Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughRafa is the way forward - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Rafa is the way forward - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Rafa is the way forward

The only consistency surrounding the England manager debate appears to be the preferred nationality of the new coach. The general consensus amongst fans and the British media is that an Englishman needs to be hired to change the fortunes of the national team.

But is this something the FA really need to be focusing on? Do people actually want tactically naive Redknapp or one season wonder Pardew at the helm of the most important footballing job in the country?

Sure Pardew has had a good season up in Tyneside, but he has failed to produce good results on a consistent basis throughout his career, evident in his acceptance of a League One position only 2 years ago.

With regards to Redknapp, for all of his man management skills, he does have the ability to alienate players (could Darren Bent really play for England with ‘Arry in charge?). Granted he would come into his own in terms of the motivational aspect of the job, but would almost definitely be found out from a tactical viewpoint when facing leading European nations.

Personally I am of the belief that Rafa Benitez is the man to lead England in Eastern Europe. The Spanish boss is still living in the North-West and as a result is fully engrossed into the English game and all the baggage it comes with.

Certain fans may argue that he never really accomplished anything in the league with Liverpool, yet he is still the club’s most successful manager since the Premier League began. Even so, the Euros are not about being the best over a 38 match run, they are won by out-manoeuvring your opposite number from a tactical standpoint on 3 or 4 separate occasions in a short period of time. This is what makes Benitez stand out from the other candidates, his tactical ability in cup competitions, most notably Europe.

Week after week Rafa would forget about his club’s domestic form and produce magnificent results against superior opponents using knowledge he had gained from seasons of study and experience. This is evident in the fact that he is one of the modern day pioneers of the 4-2-3-1 formation, a tactic regularly used by the world’s top sides nowadays such as Germany, Arsenal and last season’s surprise Bundesliga winners Borussia Dortmund.

Benitez’s awareness of the technical side of the beautiful game is not his only stand out attribute however. The 51 year-old has experience in the defensive leagues of Serie A as well as its attacking based Spanish counterpart. These are two contrasting cultures that will prove transferable and invaluable when managing on an international stage.

As well as this, Rafa has never been a manager to have his favourites, a trait consistent with past England managers who have continued to stick with their preferred players when form suggested otherwise. This side to the Spaniard’s management style manifested itself in the way he gradually removed the majority of his Champions League winning side from their places on the team within two years of that historic night.

He could also be considered to be the man that made Steven Gerrard the player he is, with the Scouser having undoubtedly his most successful seasons under Benitez’s stewardship (Gerrard is far more likely to have an Indian summer with Rafa at the helm).

On top of all this, two of the main criticisms aimed at Fabio Capello during his English tenure were that he didn’t learn the language and he cost too much. These are two facets that again make Benitez the ideal candidate for the job considering he speaks fluent English, actually enjoys our culture and would not cost a penny.

The FA have to forget about the ridiculous notion that the new man must have English blood and get on the phone to Rafa. With him in charge English football will finally make the much-needed progression into the 21st century. 


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