A good coach not only gets the best out of the players he has available to him, but he also makes them into better players.
And after not even seven weeks at the club, Rafa Benitez is making some of the Newcastle players a lot better.
The former Liverpool boss is using a number of former fringe players under Steve McClaren and some of it is by necessity with Newcastle still having too many injury problems.
Rafa Benitez and Paul Dummett at Anfield last Saturday
Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba, Paul Dummett, Vurnon Anita, Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote and Andros Townsend are some of the players who look a lot better since Rafa arrived on Tyneside.
Paul Dummett has only just returned from his long term hamstring injury and he has opened the lid on what Rafa is doing with the players.
This is what Paul has told the Chronicle today:
“Every manager is different and he’ll have different ideas. The manager said that when he came in and we took that on board.”
“He told us that all players will have different opinions on how the game should be played so we knew there would be some changes. The manager has a different opinion to Steve McClaren.”
“Every manager is going to be different.”
“For me personally, he talks about the positioning with each player and he works with the back four a lot.”
“He tells us to be together and be more compact. Any manager has different opinions and growing up as players it can only help you learn from them. It will help me get better as a player too.”
“The fans were amazing against Man City. When you watched the game back you could hear how loud they were on the TV coverage.”
“That is a massive help for us to have that as it sends out the message. We need their support. ”
“They need us to stay in the Premier League but we need them – it has to be a team effort from everybody involved.”
“Home form can be the key for us.”
Rafa´s work with the back four is there for all to see and we look a lot more organized at the back than we ever were under Steve McClaren.
But the Brains Trust at Newcastle may have left it too late to dispense with the woeful Steve McClaren, who was brought in last summer after the woeful John Carver was fired.
The quality of those two coaches illustrates the low level of ambition that´s been at Newcastle for far too long and we are paying for it this season.
Whatever happens in the last three games, we are hoping Rafa will stay at the club and continue to improve players and continue building up a new team on Tyneside.
If he does that then Newcastle fans will have some real hope for the future.