Rafael Benitez's time running out at Real Madrid

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When Carlo Ancelotti was removed from his post as manager of Real Madrid and replaced by Rafael Benitez, eyebrows were understandably raised.

The former Liverpool boss endured a tough time at Napoli prior to his appointment in Spain and it seems that his credentials as a manager are once again being called into question.

The Madrid hot seat has always been a job which demands the highest of standards and the turnover of managers at the club is unprecedented - many still get the boot if they achieve success. 


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Vicente Del Bosque was sacked after winning the Champions League at the start of the 2000's, while numerous other managers have been cast away after securing some kind of domestic success.

With this trend in mind, the pressure has mounted for Benitez to the extent his job has been put at threat. The first damaging blow to the Spaniard's reign was dealt by rivals Barcelona, as they romped to a 4-0 victory in the first El Clasico of the season.

Then came the shattering news that the club has been removed from the Copa Del Rey after fielding Denis Cheryshev, who was supposed to be serving a ban carried over from last season. Ironically, the Russian winger scored in the game.

The competition seemed like it would have been Real's greatest chance of silverware this season and now, the club may be staring down the barrel of a trophyless season.

An 8-0 thrashing dealt to Malmo in the Champions League last week went some way to masking the obvious turmoil at the club, as both Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo helped themselves to hat-tricks - the first time in the history of the competition that two players have recorded a treble in the same match.

Nevertheless, the European fixture prior to this thrashing of an inferior side served as yet another reminder that Benitez's coaching may not be the best. Despite being 4-0 up away at Shakhtar Donetsk, Madrid's defence seemingly collapsed in the latter stages of the game, conceding three late goals and almost costing themselves all three points.

Inconsistency is without doubt the best descriptor of Madrid's campaign so far this season and was on show once again last weekend as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat away at Villarreal.

Former Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado scored the goal which now sees Real five points behind pace setters Barcelona and city rivals Atletico. Los Blancos seem disjointed, and following reports of unrest in the dressing room, we could see a very early managerial casualty in Spain's capital.

Benitez's tactics seem lacklustre and his man management inept at best. With Madrid a club of high ambitions, it seems the Spanish manager is a square peg in a round hole and his sacking could be imminent should the club's fortunes not improve.

La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo

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