A couple weeks back the ever so popular football YouTube channel Tifo released a video (link) detailing Rafa’s back 5 and how it tactically frustrates opponents.
The video details each role of the back 5 and how the formation calls for players to work together to defend and attack effectively by playing to the strengths of the current squad. The video by itself has transformed how I approach matches and I would be doing you a disservice if I did not share the video.
To me, the most interesting part of this video is that there is so much more of a focus on how Rafa has shaped this current squad into being as successful as possible by playing to the strengths currently in the squad. The video honestly just proves how much of a master tactician Rafa is.
This brilliance is even further realized when you pair this video with a similar video that was released last year detailing Rafa’s tactics with last year’s squad (link). The differences between the two are astronomical mainly because there are some key personnel differences. The introduction of players like Fabian Schar, Salomon Rondon, and Miguel Almiron have shaped how Benitez builds his attack this season. Additionally more CB cover has allowed Newcastle to play with a 5 in the back formation.