Brendan Rodgers was unable to get off to the start he would have hoped for as Leicester City manager after the Foxes lost 2-1 against Watford at Vicarage Road over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez, who was linked with the Leicester job prior to Rodgers’ appointment (Sky Sports), also saw defeat as his Newcastle side fell to a 2-0 loss away at West Ham.
Nevertheless, Benitez and Rodgers, albeit very different coaches, are still two astute managers who could end up taking their respective clubs far if given the tools.
With that in mind, how do the two Premier League bosses compare?
While there are no guarantees Rodgers’ appointment will work out, whatever the outcome, it is not hard to see why the King Power hierarchy turned to the 46-year-old.
Rather than results, it was Leicester’s displays that resulted in Claude Puel being sacked. Under the Frenchman, the football was not always great to watch, frustrating supporters and prompting Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha into making a decision.
With Rodgers now at the helm, though, that should change. At Celtic, Liverpool and Swansea City, his teams played some wonderful stuff, retaining possession, but also managing to do damage with it.
The latter is probably something Leicester supporters did not see enough of during Puel’s reign despite all of the attacking talent at disposal, explaining their dissatisfaction and calls for a coach such as Rodgers to be brought in.
TT Grade: B+
As far as results go, Benitez would have been a safer bet than Rodgers. What he is currently doing at Newcastle now is arguably evidence enough, while he has achieved success at pretty much every club he has been at.
However, it is clear Leicester want more than results, otherwise Puel would probably still be in a charge. And that is not something you are going to get from Benitez.
The Spaniard is renowned for taking a more conservative and pragmatic approach to games, taking a lot of criticism earlier in the season with how he set up his team in fixtures against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.
The 2-1 defeat at St. James’ Park versus Maurizio Sarri’s men, in particular, was a performance where Newcastle looked resigned to losing from the first minute as they sat on the edge of their box on instruction.
Based on that, like Puel, Benitez could have easily left Leicester supporters feeling disgruntled with his style of football before facing the same fate as the former Southampton and Nice manager.
TT Grade: C-
Is Benitez an inferior coach to Rodgers? Of course not. In fact, the Newcastle boss’ CV quite clearly shows the opposite.
But given where Leicester had found themselves under Puel and where they want to get to, it would have made little sense to hire a manager of Benitez’s profile.
The Foxes seemingly want an enjoyable brand of football to go with the results, and that is simply something Rodgers is more likely to deliver.
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