Real Madrid‘s loss at Villareal was a double blow: on footballing and institutional levels. A blow on the pitch as well as in the boardroom, where Rafa Benítez’s credit is starting to run out. A stronger reaction was hoped for after ‘el Clásico’, but the very blunt knock-back at El Madrigal has caused doubts to return.
Analysis of everything surrounding the team
The club is no longer hiding the fact the current situation is reaching its limits. After ‘el Clásico’ there was an energetic response from the club backing the manager. Now, 21 days later, there are few that would go out on a limb to support his continued employment. It does not help matters that his replacement has already been chosen: Zinedine Zidane.
Benítez seeing cracks in the club’s support
The club does not trust Benítez and the manager is aware of the fact. He feels ever more isolated. He is the first to know that it is the results that count, more so when he is not strongly supported by a portion of the fans, and likewise in the dressing room.
Disappointed by the balance of results
The club chose Benítez in order to create a machine that would win matches regardless of whether it was done in an attractive manner or not, but the result has been neither one thing nor the other. No sexy football and no results.
Missed opportunity to heal the wounds from ‘el Clásico’
Real Madrid had slowly been healing the wounds left by ‘el Clásico’ and elimination from the Copa del Rey (although the Spanish Disciplinary Committee for Sport’s final decision is still pending). Barça served them up a chance to breathe, but they missed the opportunity. Not only that, but they underperformed and gave the impression of being a directionless team.
Players’ commitment at El Madrigal
The club is of the opinion that the match against Villarreal was not given the commitment it needed. It is thought that the match was more down to the players than the manager, but that the bad relationship with the manager could have influenced the players’ showing.
Kroos on the bench, more trouble ahead
Toni Kroos started on the bench at El Madrigal, and stayed there. Until now he has been a certain starter. The conflicts with certain star players are becoming a burden for Benítez. Control of the dressing room is not proving to be a strength of the manager, with him being questioned by many players since his arrival.