Rafa Benitez was appointed as the new Newcastle manager for at least three years yesterday and he gave a press conference at 7:00 pm last night and then gave a few more interviews and was able to cover a lot of information – including why he decided to stay at Newcastle – a second division club – even though he turned down some big money offers to take the challenge at Newcastle.
Rafa sees Newcastle as another Liverpool – but maybe even a bigger opportunity since there’s only one club in the football mad city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
And Newcastle, unlike Liverpool, hasn’t won a trophy since 1969 and hasn’t won a domestic trophy since way back in 1955 when we demolished Manchester City 3-1 in the FA Cup final – a game my parents were at.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager
That could all change under Rafa Benitez – and maybe sooner than we think.
This is some of what Rafa said yesterday:
“I had some offers, for big money, but I am happy here because I can see a project and a future, a big club, fantastic fans, a lot of support and my family.”
“You put everything together and I’m really pleased to be here.” “The first reason for me to stay was the fans, the stature of the club and the future.”
“I have seen all these things together.” “I came here because of that and I could see these things every day, especially the last day of the season.”
“There have been lots of positive things from day one.” “Also my family is in England and I wanted to stay here. I am really happy to be here.
“I am here because I am convinced we can go up next season, stay there for a long time and even win trophies.”
“If I decide to stay it is because I believe we can be where we belong.” “We cannot say: ‘We are a massive club and we deserved to be in the Premier League’.”
“We have to be professional, train well, prepare for games like they are a final.” “We have to work harder than everyone. It is a challenge, yes.”
“I have won trophies – now it is time for a new project, a new challenge.” “I can see the possibilities and the size of the club and the potential.”
“Everything is massive and I want to be a part of it.” “The first thing is to promote and after we will see if we are stronger or not.”
“I will not make the mistake of saying this or saying that.” “No – we are a very good Championship team at the moment and we are a massive club.”
“But we have to deserve to be there.” “And to do that we have to work hard – that’s it.”
That’s one of the many things we like about Rafa and why he’s been so successful in football.
He takes absolutely nothing for granted and never gets carried away – the only important thing for Rafa is the next game and how he can win it.
Sounds good to us.