Huddersfield boss David Wagner has questioned whether Rafa Benitez really knows what pressure is.

Wagner seemingly trying to get across the point that it is all very well winning the Champions League and La Liga – but that real pressure is when you are fighting the drop.

In his first frontline post, the Huddersfield head coach and his players struggled last season, flirted with relegation – but eventually finished a comfortable 11 points above the drop.

David Wagner keen to make the point that now many of those same players who fought potential relegation, won’t be feeling pressure and instead will be feeling the ‘excitement’.

Sad to say but it was only 10 months ago that Rafa Benitez had a very real experience of fighting relegation, so real in fact that he was actually at a club when they were relegated.

We all knew that it was a tough ask for the Spaniard to turn around the mess created by Ashley, Charnley, McClaren, Carr, Pardew & Carver – but even though that 10 match challenge was always odds on against succeeding, there is no doubt Rafa will carry that professional pain/frustration around with his every day.

David Wagner is entertaining and has done a great job this season but he has made a bit of a fool of himself by questioning whether Rafa knows real pressure.

As well as last season at Newcastle, Rafa Benitez previously served his apprenticeship in his younger days when he found plenty of relegation struggles/pressure.

Appointed manager of Real Valladolid for the 1995–96 season, Rafa Benitez was sacked after only two wins in 23 games with the club bottom of La Liga.

During the 1996/97 season, Benítez took charge at Osasuna in the Spanish second tier, but after only nine games and one win, he was sacked.

In 1997, he joined another Spanish second tier side, minnows Extremadura. Leading them to a brilliant promotion but with scarce resources they were relegated the next season (1998/99) from La Liga.

After that, he took a year out before then going back into the Spanish second tier and finding success, quickly moving on to Valencia and La Liga titles, before Liverpool and the Champions League.

Amusingly, David Wagner’s previous experience amounts to being on the staff at Borussia Dortmund from 2011 to 2015.

This is the Borussia Dortmund who finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 7th in the Bundesliga in his four years at the club and reached the Champions League final.

Experience of pressure? Hmmm.

Whether it is managing clubs to La Liga and Champions League titles, or battling relegation, I think I know which Manager this afternoon has the most in his locker when dealing with ‘pressure’ or ‘excitement’.

David Wagner:

“The last time I felt pressure was 12 months ago and maybe the players as well.

“I am not sure when the last time Rafa Benitez was in a club where he played to avoid relegation.

“This is pressure and what we have at the minute is only excitement, it is very enjoyable what we are doing.

“To be fair, this feels like one of the easiest (matches) – it is against top of the table Newcastle United.

“If you play as Huddersfield Town – altogether we know where we come from and how humble we are – only real excitement and no real expectation.”

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Pessure`s when you`re 3 nil down against A.C. Milan yet come back to win the game
    Wagners comment is total rubbish

    • Wor Lass

      Or when you`ve got Ikey breathing down your neck! Someone`s let him out of that specimin jar at the natural history museum!

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        i see he`s back on the chron

  • Simon Cochrane

    Nothing but attempts at mind games, this sort of thing won’t bother Rafa.

  • Raymond Lashley

    Errm…… last season maybe???

  • Raymond Lashley

    Everyone has pressure in different ways. A manager at a top club is just as likely (if not more so) to loose their job after a poor run of half a dozen games or so as someone fighting at the bottom of the table for survial. Im never one to call or slate someone for their opinion but this is a rather silly comment to make.

  • Magbedsheet

    He’s right though. Rafa couldn’t do what other managers have in less games. Brighton are the stars of this years championship. Spent a hell of a lot less and have been fantastic. We got lucky the other night I really thought they would win.

  • Andy Mac

    I tell you what pressure is Mr Wagner. The betting for this league at the start of this season..

    1st Newcastle (7/4 with Sky Bet to be champions)
    You try living with that “pressure”” for the season you four eyed Tw……………

    • thewildchimp

      Money well invested, I say. Brighton seems to agree, as well. :)