I think Rafa´a Absolutely Loving It At Newcastle

The Chronicle´s Chris Waugh has an excellent piece out today when for the second time in six weeks he has interviewed Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague.

Guillem is an expert on Spanish football and he knows all about Rafa Benitez, because he is the author of  ‘A Season on the Brink: Rafael Benitez, Liverpool and the Path to European Glory’ which he wrote in 2005 after their dramatic Champions League victory over Milan in Istanbul.

He also believes Rafa is one of the top 10 managers in the world and seems to know an awful lot about Newcastle too.

Guillem Balague

Sky Sports’ Guillem Balague

One of the answers that caught our eye was when he was asked whether he thought Benitez was enjoying the job at Newcastle.

This is how Guillem answered that:

“He came from a club in Real Madrid where a lot of it is political, and the Press conferences and whatever you say has repercussions, but not really too much to do with coaching.”

“But he has gone to a club in Newcastle where everyone has been immediately won over by his approach and the fact he’s a high-caliber coach, so he doesn’t have to work on that.”

“He gets to focus on the things he loves, like the shape of his team and how to change his attack and how to beat the opposition.”

“In a kind of weird sadomasochistic way, I think he’s absolutely loving it at Newcastle.”

Rafa does seem to be in his element at Newcastle and there´s definitely an affinity and bond building up with the Newcastle fans – so we are just hoping he can save us, so he will definitely be here next season.

Guillem is probably interested in following Rafa´s career at Newcastle,  because there could be another book in it for him once we win the Champions League.


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23 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #1

    If I’d posted such blarney you’d have said I was talking a croc of sh1t. When does 9% of fans mean most.


  • Jib

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    Comment #2

    We all know just NUFC fans post on the Ronnie Gill polls don’t we ?

  • Jib

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Comment #3

    To ask do you want X is always going to get a weak response.
    There was never a poll that asked the question “would McClaren be an improvement on Pardew ?” which is the point I was making – most folk did think that.

  • NoahJ

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #4

    Does Guillem even know what sadomasochistic means?

  • Mister Tuff

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #5

    Jib Jibberish -your link to the reasearch at Parliament re miscarriages of justice does not prove your point.
    If someone is found not guilty of an offence does not mean that they will be entitled to any form of compensation at all.
    Because someone has been prosecuted and later adjudged to be not guilty does not mean there was a miscarriage of justice.
    Please stick to you main subjects of ladies wrestling and netball.

  • Jib

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    Comment #6

    Mr Tuff
    I posted the link to inform.
    I did not think it proved my point , rather the contrary.
    Erm that’s whyI didn’t say it proved my point
    I was quite surprised how tough the Government attitude is , however as always there is always the European route of appeal (until Thursday 23rd June that is )

  • Jib

    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #7

    😀 even

  • lesh

    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #8


    He’ll know what SM is if he’s in tune with Newcastle fans’ emotions.

  • Tsunki

    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:19 PM

    Comment #9

    I join toonbrother in shock at the fact we aren’t quite straining for champions league glory right at this moment, despite Steve McClarens European pedigree. When he was coming here I thought “Wow! He’s bang average!” little did I know I had estimated him way too highly. I guess we just all kidded ourselves that Charnley and Carr would have learned from Carvergate and been a little less ‘hands on’ – we can laugh about it now though eh?

  • Tsunki

    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    Comment #10

    Ed the only book of that type will be under “Fiction”

  • Tsunki

    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #11

    And that’s all ah got to say ’bout that.

  • toonking

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:11 PM

    Comment #12

    Rotonda heights // Apr 21, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    I think it’s pretty harsh comment on Martinez.

    RM’s having an average season, but when he went in there 3 short seaons ago, they came 5th, got into europe and scored the most goals they ever have in one season, short memories from some.

    Even in a an average mid-table season RM could still go to Wembley and win the cup again.

    Stalwart players like Coleman and Baines who have been brilliant previously have had shocking seasons and stones’s ego got too big after chelsea’s interest.

    sorry to break the news but everton have got the second worse home record in the league. These fixtures here are home fixture you and most other toon fans would reacting in outrage
    Watford L
    Palace D
    Stoke L
    Swansea L
    west brom L

    Alan pardew got 5th place, give newcastle it’s longest unbeaten streak you seem to forget that. His eruopa league season went right through to the semi finals had he got knocked out as early as martinez would that relegation fight really have happened but martinez relegated wigan

    Even in a palace team who’s premier league run has turned bad he could take his team to wembley and equal martinez’s record of 1 trophy.

    It’s no good being overly positive about one manager’s poor form if you get so critial of anothers. Entertaining attacking football might look good to the netrual but it’s no use if the clubs own supporters don’t get points which is why wigan went down and everton are the second worst home team in the league

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #13

    Just a quick review of the club’s executives:
    Lee Charnley: complete pillock. Sack him immediately.
    Graham Carr: Extremely poor player selection for at least the last 2 seasons. Thauvin? Really Graham? And how has that worked out? Cabella? Even Mitrovic. A plodding player. Has some ability to hold the ball up but will never get more than 10-12 goals in the Prem. Sack him immediately.
    Moncur: And what his he done for the club? Anything? Made up some bollocks to support the owner possibly. Sack him immediately.
    Peter Beardsley: How are things work out in the development squad Peter? Possibly time to go down to London and make fresh acquaintances with the owner’s butt Peter. Great player but that’s it. Sack him immediately.
    If you want to keep Rafa Ashley you had better wake up and let your sycophants go.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #14

    Gushing praise for Pinocchio, toonking. Even Martinez has managed 3 league wins this year. Your old flame Alan managed his first only the other week against relegation threatened Norwich. They were the only team in all the professional English leagues to get off the mark I think it was.

    He is abysmal.

    Yours faithfully,

    Executive member of the crew/mob/rabble/group/unit/squad/team/gang.

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:50 PM

    Comment #15

    Who is Rafa’a by the way? He sounds a bit alien. Possibly came through the stargate? Yes Rafa’a loves it here.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #16

    Oh, and all that:

    *Without ‘having his hands tied’ by the Fat Man.
    *WITH Cabaye
    *WITHOUT Europe
    *Woz they tired?
    *Grass length?
    *Hatem was nowhere near – he was in double goal figures and getting another international call-up somewhere close by…
    * No board bringing him Frenchies – Boo hoo
    * Too hyped?
    * Science again?
    * Choice of Signings
    * Loads of big, tall lumps in defence who have literally provided them with points not to be relegated – punts into the box have got most of their goals. Effective tactics? Nope.
    * At a club who loves him – the perfect place for him – yet his inevitable atrocious nosedive occurs.

    Very predictable.

    Meanwhile, we now have a proper manager… 🙂

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Well said Lauren Robert @14. Can we keep Rafa? It all depends on that. Otherwise we’ll go back to Ashley picking some clueless idiot to lead us to further disaster.

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:05 PM

    Comment #18

    Yes the expertise of Pardew. The brilliant set pieces to our amazing target man Williamson. For several seasons I believe. I mean, why give up on such a brilliant strategy? Yes Alan Pardew, demi-god and next manager of England!!!

  • GeordieTwo

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:08 PM

    Comment #19

    I’ll fong the bejesus out of the next person to say Alan Pardew is a good manager! I will, I swear. No really this is no joke. I’ve got my fongbat oot and I’m just waiting and watching now…..

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #20

    You know Alan Pardew, I was just sat thinking to myself, what a great manager he was…

    There you go G2.

    Seriously though, why the hell are we still discussing Pardew, let alone Martinez?

    Don’t we have current things that relate to NUFC to disagree on?

    In other news, not NUFC related (sorry), but RIP Prince. What a sad day.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    Comment #21

    G2, I really hope Rafa stays. Someone of his ilk should have been in before the sacked lower league managers came in.

    Here’s something on Rafa already…

    We have not scored in 5 games in a row this year. It took Rafa from his second game to initiate this process (first one was leaders Leicester) at a side with ruined confidence and belief.

    On top of that, we’d lost 6 in a row against Sunderland, not scoring in 5. He stopped both of those little stats. Plus I don’t think our league form against Man City is even average – he changed that.

    He is a proper manager. As I said when he arrived; whatever his team is, however daring, he needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. He is a quality manager who has experience in selecting players based on real tactics, strategies and planning in mind. Not sitting back and hoping to nick one by whichever slice of luck comes our way.

    Rafa Benitez! Rafa Benitez! Rafa Beniteeeeeeeeeeezzz

  • beefman13

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    Comment #22

    Yes Ibiza, real icon was Prince, lets go crazy, me personal fav, the words in it probably sum up his life.

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #23


    Definitely having a Prince playlist on tonight.


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