Celta Vigo brought in Rafael Benitez as their headline signing this summer in order to make a splash in their centenary year. Yet for fans of O Celeste, it has been terrifyingly similar to recent campaigns thus far.
The Galicians have just seven points from 13 matches, and only one win so far, which came 10 games ago against bottom-placed Almeria. While they have had an unfair share of bad decisions and unfortunate turns, only so much of it can be explained through referees and misfortune.
Diario AS bluntly asked Benitez how he would justify such a poor return.
“I talk to many professionals and they can’t explain it. We have had significant numbers of expected goals to give us more points, but errors occur that are decisive. I am convinced that if we maintain unity, we have a much better chance of getting out of this situation and for Celta to grow. There are no magic potions, there is perseverance and work. Experience helps you make better decisions.”
He was also asked whether he would rather improve their weak defensive record, or their habit of missing big chances first too.
“Conceding four goals is not in my plans. We are an organised team, which sometimes people confuse with defensive, but we are conceding goals all the same. That is easier to correct because defenders are much more hard-working and attackers are more talented and less consistent. In addition, it is very easy to clear the ball.”
Benitez was not giving away specifics in terms of positions that Celta want to strengthen, but they are missing players in central defence and at right-back, especially with the injury to Joseph Aidoo. They have little in the way of natural width too.
“We have to look for profiles of footballers that compensate for what we are not doing well.”
“More than positions, they are characteristics of players. We need a little more physicality, intensity and ability to recover the ball. It is seen that the team is missing something, above all, in the final minutes.”
To Celta’s credit, they have shown faith in Benitez in hanging onto him for so long with such disappointing results. No doubt it helps that they have not had much luck so far, but if he cannot inspire improvement between this international break and the Christmas break, Benitez may find that the patience runs out. It is not just Benitez under pressure either, with Sporting Advisor and transfer guru Luis Campos also under the microscope too.