Rafa Benitez never seems to get too downhearted and after the disgraceful performance last Saturday at St. Mary’s we wondered how he handle this week in preparing the side for the tough home game against Swansea.
In our last seven games against them we have lost six and drawn one and lost the last three fixtures at St. James’ Park.
What we saw from a side again hit by injury yesterday was a solid performance and our players closed down the Swansea players from the very first whistle and right through the game.
Rafa Benitez going over to talk to Jonjo Shelvey at end of game
It was a really vital win 3-0 and improved our goal difference too, which will be important at the end of the season.
The turnaround has shown what a great manager Rafa Benitez is and the way he handled his players from the touchline yesterday and at the end of the game was a master class in in coaching and man-management.
It was a joy to watch.
Newcastle were a little lucky in the 10 minutes or so after 70 minutes of the game when the Swans were on top and had three good chances to score but missed the lot.
But our young defense played well and we have to remember that Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles are only 21 and 22 respectively and both played very well and all credit to them in such an important game for the club.
He was continually coaching and encouraging his players throughout the game and whenever there was a break – as there was for our three goals- he was talking to them and getting some points across to players.
And at the end of the game we noticed he made a point of going onto the pitch and congratulating every single Newcastle player – although we still didn’t see him smile.
Rafa even walked off with the man he had dropped for the game – Jonjo Shelvey – and he was coaching Jonjo on some aspect of the game.
Rafa is simply unbelievable and no wonder the Liverpool fans still love him for what he did for the Reds.
He may get some stick from the press, but what was apparent yesterday is that the Newcastle players have enormous respect for their manager who has introduced double training sessions and even a short Sunday session to get his points across – since time is very short.
But one swallow does not make a summer and the players have to show the same commitment in every single one of our remaining five games.
That includes the two away games at Liverpool and at Aston Villa – who were officially relegated yesterday with a 1-0 loss at Manchester United.
If we do go down next month and we can still keep this man of Tyneside – all is not lost.
Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez is simply a match made in heaven.
We put out an article on 17 month-old Poppy-Mai on Friday and she has recently been diagnosed with a progressive malignant rhabdoid tumour, a rare and aggressive form of paediatric cancer.
To show their support two of our readers in New Zealand Sean Gordon and his sister Hayley have cut off their hair which will be donated to the Little Princess Trust in the UK.
They will then transform the hair into beautiful wigs for children who have lost their own hair to cancer and all funds raised will go to Poppy-Mai’s family to create Poppy’s Field.