Rafa wins first game in charge of Dalian Yifang

Rafa Benitez's first match in charge of a Chinese Super League team happened last weekend, and as expected the Spanish maestro got off to a winning start against Henan Jianye

Rafa gets straight down to business

Rafa is the type of bloke to constantly work his bollocks off, and that is what has seen him get results throughout his career. Now he has taken that work ethic to the Chinese Super League, where he has hit the ground running at Dalian Yifang, winning his opening match 3-1, in a "six-pointer" against Henan Jianye.

Two poacher goals from Boateng and a penalty from Carrasco sealed the win for Benitez, with Yifang having Henan on the back foot throughout the match. Rafa's football gets bemoaned for being too defensive at times, but he isn't a defensive coach, he's a pragmatic coach and takes an approach to matches which he thinks will give his side the best opportunity to win the game. 

This is one of the key things that make him a great manager, the ability to change tactics, depending who his sides are facing, while still having his side very well drilled and instructed. Not many managers can change their tactics so often from game to game and still have the instructions drilled into their team's heads like Rafa does. Make no doubt about, he is going to be a success in China, and Dalian has got themselves a wonderful manager.

Rafa embraces his surroundings

Another great thing about the manager is that he gets it. He gets out and about in the city, the towns, the villages of the clubs catchment area he manages. He likes to learn about the cities culture, the teams and get to know everything about the places he works in.

This creates a bond between club, players, manager and city that only a special few in the world of football are able to do. I saw already on Rafa's Instagram that he has been out and about to see what Dalian has to offer, and we can expect to see more than that, as he already stated he wants to leave some kind of legacy thereafter he goes. 

What are the odds on him upsetting the Chinese Super League apple cart and winning trophies with a much-unfancied side? It clearly isn't out the realms of possibility and I personally wish Rafa all the best in China after his years of hard work at Newcastle working under Mike Ashley who continuously shafted him every transfer market with his lies.

Rumour has it according to UK papers that Rafa already has marked Salomon Rondon as his number one target, and if he heads off to China then I would expect him to score bucket loads of goals there especially if he gets reunited with he old boss who he played so well for during his loan at Newcastle.

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