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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Newcastle Is A Big Club – That’s Why Rafa Is Here

8:33 am, Sunday, March 13th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 12 Comments

In 2000, Rafa Benitez was appointed manager of Tenerife of the Segunda Division in Spain and he instantly got them  promoted to La Liga by finishing third in the league that very first season behind Sevilla and Real Betis.

Rafa was then hired by Valencia in the summer of 2001.

That´s one of many successes Rafa has  enjoyed and he´s been at many different clubs since his six year successful reign at Valencia when he twice won the Spanish League and also the UEFA Cup.

Those clubs have been Liverpool, Inter-Milan, Chelsea, Napoli, Real Madrid – and now Newcastle United.

As we mentioned he managed at Tenerife, the former club of 22 year-old Newcastle forward Ayoze Perez.

rafa-benítez tenerife 2000

Rafa Benitez at Tenerife in 2000 – he got them promoted in first season

This is what Ayoze has said about the former Real Madrid boss who has now taken two training sessions at the club:

“It’s big news for us. We’re really looking forward to trying to save the season and obviously Rafa can be the man,”

“We know he’s a top manager. He’s been with big teams and it’s something good for us, so we’re looking forward to working with him. We worked with him on Friday, and now we’ve got ten more games to try and save the season.”

“It’s the right time, with ten games to go. It’s a lot, but you have to think about it game by game. We have to try and take points and get results, believe in ourselves and do our jobs.”

“Every club he has been at, he’s been really good. I was really young when he got that promotion with Tenerife, but the most important thing is we want to turn around this situation, get results and obviously everyone will be happy if we save this season.”

“You have to change your mindset a little bit, but in a good way. You feel like the past is gone, and this is something new.”

“It’s good for the team, and I think this news is going to be important – crucial. I could see the team trained yesterday with really good intensity.”

“Everyone is happy and looking forward to improving, and to playing against Leicester. As soon as possible we want to win games again and get better results.”

“Rafa Benitez has got a good name everywhere and everyone knows him, so that’s why he’s here in a big club trying to get success,”

“Newcastle is a big club, and we are not where we should be, so that’s why Rafa is here – to try to get us a good position. It’s a good challenge. Now we have to be focused on these ten games.”

Perez has scored 6 league goals for us, second in the scoring charts to Gini Wijnaldum who has 9 league goals – all scored at St. James’ Park.

The first test for Benitez is tomorrow night at Leicester City, who are the current Premier League leaders on 60 points – a massive 36 points above Newcastle.


Rafa will go in with a game plan to get all 3 points at the King Power Stadium – although that will be very difficult.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Ayoze Perez · Coaching · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League · Press

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 firebug666 // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    A big club? A great history, the best fans ever in football, certainly the most loyal.

    We have been a big club, unfortunately our ambition over the last few years has never matched the stature of the club.

    We shall become a big club once we survive this season, a big club doesn’t necessarily win trophy’s, but competes for them at the highest level.

    So in Rafa we trust.

    Oh and if we survive, Rafa will bring us that long awaited silver.

  • 2 expatmag // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:45 AM


    And then you woke up, mate…….lol

  • 3 hibbitt // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:50 AM


    one step at a time just lets see if we start to move forward its a big ask

  • 4 Goofy // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Hallelujah the blind can see again.
    Have our players been taking sickies for the last 5 years? Always top of the injury table.

    Football players must just think the same as the fans, how can you give your all to a HC/Manager who is clueless in every football sense. They get paid a lot of money but don’t wont to put the effort in to a lost cause.

    What a difference a top class manager has made already in the injury department, turning up to train when they are signed off, it’s a miracle I tell thee.

    That really is a good sign. It shows they are scared for their chance to play under Benitez, they’ll know now their name isn’t going to be on the team sheet regardless how poorly they play and there’s a lot more competition for each spot.

  • 5 firebug666 // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:52 AM


    I think we have a lot to look forward to, as Jail said earlier, with Rafa at least we have a chance.

    I believe in this team, I think the potential was always lying just below the surface.

    McClaren couldn’t inspire a starving piranha fish to nibble his finger,

    Benitez on the other hand knows how to get the best from what he has, and I am confident that he will gel the team and with a game plan give every team left to play a run for their money.

    Confidence has already started to grow, and with a couple of decent performances and a few points they will get better.

    It may be a little late in the day with only 10 games left, but I am (for the first time in a long time) going to believe that the impossible will become possible.

  • 6 Jib // Mar 13, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    I was going to post a comment about how I’d like to know more about our worrying defender situation.
    Then I thought – naaahhh – in Rafa we trust – let Ranieri worry about it.

  • 7 gorgonzola ( former Pecorino former to gorgonzola) // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:01 AM

    “It may be a little late in the day with only 10 games left, but I am (for the first time in a long time) going to believe that the impossible will become possible.”

    IF he is left to his own devices….if NUFC mess this up it will never get right. It will be a never-ending slew of poor British non-tactical managers.

  • 8 firebug666 // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:02 AM


    Rafa said he wants the team to attack and defend as a unit, and he wants every player to know what he has to do.

    That in itself is a massive change in direction for this team.

    As it seems miracles are happening around Tyneside, I thought I would throw in another one and agree with you. 😀

  • 9 firebug666 // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:07 AM


    Yes, but I will stay positive in the hope that the positivity will spread, and filter onto the pitch giving the players a little bit of hope and inspiration.

    It’s not going to be easy, it never is at Newcastle, but a feel good factor can only benefit the players and the fans.

    We now have a top manager who actually knows how to set things up, can change a game, and can inspire the players.

    I think we will survive.

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    What train of thought even considered Mclaren and how did they discuss it.
    “Right we’ve identified Steve Mclaren as being the closest to Pardew as we can get, the only tricky bit is that he doesn’t want to come here and if he gets Derby promoted he says he’s definitely stopping there, some nonsense about control of transfers and being a manager. But, and this is the good bit, if he’s an abject failure, Derby will sack him and we won’t have to pay any compo, he’s desperate to manage in the PL and let’s face it, I don’t think Spurs will poach him ( chuckle chuckle) win win then lads”
    Not once did they consider his failure at Derby meant he was a failure and is a failure, why would you allow that at your club.

  • 11 hibbitt // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    that will be a miracle in its self our players knowing what to do

  • 12 Ian Toon // Mar 13, 2016 at 9:27 AM

    Benítez is not free to do whatever he wants at Newcastle. But his standing is way beyond that of his predecessors. Ashley has employed those with few options elsewhere. Macca, Carver, Pardew and Hughton took the job on Ashley’s conditions. Newcastle need Benítez much more than Benítez needs the toon. Unlike his predecessors he will be at liberty to speak his mind to a greater degree. Something already clear – smacks of KK.
    Should Benítez secure survival you just can’t imagine him putting up with the indignities put upon his predecessors. Certainly not the idea of Carr determining new signings or the frosty relationship with the media at large. Indeed changing times.
    Word in the press today suggests the club are making moves to lift unconditionally their ban on a number of newspapers. A free press under Ashley !
    Benítez during his spell in charge at Chelsea showed a side to his character not always visible in the past. He thought he was being bullied by sections of the teams support and stood up to them. There are no shortage of bullies amongst our supporters so just clean your act up. No more puerile name calling of our manager.
    Benitez is a coach who has won trophies ( not secured in the toon’s 123-year history) and with a status that demands respect.
    Should he leave Newcastle being seen as a proper football club once more then that would rank among his greatest achievements. Just to survive in the PL being a significant achievement for me.

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