Former Liverpool midfielders Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness have both slammed the defensive tactics employed by Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez during his sides 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea earlier today.
Chelsea dominated the game from start to finish, enjoying a whopping 81% share of possession. Newcastle set up with five men at the back and showed very little ambition throughout the game causing both Redknapp and Souness to blast Benitez’s approach on Sky Sports after the match.
‘It’s been hard to watch,’ Redknapp said.
”It’s not football.
”It’s working, yeah, but it’s not football. ‘He’s the only manager in the Premier League who can get away with this, he’s made a living out of playing this way.
”It’s hard to watch, it’s hard to sell to your own team.”
Souness, who formerly managed Newcastle, was then asked if he would have got away with using such negative tactics during his time as Geordie boss, to which he replied: ”No, definitely not.
”It’s like Newcastle are playing a big European tie away from home. If that was the case we’d be saying they’re doing a great job: disciplined, organised, everyone knows what they’re doing. ‘Newcastle are a big football club and I think people will be surprised at the way they’re playing today.
”You have a go at home. ‘I think they’re getting away with it because there is so much ill feeling directed towards the owner, I think the manager is playing on that fact somewhat. He’s playing a brand of football that doesn’t excite but saying I’ve got to do that. ‘It’s a hard sell to players.”