The Real Madrid hot seat has often been compared to a poisoned chalice – unless the manager in charge delivers immediate silver wear, the likelihood is they’ll lose their job. In this case it was the globally revered Italian Carlo Ancelotti. After only two seasons in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu it was announced on May 25 that he had been sacked as manager.
Was it too early to relieve Ancelotti of his duties? Most would argue that it was, especially when the announcement came of his replacement Rafa Benitez as the new manager of Real Madrid. Ancelotti has one of the best CVs in world football – remember it was only last year that Real Madrid lifted the Champions League under the tutelage of Ancelotti. He’s also won the competition with AC Milan twice, and domestic honours with Chelsea, Paris St. Germain and Juventus.
What raises eyebrows even more is how Real have turned to Benitez. Let’s be honest his tenure at Napoli was less than impressive. In Naples he had stars at his disposal in the form of Gonzalo Higuian and Marek Hamsik but overall their performance on both European and domestic fronts were underwhelming. Naysayers will look back and no doubt say, realistically the last time the Spaniard was relevant was when Liverpool managed to come from three goals down to win the 2005 Champions League on penalties in one of the most memorable finals ever. And if we are honest, they are probably right.
This isn’t a Mourinho. It’s definitely not an Ancelotti. Benitez has a point to prove – that he’s still relevant in world football. He just doesn’t have the appeal as the aforementioned mercurial managers. Also, he has to prove a point that he is up for the job at one of football’s biggest clubs. With Barcelona currently looking untouchable, Benitez has an insurmountable amount of pressure on his shoulders to succeed – as does anyone taking the Real Madrid job. However, something feels different about this appointment. It has an aura of the Del Bosque-era about it. Regardless of the situation, many feel that Benitez is destined for failure at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With the media also being underwhelmed by the appointment of Benitez, we’d like to hear your thoughts on whether Benitez will be a success at Real Madrid. Leave your comments below.