Never afraid of taking an ‘alternative’ view, Stan Collymore has came up with another strange one where Newcastle United are concerned.
No need to repeat the ups and downs of his life since packing in football early but he does like to come out with over the top stuff, to ensure he keeps his media career in the spotlight.
Today he has claimed that Rafa Benitez has an inferiority complex.
Stan Collymore wonders whether not having a stellar playing career of his own has produced an inferiority complex in the Newcastle Manager.
Rafa played his football in the lower divisions of Spanish football before packing in and going into coaching at the age of 26, with injuries also having hampered his playing career.
Collymore claims that this ‘inferiority complex has manifested itself in terms of wanting to control everything himself inside a football club.
The player turned media worker stating ‘Maybe he (Rafa Benitez) feels that having football people in important roles undermines him.’
Not sure exactly what relevance this has to Newcastle United, seemingly a reference to Graham Carr’s departure maybe?
Yes, at previous clubs such as Real Madrid and others on the continent Rafa Benitez may well have ran into battles of will against high quality ‘football people’ in important roles.
However, coming up against Lee Charnley and Graham Carr (now replaced from within by the little known Steve Nickson), hardly equals Rafa Benitez having some kind of inferiority complex.
Stan Collymore talking to Newcastle United’s official media partner, The Mirror:
‘Rafa Benitez is a control freak — he has been since he was at Liverpool.
He didn’t like any meddling at Anfield, he didn’t want any interference in the academy, he wanted control over every aspect of the club and its direction, and that’s still the case now he’s at Newcastle.
He’s a benign dictator – and I actually really like that in a manager.
But I’m starting to worry that if he keeps picking fights with owners and chief execs at the rate he does then he may well start talking himself out of every club he goes to.
But at a club with genuine aspirations to kick on and return to the top flight’s top six, even top four, he is never going to be given the autonomy he craves.
Technical directors, directors of football and so on are part of the fabric of all the really big clubs these days – and plenty of smaller ones too. You only have to look at Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano at Manchester City, and Michael Emenalo at Chelsea.
Yet Benitez seems to resent these kind of people on the basis that they interfere in the industry he knows very well.
He may have a point, in most cases he probably does know better. His record tells you that.
But I do wonder if his feelings towards them stem in part from the fact he didn’t have a great playing career, that maybe he has some sort of mistrust of football people.
Maybe there’s an inferiority complex at work.
Maybe he feels that having football people in important roles undermines him.
It seems as if Rafa wants to be the head honcho over everybody and that he tests club owners to the point when they think ‘You know what, it’s too much hassle’.
So he might need to be a little bit more pragmatic because there’s no reason why he can’t have his cake and eat it at Newcastle.
He can have his football narrative running all the way through the club from the seniors to the juniors.
And he has enough clout at Newcastle after creating such a feelgood factor on Tyneside to have a major influence on who the key people at the club should be.
But he needs to start thinking about team building in his own image, putting in people he can trust to do the other jobs so he can focus on the first team rather than saying ‘I want complete control over everything.’
That’s not how things work these days.
Take Arsene Wenger – the major criticism of him in recent years has been that he has been doing the same thing at Arsenal and that has caused them to stand still, if not go backwards
David Moyes is the same – it just hasn’t happened for him since he went to Manchester United. Actually, his managerial career has gone backwards.
Even if Sir Alex Ferguson was getting the Newcastle job now, or the Manchester United job having done great things at Aberdeen, he would still have to accept there’s a chief exec and director of football. It’s the same for Benitez.
He has to evolve and the question is ‘Can he do it?’ He can, but only if he is willing.’