Football

Has Rafael Benitez picked one fight too many at Real Madrid?

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Poor old Rafael Benitez.

Even before he had taken the Real Madrid job, senior first-team players were happy to be on the record noting that they couldn't understand why Carlo Ancelotti had been relieved of his duties.

The Italian was well-liked in the dressing room. Benitez is not. That much is crystal clear.

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In fairness to the manager, he doesn't do ego's. He won't bend his will just because it doesn't suit a particular player or two. His way or no way.

That's all well and good when things are going your way but when everything starts to unravel, that's when you hit problems.

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Cristiano Ronaldo is the latest player to come out against Benitez telling president Florentino Perez that "we'll never win anything with him in charge," per a report in El Confidencial via Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror.

Outburst

The Portuguese's outburst comes hot on the heels of James Rodriguez taking exception to the manager suggesting to the media that he has been unfit and hence has not played.

Per Sport, a barbed "this is for those that say I am not fit" to journalists after he'd scored in Colombia's recent 1-1 with Chile, was a clear reference to Benitez. That's not all. The notoriously fickle Madridistas aren't happy. At all.

A lack of potency up front in many of the games so far, Benitez quite clearly preferring a more defensive set up rather than the swashbuckling abandon of previous incarnations, isn't to supporter taste.

Ronaldo himself has looked a shadow of the player of previous seasons and although he has scored 13 from 14 appearances in all competitions, five of those came against Espanyol.

Depth of feeling

He has been moribund as a goalscoring threat in some games and when was the last time that could be levelled against a player that lives to score goals?

If anyone wanted to note the depth of feeling toward the manager they only need peruse the TV footage from the match against Sevilla.

The substitutes bench was full of players who were clearly hugely unimpressed with Benitez's delivery of instructions and general demeanour.

Benitez, importantly, does retain the confidence of Perez for now but the president will be closely monitoring the situation, waiting to see how it develops.

A loss against Barcelona at the weekend, will open up a cavernous six-point gap between the two sides and that won't sit well in the corridors of power, so a win is of paramount importance.

Approachable

Whilst it won't sit well on his shoulders, Benitez could do well to drop his guard a little and be a little more approachable.

For any team to play at their optimum level, the entire squad and management team need to work in harmony and that's far from the case at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It doesn't men Benitez has to cede any authority but it does mean he has to understand the needs of his staff a little more.

Since August all he seems to have done is picked one fight after the other and one has to question where it all ends.

Is Rafa Benitez the man to take Real Madrid forward? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
La Liga
Karim Benzema
Cristiano Ronaldo
James Rodriguez
Real Madrid
Football

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