Football

Is Real Madrid's lack of goals down to Rafa Benitez?

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Real Madrid and Rafa Benitez have it all to do in 2015/16 if they are to get back on a level playing field with treble winners and arch rivals Barcelona.

Silverware and success is expected and indeed demanded, but as important to the Santiago Bernabeu faithful is the manner in which it is achieved.

Carlo Ancelotti and his 75 percent win success across the period he was in charge assuaged many of the Madrid faithful and was in fact the highest success rate by any manager in history.

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The team played with a swagger and five, six and seven goals a game were commonplace. Deportivo La Coruna were hit for eight whilst Granada succumbed to a nine goal hammering!

Impressive

Whether a fan of Los Blancos or not, one couldn't fail to be impressed by such attacking excellence and verve.

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A 4-1 win over Manchester City early in pre-season will have given fans of the club hope that they will be doing their best to take all before them again during the forthcoming campaign, but City's subsequent 4-2 defeat to Stuttgart gave a hint that all isn't yet well for the Citizens and took the shine off of Madrid's performance.

Of more concern might be a lack of goals in other games leading up to the beginning of the La Liga season.

Goalless on four occasions

Scoreless against Bayern Munich and Valarenga, it was the first time in four years that Real have failed to score in two successive fixtures, whether competitive or friendly.

Throw in a 0-0 draw against AC Milan and another against AS Roma and we begin to see the bigger picture.

Not that it will worry a naturally cautious and sometimes overly defensive Benitez. That Real somehow still won the International Champion's Cup in both Australia and China is the statistic that matters.

The ex-Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Napoli man has only one thing on his mind - to get results that win matches. 

If that's a "boring" 1-0 or even a hard-fought goalless draw, so be it. Playing more defensively or "winning ugly" when necessary is still winning. And there's unlikely to be too many complaints if the Spaniard brings home the titles he is being handsomely paid to secure.

Different styles

The difference between his style and that of Ancelotti is marked, but Benitez won't care a jot. 

That extends to his relationships with his players. The Italian was well liked by all, especially the more senior members of the side. 

Benitez has already shown his hand and who's boss after a training ground bust up with Cristiano Ronaldo and won't hesitate in benching the Portuguese if it's felt that it's for the benefit of the team.

There are no favourites, whether you are the best player in the team, best player in the world or otherwise. Just ask Steven Gerrard

Big changes weren't necessarily a pre-requisite this season for Real, but there are big changes afoot and the sooner James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo are all are on board with them, the better.

Do you think Benitez's more defensive approach could affect Real's challenge for silverware this season? Give us YOUR opinion in the comment box below! 

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Topics:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Football
La Liga
Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
Toni Kroos
Gareth Bale

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