Real Madrid coach Benitez denies being ‘boring’

Madrid, Oct 6 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez is already facing criticism despite the La Liga being only seven games old and his unbeaten side lying second in the league table.

The fact that the coach replaced striker Karim Benzema to shore up his side’s midfield during their 1-1 draw against city rivals Atletico Madrid has led to accusations of him being boring and defensive in his tactics, reports Xinhua.

Madrid were leading 1-0 when Benitez benched the goalscorer Benzima, helping Atletico snatch a late equaliser.

Benitez defended his tactics on Monday evening, saying he had a good relationship with Benzema, who was clearly unhappy at being changed.

“He is a great player,” he said.

“I have given him a target of between 20-25 goals and I am delighted with him. I would be unhappy if I was changed in a game, but I would react by trying to score two goals so that nobody changed me.”

While Benzema was changed, fellow striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who has only scored in one of Madrid’s seven league games, continues to play 90 minutes, despite looking out of form, but Benitez denied the striker was “untouchable”.

“That is a myth. He has to rest when he needs to rest to give the most to the team and he tells me that he understands that. What he thinks and what I saw are the same and there are a lot fewer problems than those I read about,” he insisted.

Benitez denied accusations that he was defensive in his tactics.

“I didn’t tell the team to sit back. I have come here from Napoli where we scored 104 goals, so I am not going to be defensive with Madrid. A team that shoots at goal and has the ball is not defensive, although sometimes the rival obliges you to defend.”

“I am not worried that people call me defensive, I am more annoyed that we dropped two points,” he insisted.

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