The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!



Benitez Talks Of Lessons Learned In Past Relegation Experience

7:58 am, Saturday, March 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 21 Comments

Rafa explained to the local press last week at the Benton training grounds that he spent two seasons (1997-1999) at a small Spanish club Extremadura.

In his first season there he had them promoted to La Liga and in the next season they were relegated after losing a two-legged play-off with Villareal,  so he does have some experience in fighting relegation in his management career.

rafa benitez training 987

Rafa Benitez at the Benton training ground

Talking to the local reporters late last week Rafa pointed that fact out:

“When I took the Newcastle job, some of the media said I didn’t have experience of relegation battles but I had experience at Extremadura.”

So first of all let´s understand the facts of what happened when Rafa was in charge of Extremadura from 1997 to 1999.

This is what it says in Wikipedia about Rafa´s two years there:

In 1997, he joined another Segunda Division side, Extremadura, and this time led them to promotion, finishing second in the table behind Deportivo Alaves after winning 23 out of 42 games.

Extremadura only survived one season in the Primera Division however and were relegated in 1999 after finishing 17th and losing a play-off to Villarreal.

And this is how Rafa explained that experience in  fighting relegation at Extremadura to local reporters last week, as he was trying to make several points about relegation.

Before he joined the small club they had already been promoted and relegated in the previous two seasons,  which Rafa describes:

“The main thing I told the Chairman then was: ‘Stay calm. Stay calm until the end of the season.’

“Extremadura is a small team, it’s a small village that were promoted (in 1996) to the first division and it was a miracle – a miracle.”

“Then the same coach that was very close to the Chairman, he was still in charge and they lost their first seven games in La Liga (in the 1996-1997 season).”

“So on the way back from the stadium to the center of the village was the path of the elephants because they were all like this with their hands down looking towards the ground, because they had lost seven games in a row.”

“He was in a panic to sign players in that January and they were relegated (in 1997).”

“Then I signed for them and they were promoted again, that was another miracle because you lose your best players to the Premier League and to the Champions League.”

“Then I told the Chairman: ‘I will sign two years but you have to guarantee that I will stay two years. You have to stay calm because we can be safe at the end of the season.’”

“He says: ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’”

“The last game we played against Villarreal and we were fifth-from-bottom; two were relegated, two were going to have to play in the play-offs.”

“We had a problem with the center-back, we had a problem with injuries, and then we drew against Villarreal and we had to play the play-off, and we were relegated.”

“People say ‘Oh you were relegated,’ but we were fine until the last day.”

“So what I am trying to say is we have until the last game of the season against Tottenham, and we are fine for now, so what we have to do is believe we can do it.”

“If early, much better. If not, carry on, carry on and then we have our chances.”

What Rafa is saying there with that story is that things can change dramatically towards the end of the season and it´s possible to go down or stay up right at the death.

We had a little experience of that last season when we only just survived in that last game against West Ham.

There´s probably a little hint there also for Managing Director Lee Charnley to stay calm – he looked like death warmed up at half time last Sunday when we were 1-0 down to Sunderland.

So maybe Crystal Palace – or some other club – could be like Extremadura in the La Liga back in 1999 and get caught right at the end of the season and be relegated?

We have eight games to play and every single game is  important, including the ones at the very end.

And with Rafa having been at the club for several weeks by then, maybe we can put a late winning streak together whatever happens in the next few games?

In short Rafa is saying keep the faith until that very last game – whatever happens.

Of course it´s not exactly great for the nerves, which have been just a little bit frayed for the last few years supporting Newcastle United Football Club.

It would be great if we can win the next five games and be safe quickly.

But that´s unlikely to happen – apparently.

🙂

Comments welcome.



Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League




21 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    I don’t mean to worry anyone .

    BUT

    Extramadura CF folded in 2010 and doesn’t exist anymore !

  • 2 cyprus // Mar 26, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    Experienced in fighting relegation AND in getting relegated! Excellent 😉

  • 3 Dennis Twice // Mar 26, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Attack Toon attack, attack!

  • 4 cyprus // Mar 26, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    DT,
    Spot on, as always.

  • 5 WWSBRD // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Jib
    So ur expecting Newcastle to fold then?

  • 6 Lindisfarne // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Go on then, I will say it…..
    Jib, you worry me!

  • 7 Jail for Ashley // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Dennis,
    While your about, why were you answering questions directed at me over the New Year period?

  • 8 sing in the corner // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    I see Norwich’s young Brady will be a guaranteed starter for ROI on tues against Slovakia. Yes I know we are reduced to hoping for charity from all directions in our predicament…
    But a little hamstring pull or something, nothing too serious you know, wouldn’t go amiss. Just to keep him out for,say, the next 8 games or somethin?
    He’s on form, and Norwich’s main threat..
    And at the same time it would be nice if our lot on international duty (FIVE ffs!!) could bench warm and stay healthy. Makems and Norwich have ONE of their squad away only!

  • 9 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    WWSBRD
    Naah
    Extramadura was owned by Almendralejo toon cooncil – ye knaa wot these cooncils are like – fulla do-gooders and wannabe commies.

  • 10 Mag52 // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Jib.

    They are, in a word, menosmadura.

  • 11 WWSBRD // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Jib
    Then why would anyone worry that they folded?

  • 12 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    It’s quite annoying really.
    You could say for example – Mitrovich if he was visiting his family over Easter fair do’s – but he’s in Poland and then Estonia ffs not going near Serbia – he sat on the bench in Poznan!

  • 13 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    The Rafa song. Went on for a while at the start of the derby. Great stuff.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GJFXdQ2dZZw

  • 14 Munster Mag // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Rafa talking nonsense on S issoko to get a positive reaction from him. He did little offensively last two games, and playing him on the left wing is daft Rafa. Put him on the right and get Townsend on the left , where he can definitely operate. Sissoko cant tackle, cant pass. But every manager is fooled by his physique. SMC nearly had an orgasm…”when Moussa walked into my office and i saw the build of the man” …or words to that effect.

  • 15 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    I guess orgasms must be calmer affairs in Ireland.

  • 16 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    A married Irishman went into the confessional and said to his priest “I almost
    had an affair with another woman.”
    The priest said “What do you mean, almost?”
    The Irishman said “Well, we got undressed and rubbed together, but then I stopped.”
    The priest said “Rubbing together is the same as putting it in. You’re not to see that woman again. For your penance, say five Hail Mary’s and put €50 in the poor box.”
    The Irishman left the confessional, said his prayers, and then walked over to the poor box.
    He paused for a moment and then started to leave.
    The priest, who was watching, quickly ran over to him saying “I saw that. You didn’t put any money in the poor box!”
    The Irishman replied “Yeah, but I rubbed the €50 on the box, and according to you, that’s the same as putting it in!”

  • 17 Munster Mag // Mar 26, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    More racism from the inbred. Well done Jib, your mother must be proud of you.

  • 18 beermonkey // Mar 26, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    munster

    a couple of seasons ago sissoko finished in the top 10 of assists in the prem i think if he wants to be he could be a decent winger for us
    i dont think he wants to be out wide
    he will have to put alot of work in on the training field to make it in the middle for me not sure he has commitment but i do think rafa is a manager he will listen to
    when he was asked about mclaren when he was given the job he replied who
    he had never heard of him

  • 19 Jib // Mar 26, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Sometimes you can be really wrong about people.

    I had Munster figured as your normal liberal Irishman , tell a joke , take a joke.
    Not one of the snivelling PC brigade that normally infest the blog.

    Just goes to show you can never tell.

    The Irish aren’t a race by the way – Celts and Gallic people are a race.

    Here you go

    A married Geordie went into the confessional and said to his priest “I almost had an affair with another woman.”
    The priest said “What do you mean, almost?”
    The Geordie said “Well, we got undressed and rubbed together, but then I stopped.”
    The priest said “Rubbing together is the same as putting it in. You’re not to see that woman again. For your penance, say five Hail Mary’s and put £50 in the poor box.”
    The Geordie left the confessional, said his prayers, and then walked over to the poor box.
    He paused for a moment and then started to leave.
    The priest, who was watching, quickly ran over to him saying “I saw that. You didn’t put any money in the poor box!”
    The Geordie replied “Yeah, but I rubbed the £50 on the box, and according to you, that’s the same as putting it in!”

  • 20 jimmysmith // Mar 26, 2016 at 10:55 AM

    I think Sissoko can do a lot of damage cutting in from the left or right, he ran both channels really well when he had that stint as an attacking central mid a couple of years ago, and I’ve seen him go past his fullback on the outside playing on the right and knocking in dangerous balls many times.

    He and Townsend ought to switch more often if that’s the way Rafa wants to set them up, but Townsend had the better of his fullback so maybe that’s why they didn’t.

  • 21 lesh // Mar 26, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Rafs’s been at the Club a matter of weeks and he, a Spaniard to boot, recognises the importance of it to the City. He can see the Club’s potential and yet Ashley and his flunkies don’t or won’t – after nearly nine years owning it.

    Sadly, Ashley seems to have washed his hands of the Club and I can imagine dancing in the streets were he to sell up and let it realise its potential.




previous post: Benitez – This Player Has Everything – He´s Been Fantastic

next post: Benitez Asked To Stay If Newcastle Relegated