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Reining in Ronaldo, getting the best out of Bale…the Real manager has many pressing issues to sort out
Get Cristiano Ronaldo on his side
The Portuguese superstar wields such authority in the Bernabeu dressing room, that it’s imperative Benitez gets his backing early on. To make matters a little more delicate, Ronaldo was said to be disappointed by Carlo Ancelotti’s dismissal, and tweeted his admiration for the Italian on Sunday night. If Benitez is to stand any chance of overhauling Barcelona, he’ll need Ronaldo to not only be at his scintillating best.
Solve the Gareth Bale problem
Bale has looked devoid of confidence in recent weeks, and has failed tor recapture his excellent first season form. It’s easy to forget of course that there’s still an £80m player there, and Benitez must do all he can to harness Bale’s considerable talent. Benitez should know exactly what Bale is capable of having seen first hand what he looks like in full throttle – the Spaniard was in charge of Inter when the then Spurs winger scored a sensational hat-trick at the San Siro.
Prove he’s got the pedigree to be at Real Madrid
Benitez hasn’t won a League title since 2004, and his last Champions League success was in 2005. Given Ancelotti was sacked only a year after winning the Champions League, there may be some in Madrid who are a little skeptical at Benitez’s appointment. The new manager needs to use the club’s absurd short-term to his advantage – if he is able to pick up results quickly, then no-one will care a jot what he’s done in the previous 10 years. If Real start the season badly however, questions will be asked very quickly about whether Benitez is the right man for the job. Real’s squad is already formidable, so it’s more a question of tweaking rather than any sort of overhaul.
Find a way of stopping Barcelona
Keeping out Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is easier said than done, but Benitez comes into his own when tasked with setting up teams that are difficult to break down.
Whether benitez is the right man for the Madrid job remains to be seen.