Real Madrid have begun the season on a positive note and are currently unbeaten in all competitions in 2015-16, but the tactics of manager Rafael Benitez are still being questioned.
The Galacticos failed to take advantage of leaders Villarreal and arch-rivals Barcelona both losing last weekend with Real Madrid only securing a draw despite taking an early lead against Atletico Madrid.
Spanish press, Madrid fans and even the players are critical of Benitez’s tactics, branding it as negative and defensive.
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Although it was Karim Benzema who helped Real Madrid open the scoreline at Vicente Calderon, the fact that he was substituted during the later stages of the game has not gone down well with the Frenchman.
Daily Mail quoted the 27-year-old striker saying:”It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always substituted. He(Benitez) took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.”
It was the fifth time this term Benzema was subbed off. However, the tactics proved less fruitful as Benzema’s goal was cancelled out by Luciano Vietto in the dying minutes of the derby.
But the Spanish manager has found support from two of his former players in Juan Mata and Fernando Torres. Both played under Benitez at Chelsea in the season where The Blues won the Europa League.
Juan Mata said,” I don’t consider him to be a defensive coach- he’s methodical, strategic and prepares for matches very well. When a Benitez team has to attack, they throw everything into it. He is a manager that lives for football”, as reported by Goal.com.
Whereas Fernando Torres, who was in Atletico colours against Real Madrid on Sunday also praised the 55-year-old as a brilliant manager.
According to MARCA, Torres defended his former manager in the Premier League saying,”Benitez isn’t defensive. He’s a great coach and if he’s given some time, the results will come.”
Los Blancos are just one point behind leaders Villarreal in La Liga and also registered two wins in as many games in the Champions League. Its early days for Benitez at Santiago Bernabeu and only time will tell if he could achieve the level of success of his predecessors at Real Madrid.