Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have been discussing Rafa Benitez.
The pair chatting on Sky Sports about the Newcastle manager following the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Much said about the tactics used in Sunday’s game and the two former players coming up with some pretty strange conclusions.
“I keep hearing people say you’ve got to have a go. What does have a go mean? Having a go to me means pressing the ball and being aggressive.
“You may not have the quality when you get the ball and the runners might not make the right runs to cause a team problems, but that was my problem with Newcastle last season and the difference with Wolves [against Manchester City].
“It’s not a massive difference, just the mentality of how to press the ball and doing it a lot higher. If you do that you might have more opportunities to go forward.
“The thing about Rafa, who I had as a manager for six years and is probably my biggest influence in football, I actually look at where the game is going and how people perceive you as a coach.
“We spoke last week about how Unai Emery wants to play and it’s fine, that’s how the top teams play and the top coaches want to play. But someone like Rafael Benitez with his actual CV of what he has done, winning two La Liga titles, the European Cup, a European trophy with Chelsea and trophies pretty much everywhere.
“Why wasn’t he actually in the running or interviewed for the Arsenal job with his great experience of the Premier League? It may be along the lines of where the game’s going and how it’s perceived.”
“What I would say, and I’ve seen this now over the last six to 12 months, there is definitely an attitude change towards what would be the more pragmatic coaches, towards what would be the more progressive coaches.
“There is an attitude change from fans, who are paying more and I think they are demanding more progressive football. They realise the likes of say, Bournemouth, who are playing what you would describe as progressive football, can stay in the Premier League. You don’t need to be 4-4-2, you don’t need to be deep, you don’t need to be behind the ball, you don’t need to play long ball and direct.
“Owners are thinking more of their brand, sponsorship, social media and the way their club is presented. The younger coaches are now a lot more progressive and more often than not so are the players.
“We wouldn’t have minded sitting in a 4-4-2 and dogging a game out. Players are far less willing to do that nowadays. They want to play in a team that’s expansive and has more progressive football, more progressive ideas.”