Rafa Reveals His System For Success At Newcastle

The reporters who were at the first team training session run by Rafa Benitez yesterday were invited into his office for a talk between the sessions – and it seems Rafa was upbeat and even cracked a few jokes to the reporters.

Rafa pointed out the books in the bookcase have not changed much since he arrived, although other more important things had.

Some of the books in the bookcase left behind were the LMA handbook, a Premier League book and a tourist guide to Edinburgh.

Rafa Benitez Sticking Up One Finger

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle are going to be number one
Obviously ….

Rafa was light-hearted as he talked to the reporters:

“What I have done is to classify the books. They were here for years and I was asking: ‘Why do you have these books here?’”

“Maybe they were for Steve, but they were here already when I came in. All these books I am not very interested in. Here, these ones, I find interesting (plucking out the Edinburgh one with a smile).”

“You have to give the players some confidence, and to be fair for so many years we have had some books about that. The key is to stay calm, analyse things, make decisions and stay calm.”

“If you make a decision and you make a mistake then we say ‘OK’, we will make a change and they carry on. If they feel that you have a game plan or whatever, then they will follow you, adopt this and that.”

“Sometimes, even if you are not sure on the game plan, they won’t follow. But we are sure we are doing things right.”

“We have changed little things, but you cannot change too much because then it’s a race if you try to change everything at the same time.”

“But the training sessions, the way that we do things, the gym, the prevention from injuries, and the recuperation after training sessions, the communication between the departments we have changed them.

“In the office, not so much!”

Rafa´s philosophy in football seems to be ¨to stay calm, analyse things, make decisions and stay calm.”

Certainly in the dressing room at half-time in Istanbul back in 2005  when Liverpool were losing 3-0 to AC Milan it seems Rafa was the only one who stayed calm, as he coolly thought through the changes necessary to get The Reds back into the game that seemed already lost.

The rest is history as Liverpool came back and won the Champions League that year 3-2 on penalties after it was 3-3 after 90 minutes and extra time.

Rafa seems an expert on being able to analyse games and make the necessary changes throughout the game and especially at half time.

The reporters present yesterday have been keen to stress Benitez was smiling before, during and after the sessions – and that his upbeat mood was genuine.

He seems to be the classic successful man – very positive in a job he does very well.

Rafa seems convinced he can keep Newcastle up this season,  even though one point from his first two games in charge is not what he or the fans had hoped for.

But it´s early days still with eight games left – and with this two week break he has time to work with the players not away on International duty.

If we can get a win at Norwich a week tomorrow – then hopes will be raised significantly that Rafa can indeed save us.

If he can the future could be bright for Newcastle United – but only if Rafa is given wide powers and is allowed to overhaul the club from top to bottom.

Then we could be successful – very successful – in fairly short order.

That would be unbelievable given the dire situation in the league we are in right now – and the complete mess the club is in.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

10 comments so far

  • hibbitt

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    Comment #1

    why dont you just let Rafa pick the team he know’s who’s fit who wants to play and who’s head is in the right place………RAFA’S THE GAFFER

  • cyprus

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #2

    Off for now.

    cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    Isn’t Janmaat injured? I’d bench Shelvey for Saivet who looked very good in his cameo. I’d throw Shelvey and Perez on if we are losing in the 60?. I’d also start Doumbia with Mitro – unless the original Cisse has come back. In back, Lasc, Mbemba, Sissoko. Saivet or Tiote can make it a back 4, only if we are getting slaughtered. Go all out at them. Show them we are the better team… Too much fear. If we are to go down (I think we are) go guns blazing.

    36cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    Not sure if Doumbia is 45 years old or whatever I’ve been reading. I don’t care. The rest are playing like 45 year olds. Start him. He too was good in his cameo, almost scoring but for a brilliant save.

    2Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:27 AM

    cyprus, (from previous article)

    I didn’t know Janmaat is injured, any ideas of how long he will be out for?

    Agree with going all out. Considering we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for getting a back 4 together, I’d consider a back 3 instead and playing two DMs of Saivet and Tiote.

    Then we can have one DM moving forward when we attack and the other hanging back to give cover in defence.

    3cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Agreed. Add some steel there.

    No, no idea re Janmaat, just heard he came off injured.

    4juan // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    You must be mad wanting to drop shelvey. Saviet looked lost in his pitch time and tiote is a bad egg in the bunch he doesn’t want to be here. No mention of any injury to him can’t make the bench?

    5Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:34 AM

    It’s a very tough call who to play up front.

    Doumbia is mostly unproven and his lack of game time suggests he hasn’t been impressive in training.

    Mitro we have seen struggles with pace and turning half chances into goals.

    Cisse is our only striker who has been able to score a good amount of goals in the past, but his downtime could have had a huge affect on his ability to keep scoring goals.

    It’s a risk either way…

    6cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    Disagree. Shelvey hasn’t been playing well, bar his first game. Too many random passes and tripping over the ball. And you’ve dismissed Saivet way too quickly.

    7cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:41 AM

    I think Mitro needs company. He is also very good at controlling the ball, head and chest, he could be providing assists. Like Andy could do.

    8juan // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:45 AM

    Shelvey has probably been our best player this year. Take him out and you’ve got nobody who can create anything. Saviet is not very good at all. Mcclaren didn’t play him. At this stage of the season we can’t afford to take chances on playing him we need experience not a novice. He maybe ok next season but game is to quick for him and he hasn’t found his feet yet. Ps doumbia starting with mitrovic no chance. I’m 48 and I’m sure he was 3 years older than me at school

    9cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Can you play?

    Disagree re Shelvey, massive disappointment for me, failed saviour. Hope he proves me completely wrong.

    10Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Tiote definitely offers more protection from attacks for our weakened back line than Shelvey does. So for that reason I’d start him over anyone else in DM.

    Also I don’t think after Shelvey’s recent performances that he should start over Saivet, who has hardly been given a chance.

    However, I would still consider using Shelvey as a sub.

    11juan // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    Can I play. ? 2 left feet ,dodgy knees, 4 hip replacements ,think I’d make the bench still with our current squad ?

    12cyprus // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    You’d fit right in 🙂

  • scout

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:05 AM

    Comment #3

    Anyone help me out with a Southampton ticket?

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    Comment #4

    SDJ seems to have found the longest period of fitness since he came here. If he’s match fit, I think it’s time to give Perez a breather, slot Siem in in the hole behind Mitro. We haven’t seen anything like the player he is / was.
    Could be wishful thinking but I sense Mitro is suddenly more focused and seems to be thriving on Rafa’s way, including this extra striker training he’s supposed to have been doing. His body language has improved last couple of weeks.
    Boy, could we do with him falling into the form of his life right now…

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:17 AM

    Comment #5

    Don’t even want to think about left back. Drawing lots?
    I suspect Sissoko will be searching for a way to get himself out of that little pass the parcel game.

  • Blofal

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #6

    We won’t lose another game for the rest of the season.

  • lesh

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #7


    I’ll take your Saints ticket off your hands!

  • Tsunki

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #8

    I just put my coffee down in time blofal 😀

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 25, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    Comment #9

    Anita… Sissoko…errrr. Oh dear.

  • scout

    Mar 25, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #10

    I want a ticket mate sorry how it reads


You must log in to post a comment.