Almost none (honestly speaking?It is probably none) of the pundits have got Real Madrid winning La Liga this season.
I did come across one who had Real Madrid winning Copa Del Rey (which might be a blessing in disguise as that would get Benitez fired for good from Real Madrid) and that is about it.
The reason is Benitez. His system, his style and the amount of absolute control he wants over his players is something that has never worked at Real Madrid and probably will never work at Real Madrid because lets be real: the star power at Real Madrid cannot be controlled, they can only be managed.
Ancelotti did a pretty good job of that but he messed up the other part which was to win against big teams which in turn would have meant ‘wins’ in the trophy count. Here are my top reasons why Benitez will ultimately destroy Real Madrid this season which would kickstart another cycle of firing and hiring at the club:
- His first blunder would be to make Bale the center of play. I know, some people think Bale performed his best when he played as a number 10 at Tottenham and to a certain extent that is true.
But where did Bale perform his absolute best? It was on the left. He played on the left when he destroyed Inter Milan in the Champions League in the worst possible situation all on his own with the team down by 0-4.
Bale is a fantastic player, there is no question about it but his style and especially his mental make up is not that of a number 10.
He doesn’t have the patience neither the cunningness that is required to get away from defenders who lock you up by teaming up on you. Bale is a kind of a player who likes to run with the ball.
At number 10, against good teams, that is simply impossible. Benitez would be better off playing Bale on the wing, right or left. It is Bale who needs to sort out if and when he wants to pass the ball or shoot the ball. But then again it is not up to Benitez or is it.
Certain marketing quarters at Real Madrid feel that Bale should be played in the center to make the play go through him in order to generate more revenue for the club. I wonder how that works but anyway. Playing Bale behind the center is bound to fail, especially against good teams.
- Ronaldo will be sidelined (by his standards) if Benitez goes forward with the Bale plan. Ronaldo, of what we know of him, will absolutely not tolerate that and will probably leave the club at the end of the season which would break this Real Madrid team apart.
Ronaldo is the single most effective player for Real Madrid. I still cannot forget his performance against Schalke last season where despite the best efforts of Ronaldo’s teammates, Real Madrid qualified for the next stage of the Champions League.
All thanks to goals from Ronaldo. Ronaldo delivers (not at the level of Messi but still way ahead of the rest) on most occasions and no other player comes close to his ability on the ball at Real Madrid.
By making Bale the kingpin, Benitez is going to reduce Ronaldo’s effectiveness and his state of mind which is rather delicate. Ronaldo wants the ball all the time. If he doesn’t get that much, I think he would be looking for a new club.
Benitez wouldn’t care, as he didn’t when he destroyed the Champions Inter Milan left by Jose Mourinho couple of years ago. Playing Bale in the playmaker position would also mean less goals for Ronaldo.
Bale doesn’t have the finishing ability of Ronaldo and hence that would mean even more wasted opportunities to score goals for Real Madrid.
Last season, Bale missed some utterly straightforward chances to score goals so I don’t understand why Benitez would want to give him more opportunities to do that instead of playing him on the wing and having him making assists with his runs and crosses rather than scoring goals (which he can’t do).
- De Gea problem is another way Rafa Benitez might destroy Real Madrid. He has sold Casillas so Real Madrid is left with Keylor Navas only.
He is a pretty standard goalkeeper at this point in time which is never enough at Real Madrid. Benitez cannot have Navas as the number 1 goalkeeper at Real Madrid, he just cannot.
Navas is not made for that kind of pressure and responsibility. Real Madrid look no closer to signing De Gea from Manchester United. Sources say that De Gea and Real Madrid are both leaning on a deal next summer when De Gea becomes a free agent.
Real Madrid would obviously compensate him for that with a lucrative deal or something but that is not the point. The point is, Benitez committed a serious mistake when he sold Casillas without having secured the services of De Gea.
Navas is going to break in the later stages of Champions League and Real Madrid cannot afford another season like the last one.
- Real Madrid have signed Danilo under the management of Benitez. Does he even know that Real Madrid already has a brilliant right back by the name of Carvajal? and on top of that Real Madrid has a even better substitute for him by the name of Arbeloa?
What was the point of signing another right back?. Benitez could make the argument that Danilo was signed before he took charge at Real Madrid but that shouldn’t be taking with any seriousness.
Benitez could have just loaned him out to Bundesliga or something. Now he has himself another quandary where one of two brilliant right backs will lose playing time and hence skills.
It may be possible that Carvajal might also start to look for opportunities someplace else at the end of this season. Keep it up Benitez.
- News sources had it that Benitez actually wanted to sign another striker. What a waste of money that would have been (might still happen, who knows).
Real Madrid squad already boasts of talents such as Jesse, may be Odegaard too if he is not considered too young and fragile, so why would he add another striker to an already overloaded squad? Yes, Real Madrid do need a good backup for Benzema but the days of players like Higuain playing as backup to Benzema are long gone.
No quality striker would accept a position like that. It would be far better to not sign a striker and have Jesse play as a striker when Benzema gets injured or suspended.
Even Ronaldo can play as a striker for a couple of matches if it comes to that. Benitez, as always, wants to play it ultra safe and sign another player he doesn’t know where to fit in.
Bottom is line is that Benitez needs to be advised. He needs to be advised about how important Ronaldo is to Real Madrid at the moment. Bale can have his share of the glory as well like he did in his first season at Real Madrid (and Real Madrid had Di Maria back then too, so it must be doable now without Di Maria in the mix).
I feel Benitez is going to play really safe this season which is going to cost Real Madrid big games against Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. What do you guys think about Benitez’s management of the squad so far? Do let me know. Hala Madrid!