Rafa Benitez is reportedly under pressure at Real Madrid after another disagreement with one of his players, this time James Rodriguez.
Marca reports concern at boardroom level over the atmosphere in the squad, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos all having problems with the trainer.
Ronaldo hasn’t spoken publically about his disagreement with Benitez but Marca believe ‘his actions speak a thousand words’ and the Portuguese is unhappy at the team’s defensive approach.
Ramos and Benitez fell out when Benitez criticised Ramos publically for a mistake against Atletico Madrid earlier in the season, and Ramos didn’t hesitate in replying in kind.
Kroos’ problem stems from his position on the pitch, with the feeling the Germany international is being used in an unfamiliar and inconsistent way.
And James, who made a pointed remark about his fitness after playing and scoring for Colombia, did so because of comments made by Benitez following the defeat to Sevilla, when he questioned James’ condition.
There is also an issue with Denis Cheryshev, who is unhappy at the playing time he has received and has complained about a lack of communication with the Coach.
The row involving the Madrid doctor, in which the players stood against the medic and Benitez stood with him, also caused a fracture between the Coach and the squad, Marca adds.
There are though few complaints about results and performances on the pitch, described as ‘professional’ but with the Clasico against Barcelona to come on Saturday, some at the club are concerned about the fixture and what it might bring.
The difference in mind-set between the big names in the squad and the Coach is the root cause of the higher-ups’ concern as La Blaugrana visit Santiago Bernabeu, though there is no mention of Benitez’s job being under threat.