Simon Bird in the Mirror is the journalist who withstood that foul-mouthed onslaught from a former Newcastle manager – Joe Kinnear – in Joe´s very first press conference after he had been appointed interim manager in late September of 2008.
Simon didn´t have to put up with any of that nonsense yesterday as the very impressive and professional Rafa Benitez laid out what is necessary for Newcastle in the future, but that the next 10 games are really all that matters right now.
After that he thinks the future will be brilliant for Newcastle – his words not ours.
Rafa Benitez – has already produced his first miracle on Tyneside
And Simon has hit the nail on the head today when he has reported that Benitez has already worked his first miracle on Tyneside.
Rafa revealed yesterday that players who had been injured on Friday were suddenly cured and in training on Saturday.
Well would you believe it – we knew Rafa was good but this is ridiculous.
Here´s some of what the manager said yesterday in his many interviews with the press:
“One or two players were not training the day before – they were with the doctor, they had knocks and little problems and they were training today without saying anything. I didn’t know until after the game – that is positive.”
“When you’re going for trophies, you don’t want to make mistakes and when you’re fighting against relegation, it’s the same. In terms of the approach it has to be similar.”
We have a good group of players, we have a quality squad. From them, I expect 100%.”
“If I’m here, it’s because I believe these players are good enough to stay up. I’ve seen them and I’ve seen their qualities and little things that we have to change.”
“Steve McClaren put in a lot of effort here and we have a good team.”
We remember when Alan Shearer took over on April Fools Day back in 2009 when he was determined to clear the almost full treatment room at Newcastle.
One player in particular was Australian striker Mark Viduka, who made a rather miraculous recovery and was suddenly available to play for Alan once Shearer was appointed.
Mark had been hiding out all season in the treatment room – whoops sorry we should rephrase that – Mark had been receiving treatment for several minor injuries throughout that season – that´s the official way of saying it.
The Newcastle players have to produce now.
We have no doubt that Rafa and his coaches will do the job and the fans will famously do their job once again.
Now we need those highly paid players to do their jobs – and it´s a good sign that some of them have made miraculous recoveries since Rafa was appointed.
The bottom line is if Rafa, the coaches, the fans and the players all do their jobs – we will survive.