Jamie Carragher has defended his former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, with the Real Madrid coach already under pressure.
Real head into Saturday’s El Clasico at the Bernabeu trailing Barcelona by three points, but Benitez is already coming under fire for his perceived negative style.
There were reports this week that Cristiano Ronaldo had told Real president Florentino Perez that the club would win nothing under Benitez’s stewardship.
Real have scored goals at a rate of 2.36 per game in La Liga and 1.75 per game in the Champions League. That compares to averages of 3.10 and 2.0 per game last season.
‘I wondered whether Rafa would tweak things but in games against Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain, his instinct was to protect a 1-0 lead,’ Carragher wrote in his Daily Mail column.
‘Yet I wouldn’t say he is an ultra-defensive coach. He, essentially, is always looking for the right blend between defence and attack but that is not what they want in Madrid, where they have become used to Galactico football.
‘The Madrid way, of course, is to go through the gears and score as many as possible, so when Benitez drew his first friendly 0-0 with Roma (they ended up losing on penalties) he was quickly under scrutiny.’
Win the league and both Clasico games and they’ll probably forgive you Rafa, but it did all feel like a very temporary measure.