Named as the man who was ready to save Newcastle from relegation after Steve McClaren’s dire time in charge of the northern club, Rafa Benitez couldn’t quite do it, but left their fans wanting more.
Surprising many by agreeing to carry on next season in the Championship, the Spanish manager has been accused many times of playing defensive football, as well as being too rigid with his tactics.
This was one of his main criticisms at Real Madrid, the job he held before going to Newcastle, yet players who have been managed by Benitez don’t see it that way.
Oriol Romeu, formerly of Chelsea and now at Southampton, played under the former Liverpool manager during his interim period at Stamford Bridge and opened up to Mundo Deportivo about the Spaniard.
He said: “Tactically, he’s brutal. He works the two banks of four a lot, but he’s not a defensive manager because he also provides many variations and gives a lot of options in attack.
“He’s also very good when it comes to strategy. He asks you if you think you’ve made a mistake, you answer no, and he’ll then show you three or four you’ve made.”
The midfielder also stated it was ‘a shame’ Benitez was only at Chelsea on an interim basis and praised him for winning the Europa League.
It remains to be seen whether Rafa Benitez will ultimately be a success at Newcastle, but considering what he has done in the past, you’d bet on him to at least promote them back up to the Premier League.