The Partenopei are battling for both Coppa Italia and Europa League glory this time around, but still lie 13 points shy of top spot in Serie A, having also finished third in the last campaign.
If Benitez eventually moves on, they may well live to regret letting him go when being forced to start all over again under somebody else’s stewardship.
The convincing counter-argument is that should they alter their mind-set entirely by putting everything into a championship charge, would that have a detrimental effect on their Cup-winning prospects? Furthermore, would that shift of focus and possible subsequent lack of silverware appease the San Paolo faithful?
He stands on the verge of leading Napoli to a defence of the Coppa Italia they won last season after Wednesday’s creditable 1-1 draw in their semi-final, first leg clash away to Lazio, as the 54-year-old seeks to further cement his reputation as a serial winner.
Perhaps given time and patience to allow further evolution of his squad, a first Scudetto since the heady days of Diego Maradona could be a realistic target, alongside the added proviso that the Spaniard does his bit to finally put an end to speculation by committing his future to the Neapolitan outfit before the conclusion of his contract in June.
There’s a strong argument for the Azzurri to be much closer to leaders Juventus if they were to prioritise League concerns over the pursuit of Cup dreams. With a large squad boasting such attacking talents as Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik, Jose Callejon and Manolo Gabbiadini, few excuses remain in reasoning why the Southern club are struggling to keep up in the title race yet again after lagging a whopping 24 points behind Juventus last term.
Benitez is cutting his cloth according to what he presently has at his disposal, with irrefutable proof that his methods do work residing inside the gleaming trophy cabinet.
“The same with the President [Aurelio De Laurentiis] when he’s here, otherwise on the phone. We’ll talk about the future in April.”
There are very few candidates out there as highly qualified as the current incumbent, while signs of progress can certainly be seen in both the League and Cup competitions.
Rafa Benitez has failed to claim a single domestic League title since his second La Liga triumph at Valencia in 2004. However, the experienced tactician has presided over nine trophy victories of alternative types in the near 11-year period since he left Spain for Liverpool.
An astonishing array of honours have found their way into the hands of the former Inter and Chelsea boss, including the Champions League, an English FA Cup, Coppa Italia, UEFA Europa League, European Super Cup, FIFA World Club Cup and two Italian Super Cup successes.
It would appear doubtful that fans would prefer valiant failure in a tussle for the Serie A pinnacle, whilst letting the opportunity of other eminently winnable trophies slip by in the meantime, as they steadily strengthen year-on-year to become more competitive to that end.
“I speak with [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon every day,” Benitez said in a pre-match Press conference prior to their Coppa Italia tie at the Stadio Olimpico.
De Laurentiis reportedly offered a new contract recently, which Benitez is believed to have turned down. However, when matters truly come to a head线上牛牛 in April, there’sag投注官网 little doubting the need to convince the decorated Coach to stay on and build upon his achievements thus far.
However, there have been numerous questions posed about his purposeful use of a squad rotation system in maintaining his players’ fitness, seemingly with one eye firmly fixed on knockout contests.