Paul Merson shares his two problems with Newcastle appointing Rafael Benitez

Paul Merson

Paul Merson has raised some issues with Rafael Benitez's appointment at Newcastle.

Pundit Paul Merson has told Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday that he thinks Newcastle have made a huge coup by appointing Rafael Benitez - but pointed out two problems.

Benitez, 55, was appointed as Newcastle's new manager on Friday afternoon, just a matter of hours after Steve McClaren had lost his job at St. James' Park.

The Spaniard, who only left Real Madrid in January, is back in the Premier League having previously managed Liverpool and Chelsea, and took charge of Newcastle for the first time against Leicester City on Monday.

That game ended in a 1-0 defeat for the Magpies, but it was a much improved performance from the 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth, and there will be some hope that Benitez can save Newcastle and keep them away from relegation to the Championship.

A Champions League winner who has managed the likes of Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid - some of the world's biggest clubs - Benitez is seen as a major coup for Newcastle, and pundit Paul Merson agrees with that statement.

Merson told Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday that he thinks Benitez is a 'phenomenal' appointment, but has two problems with the decision; Benitez hasn't managed a relegation-threatened team before (not strictly true given his times in Spain with Real Valladolid, Osasuna and Extremadura), and that he sets up teams not to lose, rather than to win.

"To get this man in is the coup of all coups. I think it's phenomenal to get him," said Merson. "I've got two problems with it; one is that he's never been in a relegation battle - ever. Two is that he sets up teams not to lose football matches. Newcastle need to win football matches," he added.

Do you think Benitez will keep Newcastle in the Premier League?

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