As the season begins to unravel around him, he has taken to using his press conferences to wax lyrical about the plethora of issues preventing him from stamping his mark on the squad and making a real go of things at his shiny new club.
Far from admitting to any failings on his own part he has gone on the offensive over recent weeks, getting into an ugly spat with Marco Materazzi and reminding us that yes, he still doesn’t get on with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Little wonder, then, that some Chelsea fans are beginning to question whether or not Rafa the gaffer is in danger of ‘cracking up’. Again.
His latest protestations are alarming to say the least, and border on the farcical.
‘If you go outside and it’s snowing and you fall down, they say, “Ah, he fell down”. But the reality is, it’s snowing, which makes it slippery and makes you fall down.
‘So if you analyse all the managers [at Chelsea], how many had a pre-season here? Not me. How many managers have spent massive money here? Not me. How many managers have played in Japan in the middle of the season and have some players injured and some at the African Nations? Only me.’
Unfortunately for Monsieur Benitez a long line of Chelsea managers have had to deal with a crop of their best talent heading to Africa in January, and the lack of a pre-season never did Guus Hiddink or Roberto Di Matteo any harm.
Injuries, likewise, are not a new conundrum for Chelsea bosses, but we will concede the Japan thing. Only Rafa has had an opportunity to win that particular mug, and failed rather limply.
Trophies was his catchcry upon arriving, transition his new buzzword after slipping away from the league title race, and now it’s all hands to the pumps as we claw for a top four spot.
You get the feeling he’s got more excuses lined up if it all goes awry.