Real Madrid are close to appointing Rafael Benitez as their new manager for the 2015/16 season, with the Spanish coach viewed as the man who can finally turn Los Blancos into title-winners. For too long, the high-spending side have underachieved in La Liga, winning just one league crown in their last seven seasons. They have had some stellar management in that time, but their failure domestically is something that desperately needs to be addressed.
Former boss Carlo Ancelotti won the Champions League and Copa Del Rey in his time in charge of the club, but lost his job the following season after enduring a season without a major trophy. Their failure in the league in both seasons was also said to be a key factor in the decision to let him go, and now the club hierarchy are turning to a former Real associate to end their way for league dominance.
A highly tactical coach who will pay close attention to the weaknesses of the opposing side, Benitez’s appointment does make sense when looking at Real’s flaws over the course of the last campaign. The news is taking many by surprise given the nature of the task at hand, but the Napoli manager does have exactly what the club need to finally overcome their woes in the division.
He will ensure Real are tactically sound, and won’t allow the side to have gaping holes in the side to exploit. The Spanish giants have an attack to rival any team in the world, but they remain suspect defensively. In their backline, three of their four regularly playing defenders are more known for their exploits going forward, than how well they nullify the threat of the opposition, which highlights exactly the job Benitez needs to do in order to turn Real into a defensively-sound team, rather than an all-out attacking force.
Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo complimenting Karim Benzema in the attack, with the creativity of Luka Modric in the midfield, promises that Real will always break down sides and score goals. The team was highly unbalanced, however, and had trouble keeping the goals out at the other end, which meant they were force to attack teams until the death just to avoid conceding more.
Rafael Benitez has experience with big egos, and he fits his players in a system, rather than let the player dictate what system he has to play. It’s such stubbornness that could be what Real needed to finally end Barcelona’s stronghold on the La Liga title.
So can Benitez turn the club around?