Drawing to Gary Neville's Valencia was Rafael Benitez's final act in charge of Real Madrid..

Is Rafael Benitez really to blame for all of Real Madrid's shortcomings?

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The sacking of Rafael Benitez hasn't really come as too much of a surprise but that in itself isn't too palatable is it?

Not seven months into what the Spaniard called his "dream job", Florentino Perez has used that trigger finger again and sent Rafa packing.

It's an astonishing turn of events from a club that puts itself out there as the exemplar. "The best club in the world" if you care to read the marketing brochures.


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Really? Does a club with such a lofty title think it's ok to treat manager's with such utter disdain?

Great results

A manager who in the last five games presided over a team scoring 24 goals. A team who had seven clean sheets in their fist eight games of the season.

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A team who had won 17, drawn five and lost just three games under Benitez's tutelage. Three games!

Rafa's own appointment came after Perez had sacked statistically Real Madrid's best manager in history, Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian had won almost 75 percent of all of his games, had brought La Decima to the Santiago Bernabeu and had supervised an astonishing 22-match winning run last season. All in vain.

Marching orders

In general terms, football tells us that the buck always stops with the manager but the reality is that often it's underperforming players that get their managers their marching orders.

Almost certainly the case in this instance.

Witness the way in which Real's staff couldn't even be bothered against Barcelona in El Clasico. A 4-0 loss should've been at least double that and it would've been but for a mixture of bad luck and the heroics of Keylor Navas in goal.

Against Valencia in what turned out to be Rafa's final game, Real did at least have the bit between their teeth, but the inability to turn the draw into three points is what has seen president Perez press the panic button again.

Zinedine Zidane Announced As New Real Madrid Manager

A billion wasted

If Barcelona win their game in hand, they'll be five points ahead of Real and that's evidently something that Perez can't abide. Another season without a La Liga trophy will be an unmitigated disaster for a man who's spent well in excess of a billion pounds of Los Blancos money.

But perhaps, just perhaps, if Perez kept his meddling hands out of the pie, then Real would be able to garner some type of consistency to their game.

The Galactico policy is flawed but it isn't helpful either for outside influences to pick the team. Witness the way in which Benitez was forced to play James Rodriguez in preference to Casemiro who was quite clearly the choice of the manager.

Valencia CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

The players do need to take a long hard look at themselves too, but Benitez can at least walk away with his head held high.

Poor old Zinedine Zidane...

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