Former Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez says criticism of Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez so soon into his reign is ridiculous and the media needs to lay off.
The Los Blancos manager has been criticised for being too defensive following the draw with Atletico de Madrid last weekend. With his team 1-0 up, Benitez decided to take off Karim Benzema in place of a more defensive option, a move that backfired as Atletico scored with just seven minutes remaining.
Real also drew their opening game of the season with Sporting Gijon, a result than angered plenty of fans who had predicted an easy win.
Los Blancos are unbeaten in both the league and Champions League though and have conceded just two goals all season – facts that tend to be forgotten when the critics have their swords drawn.
Speaking at a promotional event Xavi defended Benitez, saying he needs time to establish himself in the Spanish capital.
“He’s only just started. Luis Enrique was also criticised last season, yet we won everything. People have to be patient but football is judged on a daily basis.
“There are many TV and radio programmes that give their opinion, and the alarms go off when Barca or Madrid don’t win. It’s normal that there’s criticism, but you [journalists] must give [Rafa] time and space to see what he can offer Real Madrid,” he commented.