Rafael Benitez is a manager that has divided opinion this season. Though loved almost universally by Newcastle fans, some have seemingly taken issue with the Spaniard’s style of play.
Specifically, the manager has opted to play more of a defensive style in recent months as he looks to grind out Premier League results, and though that has worked out with improved performances, it’s always going to have its critics. There’s always been a debate between the style of play that a team has and their pursuit of good results – and often they can’t both be focused on without taking away from the other.
He continued: “Maybe we will have to play counter-attack to beat some teams, like we did against Man City…I think one thing we are doing well is adapting and using our strengths to get the points we want.”
Essentially, what Benitez is saying is that he’s going to pick his team based on the situation at hand. That might mean that he has to play defensively for a month straight, but then he might come up against an opponent that he thinks can be attacked.
It’s that sort of versatility that has made him such a useful manager over the last few years, and it’s why he’s so popular at Newcastle.
Playing defensively is fine, provided that results are being achieved. Likewise, playing good football is pointless if the results don’t follow. Just look at how tough Maurizio Sarri is finding it in England – Chelsea haven’t been able to buy a win at points this term.
As long as the three points come to Newcastle, we couldn’t care less about how we play when it comes down to it. Rafa is adaptable, and that’s why we love him.