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Photos Of Benitez Now Adorn St. James’ Park

4:24 pm, Saturday, March 12th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 110 Comments

Newcastle seem to be going to town (toon?) with Rafa Benitez and they have now placed some of his photographs around St. James Park and there are also some new photos of Rafa from his first press conference today for the Leicester City game on Monday.

You would think Newcastle had just pulled off a massive coup or something – the way they are going on.


The press conference took place with Rafa looking very smart in a suite and tie – his wife would be proud of him – but hey – no sign of black and white anywhere.

Here are some of those photos of gaffer Rafa.

rafa benitez at st james' park

Young supporter and future England striker welcomes Rafa

rafa benitez st james

rafa benitez st james park

rafa benitez 1

rafa benitez press confernce 1

Must breathe in – don’t want them to see the pot

rafa benites press confernce

Great shot of a relaxed and smiling smiling Rafa

rafa benitez in suit

Who are those two bottles of Champagne for?

rafa benitez st james park 878578

rafa Benitez-shirt

Not quite sure if they want me to smile on this one

It’s clear that Rafa Benitez is very quickly becoming the face of Newcastle United Football Club.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Premier League · Press Conference · St. James' Park

110 responses so far ↓

  • 1 croftus5678 // Mar 12, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    we have a very good manager here and a hell of a lot better than pards/macca so i really can not moan about the manager now ! i can not moan about the quality of players we are signing either as most are above the quality i thought we could get.

    and i can not moan about ashley as he’s kept away from the club and given us a lot of money to spend recently.

    all i have left is the league position and the cb’s not being replaced to moan about so lets survive and and cross that off my list next season please 😉

  • 2 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Yep croftus, I’ve finally got nothing to moan about, I’m quitting the blog 😀

  • 3 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    Bye bye Jail

  • 4 cyprus // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    So one by one the key factors are being taken care of. Big investment now big ‘head coach’.

    If it doesn’t work out who do we blame? What a terrible situation not to have a boogey man. We still got Carr bless his soul.

  • 5 Tsunki // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:14 PM

    Honestly are there really “told you so” miles in all this? Ha ha it’s only taken a disastrous 8 years. And we aren’t home yet. Keep your powder dry.

  • 6 only one bobby robson // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    I am praying that rafa keeps us up as I honestly think this could be the start of something special .

    Flip side if we go down it will tear us all apart

    But we’ve got to keep the faith toon toon black and white army!!

  • 7 Hail Wor Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    JfA, you had a personality transplant?

  • 8 No Defence // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    Even if we get beat on Monday, I still think we have a great chance of staying up now, Leicester might be a bit too soon to try and sort out the mess. But still really looking forward to match now (not dredging it) ?

  • 9 hibbitt // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    A point at leicester will bee a good start !!!!!

  • 10 No Defence // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Why is it I put a smiley and ends up as a question mark?

  • 11 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    How bloody predictable from that old goat bills yesterday, not once did he jump to the fat mans defence as he dragged us through the mud yet after his last throw of the dice in desperation he provides us with a manager the club deserves he’s on to gloat.

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:26 PM

    No defence, has to be a word press compatible smiley

  • 13 No Defence // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    I would luv a draw on Monday, and maybe the start of the great escape.

  • 14 No Defence // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Ok thanks Jfa,

  • 15 toon kk // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM

    In Rafa we trust, at least we’ve got hope something we didn’t have with Wally.

  • 16 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    we shal win win win on monday

  • 17 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    This : then – then D = 😀

  • 18 toonking // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    We all get positive and thought things had really turned round then comes a story that rafa is head coach and might well be just here to keep us up.

    What now, should we keep up with the expectation of a turn around or do we get back into the mood we’ve been in and scream cashley out?

  • 19 bettyswallocks // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:46 PM

    Welshie…….. Gareth Edwards, Cliff Morgan, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones. Your boys are taking a hell of a beating.

  • 20 catchy in norway // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:58 PM

    fantastic result getting him in, im a little nervous about the next 10 games, i believe we have it in our own hands to stay in the league, i have been happy with a lot of the performances, they just need to finish the games off, hopefully Rafa can add that to our game,

    THEN next year , wow, cannot wait for it.

    you can do it!

  • 21 welshgeordie9 // Mar 12, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    Whatever Betty, You can’t win them all, besides we beat you in the World Cup.

  • 22 daztoon // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Poor poor Wales hahahahahahaha

  • 23 toon kk // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:15 PM

    It will be interesting to see if our relegation candidates actually give 100% and prove they are capable of being premier league players.
    At least Rafa gives us some hope.

  • 24 21st Century Schizoid Man // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:17 PM

    England very lucky to survive at the end.

  • 25 21st Century Schizoid Man // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    toon kk

    On paper, previous clubs, international players, scoring records etc., etc. we have enough good players to get results … but too many duffers could screw it all up. Some will have to substitute commitment for talent

  • 26 hibbitt // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    if we stay up and the club cannot come to an agreement with Rafa not only will Rafa walk away a lot of the fans will follow . IF he can keep us up he deserves the chance to manage the club in a professional manner with control of all transfers and football matters

  • 27 martoon // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    Wait a minute Catchy – weren’t you a big McClaren fan?

  • 28 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Behave yourself
    It’s not a points scoring exercise (except for the man-child Mr Tuff)
    I was a big McClaren supporter also.
    That doesn’t mean one cannot see Rafa as a big step up.

  • 29 toonking // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:30 PM


    Didn’t know you would be happy.You were a huge fan of Mclarean and thought he was doing great.

  • 30 Shadow_Shearer // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    If rafa wins the derby next week, that will make a huge different to our confidence. A week is a long time in football.

  • 31 Ian Toon // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    Jib- 100% agree.
    A common theme in recent seasons has been a lack of leaders on the pitch.
    One of Benitez’s style of management has been to do just that:
    Simply, Identify Leaders:
    In his time at Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Benítez was quick to try to gain the confidence of the most influential figures in the squad. He sought out Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso in Milan; he did his best to indulge Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid; he even won over John Terry at Stamford Bridge.
    He will need to find someone at Newcastle who can carry out his orders on the pitch. Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini and Georginio Wijnaldum all have ample experience as well as Jonjo Shelvey — it was Benítez who arranged signing him for Liverpool.

  • 32 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:40 PM

    I’m really disappointed in this Everton /Chelsea FA quarter final.
    They are both mid-table on about 40 points nothing else to play for.
    I thought they’d put on a better show than this .

  • 33 stan anderson // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Well done Ashley,at last we may have something to cheer.
    Its only taken 8 yrs.

  • 34 Toon Tang // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:44 PM

    Our flappy team will struggle like hell with Rafa’s zonal marking system. I reckon it’ll be good for comedy value though..

  • 35 toon kk // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:44 PM

    We have players who can step up and prove something but like you say it’s the others who’ll spoil the party, those players who basically aren’t good enough need to show a really good work ethic, then we MIGHT have a chance of escaping relegation.

  • 36 SPRINGY // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    like most of the top 4-6 games in the premier in recent years(man utd,arsenal,chelsea,liverpool,man city)… to frightened to lose to have a proper go…pretty much the same mentality.

  • 37 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:51 PM

    We now have something worth staying in the league for, don’t mess it up.

  • 38 Ian Toon // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:53 PM

    Jib- Not watching but it can’t be worse than the Norwich v Man City game. I can see Benitez setting us up like Norwich were today in a number of forthcoming away games. Man C despite having bulk of play created very little clear cut chances.

  • 39 posada // Mar 12, 2016 at 6:58 PM

    I don’t want to put my ideas on selections or formations on here.
    For the first time in years I have complete confidence in our manager doing that far better than I ever would.
    I want a manager that comes up with a tactic/team selection that makes me think that was clever really clever.
    I think Rafa just might.

  • 40 catchy in norway // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:02 PM

    why can i not like Rafa like,, yes i like Shteve, and i think he did improve the football side of things, but it went pair shape for him, he needed to work on finishing and defending, but instead it seemed like it was all about passing,

    im not just a one dimensional guy, i said a long time ago there were plenty of managers out there who could do a good job for us, the reason i mentioned Shteve was more down to how much i thought MASH would pay for a coach/manager,, Shteve fit his old bill nicely,

    but im happy that mash is putting his money in his pocket and getting good players and a top manager.

    no blaming the guy now.

    time to back the club, lets not forget what has happened , but move forward together.

  • 41 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:06 PM

    Players seemingly didn’t care that we were going to get relegated since they knew that they could get into better teams, but hopefully Rafa gives them something to play for. Exciting times ahead if he can motivate our players well enough to stay in the league.

  • 42 Thump // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Ed saying that Benitez is ‘head coach’ despite Rafa saying literally nothing about it. He said “Look, it doesn’t matter if I’m the best manager, the worst manager, head coach – whatever. The important thing is the next 10 games.”

  • 43 lochinvar // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Looks like Costa might have done a Suarez and had a nibble at one of the Everton players, he’s off anyway.

  • 44 jimmysmith // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    Hopefully it’s a new dawn, with all the money generated going back in and greater assets on the pitch and better quality in the dugout.

    McClaren, like Pardew, did not manage in ideal circumstances, but now, and with Benitez, the club can do right by it’s fantastic support. Let’s hope so.

  • 45 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Lucas Leiva is out of contract in the summer, will be very well known to Rafa, and to top it all off he is with the moondial agency. It shouldn’t be long until we are linked with him.

  • 46 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    *correction* 1 year left on his deal in the summer. It would still mean he could be available if Liverpool do not give him a new contract.

  • 47 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    ancient c

    he could be ed’s new austin

  • 48 martoon // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Catchy – fair enough. I must admit I thought McClaren would be OK at the beginning but as you say it went pear shaped. I am really thrilled with Rafa I certainly think he is the best manager we’ve had since Sir Bobby 🙂

  • 49 The Diamond dogs hoojars // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:19 PM

    If we do survive, then Rafa has the big meeting to discuss transfers and if he’s in charge etc, the thing is he is very head strong wor Rafa and if he dosnt get what he wants he could easily get up and walk, am sure Rafa dosnt want to muck about with these french showers we get.As always chapter 2 will be as interesting as ever at the toon.

  • 50 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:20 PM

    It would take something special to upstage Loic Remy and Charlie Austin for article volume. It will be in the summer is my guess, as you just know Daniel Levy will take all summer to get him signed.

  • 51 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Basically, whoever loses the derby is going down, it’s that simple. They done us in a play off semi, time to put that to bed

  • 52 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Hopefully the next Morata is playing for Real Madrid’s B side and Benitez has spotted him early.

  • 53 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    I’m mainly interested in how Rafa sets up and how the players’ morale looks against Leicester. A draw would be fantastic but a fighting loss is acceptable. After that though we need wins. At least four of them and a couple of draws or five and one draw. If we get to 37 or 38 points I think we’ll make it. Otherwise it may come down to goal difference.

  • 54 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Real Madrid are not messing around with Zidane’s son, he is only 20 years old and is contracted right up until 2021.

  • 55 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:32 PM


    is he any good


    at least rafa will try and win

  • 56 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    So Rafa was smart enough to get a relegation break clause. He wants nothing to do with the Championship. Can’t say I blame him. It’s up to him and the players now. It looks doable but we’ll have to show it on the pitch.

  • 57 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    That’s right beermonkey mate. No more setting up to not lose. Which cost us numerous points. We go for it now. The players will be up for it as well.

  • 58 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    beermonkey – no idea, I have never seen him play. He cannot be much worse than Paul Dalglish I am sure.

  • 59 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    Where are jesper and Ibiza to comment on these exciting times? We may even go on a decent run in the FA cup next season.

  • 60 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Nice little dribble and assist for Hatem there against Montpellier.

    It will be interesting to see what Rafa does with Doumbia. He’s no mug with all those goals and he has pace.

  • 61 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    The Ben Arfa assist.

    You can tell he has been picked out for attention when all 4 defenders go for him at once.

  • 62 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    I’m expecting to see Doumbia straight away Laurent. Give him some confidence. Play him up front with Perez. We’ll need a strong defense against Leicester so I expect to see Tiote and Colback with Shelvey sitting just in front of them. It’s a risk playing Tiote but when he’s on his game he can still be a good attack destroyer.

  • 63 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:45 PM


    have the players that want champions league football done enough
    players like janmatt sissoko
    not on ur life have they
    if they work there arse off for the next 10 games and ensure we keep rafa for 3 years they will all learn enough to make the next step up and hopefully we as a club will benefit

  • 64 Belfast // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Aye Jesper show your face ? That rotating captain thing is a distant memory now and yer right Jail is an arse.

  • 65 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:49 PM

    Agree with you about player effort at times beermonkey. Too many gave up when we trailed in games. The spotlight is on all of them now. Any shirkers will get hauled off the pitch in a hurry.

  • 66 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    Under Mclaren away from home we never seemed to get the balance right we always seemed far too open with gaps all over the pitch

    Wijnaldum , Sissoko , Shelvey and Perez together have not been putting in the effort in tracking back or working hard so I could see Benitez maybe taking 1 or 2 of them out to add a bit better balance

    If Townsend and Doumbia are fit they both need to start they have rapid pace and work rate

    We will play 3 in the middle against Leicester Shelvey , Anita and Saviet would offer protection as I imagine Colback will be left back unless someone makes a speedy recovery

  • 67 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 8:54 PM


    while i am cautious we can go down
    i cant help but be a little excited, one shock signing and the picture changed

  • 68 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:00 PM

    I hope so, G2.

    Here’s a reminder of what he can can do if some of you aren’t familiar:

    Nice variation of finishes in that lot. A goal scorer indeed. Even the cameo against Stoke when he nearly scored was a well taken effort at that awkward angle.

  • 69 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:02 PM

    Ancient, weight of the pass was classy wasn’t it.

  • 70 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:04 PM

    I think we’re all feeling the excitement. What a change in a few days. The good thing is we have 4 or 5 winnable games left. And you never know about the other matches. We could catch somebody on an off day. I would love to beat Sunderland by 3 or 4.

  • 71 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:05 PM

    I had forgotten about Saivet. He has been up and down with us but not enough playing time to judge him from.

  • 72 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    I think Rafa came because he says there are enough decent players to build something. If he raises us up into the top 8 and goes on a good cup run he’ll have the beginnings of legendary status along with Keegan and Sir Bobby.

  • 73 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:11 PM

    Or am I getting ahead of myself already?

  • 74 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:13 PM


    if ashley has promised more investment then rafa knows he can be the new king and take any1s dinner he wants

  • 75 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    Which one are you again?

  • 76 hibbitt // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    he could start on monday night with a point at Leicester

  • 77 GeordieTwo // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:14 PM

    I’m also planning the FA Cup parade route through the Toon. What do people think? Too soon?

  • 78 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:16 PM


    i thought about betting on us to win the league cup if he stays

  • 79 Harley // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:21 PM

    I hope people aren’t getting their knickers in a twist here over nothing.

    It’s pretty easy to see that Rafa has a 3 year contract with a get out option if we’re relegated (obviously). There’s still a chance we could go down but we’ve given ourselves the best chance possible of staying up at this stage.

    Massive times ahead should we survive this season. If we win our next 2 games I think the city would go in to euphoric meltdown.

  • 80 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:22 PM

    I was listening to the Vine show the other day, there are quite a few Leicester fans that have had a tenner on 5000-1 to win the league, does anyone on here put a tenner on us every year just in case.

  • 81 AncientC // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    LR32, yes, Ben Arfa made that look effortless.

  • 82 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    What I mean by that is, surely those Leicester fans that put a tenner on must do it every year, they couldn’t possibly have had and inkling!

  • 83 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:29 PM


    there have been a few that have cashed out

    there is a syndicate that have alot on it they were offered a huge sum to cash out early

    i dont know any1 that bets on us to win the league but since ashley took over a mate of mine has bet on us to religated he got £180 last time

  • 84 Belfast // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    I’m the rotating legend Jail.

  • 85 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:32 PM

    Been waiting for the True Geordie vid on this and the start made me laugh from what he’s been like recently 😀

  • 86 loonie-toon // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:32 PM

    Man city drawing today cost me winnings of 14 n half grand o my acca FML

  • 87 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    What was your stake, loonie?

  • 88 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Jæsper loves me really, he just doesn’t like to admit it!

  • 89 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:01 PM

    I’ve never ever bet against us. When Catchy was offering to bet people that we would finosh above Palace, we won’t but there’s not a hope in hells chance I’d take thst bet.

  • 90 Jail for Ashley // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:06 PM

    toonbotherer, whem faced with losing his Collo bet must have been praying for a defeat every time he started, what type of fan wishes you to lose every game.

  • 91 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:20 PM


    i have lost plenty over the years from us losing i wont bet on us now

    in my heart we can win every game

  • 92 Dingo†® // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Rafa Benítez will earn a one-off bonus of about £3 million if he can steer Newcastle United to safety in the Barclays Premier League this season after agreeing a three-year, £6 million-a-season deal to replace Steve McClaren at St James’ Park.

    Five days after the club’s board met to consider his future, they confirmed McClaren’s long-anticipated departure at 11.30am yesterday. The 54-year-old had been aware that Newcastle were sounding out potential replacements but was eventually informed his nine-month reign had come to an end by telephone. The club released a statement apologising for the “uncertainty” caused “to Steve and the players” for taking so long to put the former England manager out of his misery.

    At 2.30pm, after almost a week of talks, Benítez — who had left his home on the Wirral before dawn — arrived on Tyneside to complete negotiations with Newcastle. He has agreed a deal that is worth somewhere in the region of £21 million, provided that he can keep them in the Premier League this season and remains in place until his contract expires in 2019.

    The agreement does contain a break clause should Newcastle — 19th in the table, having accrued just 24 points and with only ten games remaining — fall into the Sky Bet Championship this season. It is believed either side can activate that in the event of relegation.

    Benítez was first approached after Bournemouth’s 3-1 win at St James’ Park last Saturday and was informed the job was his to turn down as early as Wednesday. He was the only candidate Newcastle contacted over the position. He did not, however, wish to meet Lee Charnley, the managing director, face to face to finalise a contract until they had clarified McClaren’s position out of respect for his predecessor.

    A statement released on the club’s website confirmed that Benítez will be given the status of manager — rather than head coach, McClaren’s official title. That indicates Mike Ashley, the club’s owner, has accepted that the previous model was not working, and that the 55-year-old former Liverpool and Real Madrid coach has been able to win guarantees of some degree of control over recruitment.

    The ability, should he manage to retain the club’s Premier League status, to shape the squad in his own image — rather than allowing Graham Carr, the club’s well-regarded chief scout, unilateral control over purchasing players — is thought to have been one of Benítez’s principal concerns about taking the job.

    That the Spaniard’s assistant Fabio Pecchia, Paco de Miguel, his long-standing fitness coach, and Antonio Gomez, his first-team coach, will join him on Tyneside to work alongside the two survivors of the previous regime, Ian Cathro and Simon Smith, suggests he will be given significantly more control than McClaren enjoyed.

    His doubts eased sufficiently by Charnley, Benítez finally has the return to the Premier League he has craved since leaving his interim position at Chelsea in 2013. The Spaniard’s family have remained on Merseyside ever since he left Liverpool six years ago and he admitted yesterday that the chance to be nearer to them — as well as the opportunity to work for a “legendary” English club — had helped to persuade him to take on a job he is aware is a “massive challenge”.

    “I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League,” he said. “It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans.

    “All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I could not be happier.”

    His statement ended with a somewhat peculiar rallying cry to Newcastle’s disillusioned supporters: “C’mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!”

    Benítez wasted no time getting to work. Though Newcastle’s players had been afforded yesterday off before the trip to Leicester City on Monday, Benítez called the entire first-team squad in for a meeting in the afternoon. He did not issue any heartfelt speeches, but informed them he and his staff would do all they could to keep the club up.

    After introducing himself to much of the club’s ancillary staff and greeting the under-21 squad — who played West Ham United at St James’ Park last night — Benítez led his senior players through an unexpected training session. They will train today and tomorrow as he prepares for the visit to the King Power Stadium.

    The club, meanwhile, made no secret of their delight at capturing a man they described as “one of Europe’s top managers”.

    “I am very pleased to welcome Rafa Benítez to the club,” Charnley said. “In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe’s top managers.

    “He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager.

    “Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players in order to secure our status in the Premier League.”

    Rafa’s four areas to address

    1. Stake Out His Territory

    Rafa Benítez has won one battle. It was telling that Newcastle’s statement confirming his appointment identified him as manager rather than head coach, the post occupied by his predecessor, Steve McClaren. That signals an acceptance from the hierarchy that the club’s model was not working.

    2. Identify Leaders

    In his time at Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Benítez was quick to try to gain the confidence of the most influential figures in the squad. He sought out Javier Zanetti and Esteban Cambiasso in Milan; he did his best to indulge Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid; he even won over John Terry at Stamford Bridge.

    He will need to find someone at Newcastle who can carry out his orders on the pitch. Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini and Georginio Wijnaldum all have ample experience as well as Jonjo Shelvey — it was Benítez who arranged signing him for Liverpool.

    3. Explain, Rather Than Instruct

    Although he has an image as a detail-obsessed disciplinarian, Benítez knows his methods only work if players understand his thinking. On one of his first days at Liverpool, he asked his squad to sprint across six pitches. They set off, only to hear a whistle as Benítez called them back and told them he would never expect them to do something without asking why.

    4. Get The Fans Onside

    The final line of his first public statement as Newcastle manager — “C’Mon Toon Army” — felt like forced PR fluff, but the club desperately need to maintain their home form if they are to have any hope of staying up, and that means harnessing the power of St James’ Park.

    Words by Rory Smith

  • 93 Dingo†® // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Thats from the Times

  • 94 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:23 PM


    toonbrother aint normal

  • 95 Mister Tuff // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    I’m going for a win on Monday night. Hoping that Rafa has lifted the players -it should be obvious if they are playing better. If not we are doomed.
    Taking an optimistic stance 2 -1 to the Toon.

    I only hope that with a decent manager now we hear nothing on the blog of such things as :-
    “Wafa’s Bwave New World”.
    (by you know who)

    Had to much of that hooey when Wally was in post.

  • 96 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    Paco Moreno taking the training today

  • 97 Jib // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:51 PM

    Townsend back fit

  • 98 Bri // Mar 12, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    On Monday night if the players don’t show commitment and heart ,after bringing in a top class manager,i will fear for us.
    Even if we get beat i want to see us fight to the final whistle.

  • 99 JamesToon // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    My team for Leicester:

  • 100 Average_Contents // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Excellent article. Tells it like it is and hopefully rafa will too.

    I’m hoping he already has because let’s face it, we needed rafa more than he needed us.

  • 101 beermonkey // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:24 PM


    i think he will get what he wants,
    he seemed to know alot about the club and it would seem he has spoken to shearer and keegan

    he will know what he has to spend in the summer and he will know what his wage budget is

    there should be some room in the wages dept as there are a few on good money out the door in the summer

    like you say he doesnt need us so he could have been a diva and demanded all sorts

  • 102 Average_Contents // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    Loved his interview with nufctv.

    The man oozes pure class.

    His first press conference wasn’t too shabby either.
    First time in ages I’ve actually took the time to watch a full presser by an nufc manager/head coach because the previous incompetents used to drive me nuts. Apart from Hughton obviously.

    Rafa fcuking benitez.

    Get in.

  • 103 Average_Contents // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:33 PM


    Here’s hoping he threw the niome Campbell of all diva demands.

    Bet penfold pissed his keks.

    Should of asked bob if he could borrow his incontinence gruds. I hear they keep spares in the cleaning cupbo….I mean boardroom.

    What a weekend, we get rafa and England beat the Welsh to keep the grandslam alive.

    I’m off.

  • 104 Thump // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:33 PM

    @Average: The last one I watched (in full) was Shearer and Dowie’s announcement. Rafa said what he absolutely needed to say and left it at that.

    “What about next season, Rafa?”
    “Let’s worry about the 10 games first.”

  • 105 Dingo†® // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    Rafa the Gaffa


  • 106 Goofy // Mar 12, 2016 at 11:51 PM

  • 107 SPRINGY // Mar 13, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    rafas press conference

  • 108 SPRINGY // Mar 13, 2016 at 2:19 AM

    he press conference was very focused,like how he said he reviewed the squad,the games remaining and thought i can get them out of this….got admire the positiveness about him…not expecting anything monday…. if we put it a gutsy performance that will do for me…any points is a huge bonus.

  • 109 Toon-Prodigy // Mar 13, 2016 at 2:53 AM

    Over the moon, but all our problems have been self inflicted.

    Lets hope Ashley gives Benitez the keys to the temple and lets him choose the squad he wants. Lets actually be a football club again.

  • 110 Goromagpie // Mar 13, 2016 at 4:29 AM

    My team for leicetr game
    Daryl lascel colo dummy
    Town Wini Sissoko
    Doumbia mitro

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