Vice president of Real Madrid, Eduardo Fernandez de Blas has made known to the public that Rafa Benitez will in fact step in as manager of Real Madrid during the upcoming season. The announcement of Benitez’s appointment was not an official one, having responded with the news of the Spaniard’s hiring to an angry fan at a fan’s meeting. Interestingly, the fan’s anger was over the sacking of the popular Carlo Ancelotti, having been recently relieved of duty after ending the season trophyless. However, fans are extremely skeptical about Benitez as Real’s new man, being wary of his ability to deliver major silverware, even when Ancelotti could not. Benitez will need to quickly demonstrate his capabilities with strong results early on in the season, not only to appease the fans, but also to appease the demanding board.
An often overlooked attribute which is symptomatic of Benitez’s style of management is squad rotation, a potentially monumental shift away from Ancelotti’s knack of playing the same eleven to fourteen players. MarketWatch pointed out to James Dondero earlier this week that certain individuals in the Real squad were visibly fatigued this season, having played so many games without rest, and may have even been the cause of injury for some. Benitez’s approach may help the majority of the squad stay fresh, enabling them to hit peak form late in the season, when the fight for trophies truly heats up. That is surely the hope among Real fans.