Originally written on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 11/22/12
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Rafael Benitez's surprise appointment as interim Chelsea manager will be seen by many as a short-term fix ahead of the likely hiring of Pep Guardiola next summer. However, if Benitez is able to get the best out of struggling striker Fernando Torres - like he did in the pair's fruitful days at Liverpool - the 52-year-old Spaniard could find himself around for longer than just this season. Out of management since being fired by Inter Milan in December 2010, Benitez begins life Thursday as Chelsea's ninth coach under ruthless Russian owner Roman Abramovich with a lengthy to-do list awaiting him. Indeed, one of his first tasks will be handling the fallout of the racism case involving referee Mark Clattenburg, with the Football Association close to making a decision whether to charge the official with abusing a Chelsea player during a match. What could define Benitez's tenure at Stamford Bridge, though, is his handling of Torres - the 50 million pound ($81 million) gift bestowed on th...
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