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

AFP-Despite pledging to pay millions of pounds in extra tax in Britain, Starbucks faces a battle to restore its reputation...
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UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001' UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

AFP-Swiss banking giant UBS, which last week was slapped with $1.5 billion in fines for manipulating global interest rates,...
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No clean bill of health for MoD

No clean bill of health for MoD No clean bill of health for MoD

Auditors have refused to give the Ministry of Defence's accounts a clean bill of health for the sixth year running. The Press...
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Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook

Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook
  AFP- Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s after its economy returned to growth in the...
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Virgin Media gets Olympics lift

Virgin Media gets Olympics lift
  The Press Association- Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped Virgin Media deliver its biggest quarterly increase...
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Bank of England divided over QE

Bank of England divided over QE
  The Press Association-Bank of England policymakers are divided over the benefits of pumping more emergency cash into the economy...
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Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts

Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts
  AFP- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was confident the country's top court will not block the...
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Adnams gets boost from new beers

Adnams gets boost from new beers
  The Press Association- Brewer Adnams has toasted higher profits after a range of new beers helped it cope with "the most...
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HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report

HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report
  AFP-Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than $16 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating...
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German finance minister calls for stronger EU

German finance minister calls for stronger EU
  AFP-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for EU member states to hand more powers to the European Union in "major...
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Services sector growth welcomed

Services sector growth welcomed
  The Press Association-A run of dire economic data that has spooked the UK's recovery hopes has been halted with a decent performance...
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Payday lender Wonga plans flotation

Payday lender Wonga plans flotation
  The Press Association- Payday lender Wonga is reported to be considering a US stock market flotation that could value the business...
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UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks

UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks
AFP-Britain's recession is worse than previously thought, as revised official figures showed on Thursday that the economy shrank...
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Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target

Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target
  AFP-British clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday announced a drop in annual profits in a "challenging economic...
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Travel

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2 'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

The Press Associtaion-High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of...
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Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

The Press Association-An MP has voiced his concerns about the plight of a British national who was imprisoned while...
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Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

AP - The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities: Nearly all of its thousands of works of art date to 1848...
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French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

French Concordia survivors get €2m payout French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

AFP- The owner of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off northwest Italy in January has paid more...
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Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

(Relaxnews) - Hotel prices in the Windy City soared by 23 percent this month, according to new research by Trivago. Chicago...
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Sport

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

The decision to Sebastian Vettel’s new partner probably falls between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner...
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Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers

Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers
  Three long years of Silver Arrow lurched past the targets. There was nothing: a measly victory in 58 races. This year it runs better already clear:...
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Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad. Barcelona...
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Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

Wiggins may target Tour defence after all Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

AFP-Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously nominating the Giro d'Italia as...
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Messi in light training after injury scare

Messi in light training after injury scare Messi in light training after injury scare

AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home...
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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice. The...
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McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open

McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open
  AFP-World number one Rory McIlroy made a late charge up the leaderboard but still trailed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn by five shots after a marathon day...
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Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris

Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris
  AFP- Towering Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz upset Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 on Thursday to complete the early exit of the elite from...
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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'

Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'
  AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their...
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Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal

Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal
  AFP-Four South Korean badminton players who were suspended for trying to throw matches at the London Olympics have appealed their penalties, the...
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Culture

Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 22 November 2012 14:29


AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice.

The dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo on Wednesday means eight coaches have now been and gone during the nine-year tenure of trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich.

Benitez, 52, arrives with a rich pedigree, albeit almost two years since his last managerial role at Inter Milan, but in order to land the job full-time, he must contend with Abramovich's notorious impatience.

Since Jose Mourinho left in 2007 after three hugely successful years, only Carlo Ancelotti has managed to complete a full season in the Chelsea dug-out.

Di Matteo may have delivered the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge for the very first time last season, but a return of two wins from eight matches in October and November proved too much for Abramovich to stand.


In his quest for on-pitch perfection, the Russian billionaire's patience is getting shorter.

Luiz Felipe Scolari made it to February before getting sacked in 2009, while Andre Villas-Boas got as far as March last season, but Di Matteo was less than five months into the two-year contract he signed in June.

"The shock that should be there for the fans and the media should sound something to the owner because I don't know if that's the ninth manager or whatever it is in so many short years," said Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew. "It's just not fair."

Success is no guarantee of safety under Abramovich, who wants his club to be renowned not just for winning, but for winning in style (photo by supernaturalfan90).

The desire to see exciting, Barcelona-style football grace the Bridge is what prompted Abramovich to gamble on Villas-Boas, but he, like Di Matteo, failed to manage the transition from old to new.

The spine of the side -- Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard -- remains largely intact from the team that Mourinho built, and Villas-Boas paid the price for his clumsy attempts to ease players like Lampard out of the picture.



Di Matteo galvanised the old guard for one last hurrah and took them to Champions League glory, before he, too, sought to shake up an ageing squad packed with domineering figures.

The young attacking triumvirate of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar thrilled as Chelsea stormed four points clear in the Premier League, but they were unable to arrest the slump that ultimately cost Di Matteo his job.

The quandary facing Benitez is that the Mourinho-era core has still not been replaced.

The misfiring Fernando Torres -- dropped against Juventus -- is no match for the rampaging Didier Drogba, who left for China after netting the winning penalty against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

The absence of Terry in recent weeks, due to suspension and injury, has also been keenly felt.

In the seven games he has missed since the beginning of October, Chelsea have conceded 17 goals at an alarming rate of 2.43 per game.

Torres will certainly welcome Benitez's arrival, having blossomed into one of the game's finest strikers during their time together at Liverpool.

"Sometimes, the things you work on are things you can't even see, but when you try it, you realise that each little detail Rafa works on might be worth three or four more goals a season," Torres told FourFourTwo magazine in February 2010.

"Three or four goals a season for every little detail he teaches you might be another 10 or 11 goals, and suddenly you're scoring 30 goals, not 20."

Benitez is also a canny operator in the Champions League, having guided Liverpool to two finals, winning one, but he will not be given long to address the problems he has inherited.