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This was undoubtedly the toughest spot on the team, with Gasperini (Genoa), Ventura (Torino) and, of course, Antonio Conte or Rudi Garcia clearly in contention. All four would have been worthy winners as they have led their teams wonderfully thus far, skilfully negotiating the challenges before them and shining brightly in a campaign that has been hard-fought and difficult on all fronts.
Yet I have opted for the Spaniard over them all, largely in order to recognise the way he has revolutionised this Napoli side. Shorn of the incredible prowess of Edinson Cavani, many wondered how the southern club would cope, but losing Walter Mazzarri was an equally difficult prospect, his counter-attacking style and 3-4-2-1 formation defined this club, and Benitez has not only tried to replace it, he has also improved the team.
In the space of a few months, he has implemented his trademark 4-2-3-1 formation and integrated new signings Gonzalo Higuain, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens as if they had graced the San Paolo for years.
Hugely unfortunate to bow out of the Champions League with 12 points, Benitez is ensuring they return to the competition next season.