Steven Gerrard discusses Rafa Benitez's ability to succeed at Real Madrid

Steven Gerrard In 2014

Steven Gerrard has told ex-manager Rafa Benitez that he needs to adapt if he is to survive at Real Madrid.

The Spaniard, who joined the 10-time European Cup winners in the summer, is already under intense pressure at Santiago Bernabeu.

Los Blancos were hammered 4-0 by fierce rivals Barcelona at home in Saturday’s Clasico as the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Andres Iniesta ran riot before Lionel Messi returned to the fold.

The defeat puts Benitez’s side six points behind Barca in third, with local rivals Atletico two points clear in second.

The defeat was Real’s second successive in La Liga following on from the 3-2 reverse to Sevilla back on November 8, and Gerrard hinted that Benitez is struggling to command the respect from his senior players in the Bernabeu dressing room.

Gerrard, whose book release earlier this year revealed something of a frosty relationship with Benitez during their time together at Liverpool, thinks that his ex-boss needs to adjust and alter his approach with arguably the planet’s biggest club.

Speaking as an analyst for BT Sport’s Champions League coverage, the ex-Liverpool skipper said: “He’s had a vote of confidence today and they are normally deadly at Real Madrid, but Rafa is a good manager.

“For me though, I just wonder what his relationship is like with his big players inside the dressing room. It looks a bit broken at the moment from the outside but time will tell how long it lasts.

“There’s a lot of noise coming out of the [Madrid camp] and they are denying it saying that their relationships are fine but the other big problem is the fans with the white hankies out.

“It difficult to put your finger on it, but Rafa is all about the team and he is not a fan of individual players.

“He’s all about the team but you’ve got to manage individuals differently there at Real Madrid and it is all about Cristiano Ronaldo and the big players and Rafa has got to adapt to them rather than vice verser.”

Benitez, who had Gerrard as his captain at Liverpool from 2004-2010, could soon be jettisoned from his position in the Spanish capital, but the ex-Inter Milan boss could be afforded a stay of execution when his side visit Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.

During their time together at Anfield, Benitez and Gerrard won the 2005 Champions League and the 2006 FA Cup before narrowly missing out on a 19th title to Manchester United in 2009.

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