Although the title uses the word ‘leave’, we all know no one actually ‘leaves’ Real Madrid. Behind closed doors,where there dignity is well preserved, they are all fired out of Real Madrid.
Now, Benitez, hasn’t lost a single game in his Real Madrid tenure if it can be called a tenure since he has managed Real Madrid for only seven competitive games.
But the way he has handled the squad and the team, on the pitch and behind the scenes, is why some are beginning to questions if he can even last a single season at Real Madrid regardless the amount of silverware he brings to the club.
He has changed the way this Real Madrid squad has played since the beginning. Now, the emphasis is more on defensive work rather than attack. I can’t remember a game where Real Madrid’s attack was shut down by any opponent under Mourinho and Ancelotti like it was under Benitez against Atletico Madrid.
Now some recent developments have taken place that further this hypothesis of Benitez being relieved of his duties come the end of the season. Here are the top four reasons why Benite would definitely not last long at Real Madrid (Personally, this author would give Benitez about two years,at the maximum, incharge of Real Madrid):
- His Reported Bust Up With Ronaldo
Even if we ignore the recent media news about Ronaldo not be communicative with Benitez, it still doesn’t draw a pretty picture.
Videos, which actually went viral amongst Real Madrid followers, where Ronaldo looked unusually uncomfortable with Benitez in training surfaced in Benitez’s first week at Real Madrid.
No points for guessing, why Ronaldo and Benitez aren’t the best of pals. Benitez has a big ego and Ronaldo has the biggest of all egos.
For a moment there, I was tempted to say that Ronaldo is a winner and so is Benitez and hence there is a problem of man management on the side of Benitez, but that cannot be the case as Benitez really isn’t a winner at all.
His managing record, compared with the likes of Mourinho (pre-Chelsea 2015) and Ancelotti, is dreadful. More on that later but the fact remains that if , at the end of 2015-2016 campaign, it comes down to a situation of either Ronaldo or Benitez, it would be Ronaldo a hundred times over.
Ronaldo’s services to Real Madrid in the last seven years have been unmatched by any player at any club in the history of football.
It is another matter that Real Madrid as a team couldn’t keep up with him and hence Ronaldo didn’t get the deserving silverware since his arrival from Manchester United but compared with any other player, Ronaldo is head and shoulders ahead.
Benitez on the other hand, may be considered a local for Madrid people but he is a newbie, of sorts, for Real Madrid fans and it’s hierarchy.
Benitez is known to have this tendency of trying to stamp his authority on players, early on in the season so that everyone knows their status on the field.
Sadly, that strategy as classic as it may seem, doesn’t work at Real Madrid. It doesn’t work at all.
The reason why it is almost impossible to be a long term manager at Real Madrid is because of the quality of players that Real Madrid brings into the club.
You cannot control players like Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo etc etc. They are too talented for that type of managing behavior.
However, if you let these guys totally loose, they end up losing their edge over the competition and hence Real Madrid don’t win trophies.
In both scenarios, the managers gets the axe first.
Hence you can’t be like Benitez and you can’t be like Ancelotti either.
There hasn’t been a manager in the last two decades that can actually remotely enlighten the path to improving one’s longevity as a Real Madrid manager.
Benitez has all the makings of a manager who tries to act tough and alienates his top players. As a result, the club’s performance in terms of silverware suffers and the managers gets fired.
- Going Toe to Toe With Sergio Ramos Is Risky
Now Sergio Ramos might not have the numbers behind him in terms of goals and match winning performances but, his contributions at the back for the past eight or nine years have been invaluable.
He is the de facto commander of Real Madrid on the pitch. He is the Raul of this Real Madrid squad.
Benitez might have been too busy in managing Napoli (from the results Napoli got in his tenure, it looks like he wasn’t too caught up with work) but he must know that Sergio Ramos forms the core of Real Madrid now with Iker Casillas out of the picture.
There is no way Benitez can sideline Sergio Ramos and still be the manager at Real Madrid at the start of 2016-2017 campaign.
The fans wouldn’t allow for that and I am guessing Perez wouldn’t like that either if in his maiden season at Real Madrid, Benitez manages to upset Sergio Ramos to the point that he has to make press conferences just to calm down the press about his relationship with Sergio Ramos (and Ronaldo).
Sergio Ramos is a world class defender when he puts his mind to it. He has the potential to be amongst the greatest defenders of all times except that he doesn’t have the head for it. He is too inconsistent with his intensity levels on the pitch.
Legendary defenders don’t make rash decision on the field and Ramos has made many.
But that, still, doesn’t change the fact that he is now a symbol at Real Madrid. Symbol of strength, longevity and influence.
Benitez better not mess up with Sergio Ramos because, as with C.Ronaldo, ninety nine times of hundred, it would be Benitez who would get shipped out of Real Madrid if it comes down to that.
- Benzema is the ‘enabler’ at Real Madrid, Benitez criticism on his scoring ability is bad news, for Benitez.
The worst remark one can make on Benzema’s activities on the field is his lack of goal scoring ability.
Benzema is not that type of a striker. Karim has basically evolved the striker role on his own. Like a striker, he has the ability to finish with both his feet and he can take shots fair quickly without getting closed down in the process.
But unlike a striker, Benzema’s first priority is to look for teammates who may be in a better position to score a goal.
So God knows that Benitez was insinuating when he complained about Benzema not scoring ‘another’ goal against Atletico Madrid.
Benitez subbed Benzema against Atletico Madrid, which seemed like a reasonable decision since Benzema is known to not last till the end in games that are played at an high intensity.
Benzema made his frustrations known to the media afterwards and Benitez (as he did with Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos) had to explain to the media that his relations with the striker are pretty normal.
If Benitez took Benzema off because he couldn’t get Real Madrid the winning goal vs Atletico Madrid (as Benitez has hinted in his last interview) then Benzema’s substitution was probably the worst decision Benitez could have made against a team as skillful in defense as Atletico Madrid.
In short, Benzema didn’t get the supply and hence was chasing shadows for most of the second half. Ronaldo is one who could be blamed for making poor passes and taking shots from low scoring angles.
- Benitez’s faith in his ability as a manager
The mentality that he can win without Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema solely on his own genius tactics is monstrously wrong.
If Ronaldo, as the media reports have suggested, wants Benitez to consider him the best player on the planet then Benitez, for the sake of Ronaldo’s morale and the team, should go ahead and acknowledge that in anycase.
It’s almost unbelievable that a manager won’t do that for his players just to sound unique to the media. Ancelotti and Mourinho, with qualifying, considered Ronaldo to be the best player in the world. And that is the right attitude.
Benitez should learn from Barcelona where everyone (including the managers, coaches, players, former players, administrative people and the fans) is always lauding Messi as the greatest player to have been born.
Of course, the title for greatest ever is highly contentious but that shouldn’t stop anyone to voice her own opinion.
And most of all, it wouldn’t have made a difference to anyone, except Ronaldo who wouldn’t have gotten upset, if Benitez had named Ronaldo the best ever he had coached when he was quizzed a couple of weeks ago.
Benitez is seriously mistaken if he thinks he can take Real Madrid to the heights Perez wants him to without help from the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema.
Benitez has to sort the mess he has caused with Ronaldo, Ramos and Karim quickly before it spirals out of control.
He can make a steady start by not trying to be a dictator on the training ground and especially not on the sidelines during a match (some Real Madrid players have complained of getting annoyed at the constant gestures Benitez makes throughout the game when giving out instructions) as that has acted as a detriment for the team rather than an aid for people on the pitch.