Can Rafa Benitez get Real Madrid's fans back onside?

Off The Ball's European football correspondent Graham Hunter discusses a tough situation for ex-Liverpool boss

Rafael Benitez, Real Madrid

Picture by: John Walton / EMPICS Sport

Real Madrid might have defeated Real Sociedad 3-1 last night, but all is certainly not well for club and manager facing into 2016.

Rafa Benitez, who replaced the Bayern Munich-bound Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, was booed vociferously by Real fans (which you can audibly hear on the Off The Ball Football Show podcast below) as a disappointing year comes to a close with the remnants of November's 4-0 home thrashing at the hands of Barcelona still festering.

"I think there is a feeling amongst the biased Madrid media - not all the media - and amongst many fans themselves that Ancelotti shouldn't have gone the fact that two or three players, Ronaldo and Ramos amongst them, were very clear that they wished Ancelotti had been kept. These things are counting against Rafa Benitez," said Off The Ball's European football correspondent Graham Hunter on last night's show.  

Benitez upped the ante this week, in any case, stating his belief that there was a campaign against him, the club and president Florentino Perez.

"His hope is that will catch fire," said Graham of Benitez's circling of the wagons style pronouncement.

"His hope, I suppose, is that it will be as successful as his 'facts, facts, facts' rant at Liverpool was unsuccessful and that the media will grab hold of it, the fans will accept it and that even if people don't learn to love him immediately, they will put him to one side and there will be a rallying behind Real Madrid."