Rafa Benitez’ Top Assistant To Leave Newcastle

We had wondered if all of Rafa Benitez’ assistants would be able to stay at Newcastle in the Championship –  and there’s news today being reported by Sky Italia that his top Italian assistant Fabio Pecchia will leave Newcastle to take charge of Hellas Verona in Serie B next season.

When Rafa first arrived at Newcastle in March, when he was introducing his coaching team, he said that Fabio was a future manager and that he would eventually manage a club – and that seems to have happened.

bio pecchia rafa benitez

Fabio Pecchia with Rafa Benitez at Newcastle

Fabio has been Rafa’s main assistant since 2013 when he joined him at Napoli and they went to Real Madrid together last summer.

Fabio will manage Verona, who were bottom of Serie A last season and will start next season in Serie B.

The 42 year-old had a long playing career as a midfielder playing for Napoli over 125 times.

He also played at Juventus and another 10 clubs in a career that spanned 18 years from 1991, when he made almost 500 first team appearances.

He played for Italy in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

It will be interesting to see who Rafa will draft in now as his new assistant and while it may be good to have somebody with Championship experience, Rafa will also be looking at the long term future at Newcastle.

Benitez may even try to draft in somebody who has been associated with Newcastle United in the past.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

151 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 9:05 AM

    Comment #1

    Get JC back in!

  • Bambams

    May 31, 2016 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #2

    I am sure Rafa has known this and no doubt will have others he can bring in.

    I am sure when he first arrived The Chronicle had an article that some of Rafa’s backroom staff hadn’t joined him because it was unsure how long he would be our manager.

    Time will tell

  • Mag52

    May 31, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #3

    The usual negative criticism by ex players in the press prior to a big tournament.
    We never learn do we ?

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Comment #4

    I first started posting at the start of the blog in 2007. I stopped when you and Ruddy teamed up to it seemed to me to cause trouble. Let me be fair you were the peacemaker and Ruddy the bully.
    Many of us left at that time and read the news from Ed. it was as if you had taken over the blog and turned it into a war zone. Again you provided good humour and Ruddy the schoolboy strop. He seems to be the same grumpy big shot when he makes us suffer by suddenly being on here. A few long time posters seem to think the blog is something they own and not for sharing globally. That was Ed’s intention and in the early days he was a regular poster fully joining in with the daily chat. Something which Jib and others do to make me feel part of the bigger team.
    I see the growth of what Welshie calls the stooges by those coming on the blog to have a pop and mention little about the football team. I am not on a wind up but looking to enjoy the football craic once more though I am happy at the prospect of becoming just a reader again. Ed has estimated that around 67% never post and you need to ask yourself why. I have no axe to grind but a wish to preserve the blog as it celebrates its 10th year in 2017.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    May 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #5

    hilarious steve bruce seems to think himself, fat Sam and other British managers deserve a crack at some of the bigger jobs. last year 8 of the bottom 9 teams were managed by brits and Swansea only clawed their way out of the bottom 8 when they employed an Italian. otherwise all the bottom 8 would have been there because of brits. only mark Hughes managed to finish above a foreign manager last season.

    The only three brits that play decent football are Rodgers, howe, and possibly alex Neil. The rest are old school scrappers.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 31, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #6

    You need to be more robust. Besides, you don’t have to get into rucks with anyone; there easily avoidable. You and others should contribute regularly instead of popping up now and then to complain. If more of you do, it might change the dynamic and give you what you want.

  • cyprus

    May 31, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Comment #7

    I too am a long time poster and tbh I’ve learned a lot through the years. This place is a microcosm of the real world. You get all sorts, and just because you happen to support the same team doesn’t mean you’ll hit it off with everyone.

    So, learning to ignore some, converse and talk football with others, have a laugh, a heated discussion, etc. is all part and parcel.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 31, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    Comment #8

    On the Brits v Foreign managers. What do you put the Brits poor record down to?

    I would say the top managers over the years have been Brits: Shanks, Paisley, Clough, Fergy

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #9

    Fair points but you are a season ticket holder who follows football. Many don’t it seems and for example we had endless chat from tufff on Adam Johnson case which was all over the news so why on here endlessly. I like reading your chat usually. though I thought you lost it over ageism chat which went on for days and you lost the plot. Sorry if I am being to robust. This is a football blog and I don’t mind humour chat but not to remove any football chat. I don’t get into rucks with anyone think you need to cool it sometimes because you have good football chat. Just my opinion. There are some posters who have a lot to over but are picked on for being who they are rather than what they say. Just my opinion and thanks for your comments.

  • Jib

    May 31, 2016 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #10

    Zidane got €1.4 million for winning the CL but Rafa got €700,000
    Luvly Jubbly

  • Jib

    May 31, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #11

    Somebody some day will write a thesis on why so many good managers came from within a 30 mile radius in Western Scotland from mining comunities.
    Busby , Stein , Shankly , Ferguson and Bob Paisley , Clough and SBR came from NE mining communities !

  • Blofal

    May 31, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #12

    Soccer Sauce on twitter (who I rate very highly when it comes to transfer rumours) stated 10 days ago that Benitez was looking at Peter Crouch.

    On a one year deal that would be a very good move I think.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #13

    Carl…I wont answer for Ruddy. All I will say is yes he can be ferocious and that he has argued both sides of the coin during his time on this blog.

    I also know that he was victim of targeted abuse on here and have seen the emails from Ed.

    As I was saying in my first post, it seems your view on things is a tad one sided.

    For instance, yes Jib does provide some useful links and information. He is also known to bite at the ankles of those he dislikes, for whatever reason.

    My main point was about balance. There isn’t any.

    I know there are posters who don’t post because of the likes you are championing. It must be a question of taste. Just like in the real world.

    I agree with Blackley, you may need to be more robust. No need to not post. It’s a blog to share varying opinions.

    I do get confused why you mention Blackley being a ST holder as some sort of pass to post on the blog. Yet you mention to me about Ed’s intentions for it to be a global blog. With that, there will be lots who don’t attend games, just like me.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 31, 2016 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #14

    On the ageism craic and old Mr Carr, it’s fair to say it aroused some heated opinions. I was quite happy to respond to all of them. It was an important subject given the old fellow’s poor performance and baffling signings. There was still plenty of room on the blog for other topics. There always is. That’s how blog’s work. Come on more and talk about what you want.

  • The overrated Frenchman

    May 31, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #15

    I’d like to see Paul Simpson back. The way he handed out the bibs and put the cones out for training was the work of a visionary. He is also a vigorous gesticulator, which is always entertaining.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #16

    I will add, I think many of the disagreements stem from peoples view of what fans should and shouldn’t do, or what they should concentrate on or not.

    I know there are many fans who simply don’t care about matters above the manger, which is fine for them, but that doesn’t make it a taboo NUFC topic. As has been said before, it’s an open blog to discuss all matters. Don’t like the content, try adding something new, other than just complaining about other posters.

    Those who want to discuss certain subjects, will.

  • Yo-yo

    May 31, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #17

    I’m going give JIB my 110% support in his campaign against Ross McCormack becoming the new Charlie Austin on this blog and in Ed’s articles.

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #18

    Don’t be confused ferocious is not a word I would use maybe offensive and lacking good football experience. someone who has watched little at the ground football is not as knowledgeable as say a Blackley. When you go to a game you remember incidents which watching countless to games just fail to register after time. You create your own highlights and not the commentator. It’s not an event just ask Bobby who will recall performance movement of players who made a run but didn’t get a pass. I don’t get to watch games as much butBobby’s opinion on a player is always read by me. Ok he has his favourites but we al do.
    I am rushing because I have to leave.

  • Yo-yo

    May 31, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #19


    Realistically, its the slagging out and the ‘know nowt ‘ tags given to posters by other regular posters who have a teeny bit different opinion that cause the firestorms on here.
    We have a brand new WUM on the site the last week or so, doing his utmost to slag out almost every other regular poster but using an arcane approach to language to sort of make it pseudo intllectual and therefore funny.
    The multiples argument is never-ending, though I don’t know why, and the anti Ashley zealots pretty much slag out everybody else too.
    Honest differences of opinion ? … or as Jib described it, total hubris ?

  • richyg01

    May 31, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #20

    Wonder if he will offer Collo the job?

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #21

    Finally. You talk of balance but where is the balance when it involves Mike Ashley. As a fan I don’t care why he’s now doing the right things but am pleased. I don’t want to go back over his history other than as a means of trying to under and him and likely future actions.
    Some come on still to endlessly make the same points as if we’re all got memory loss.
    Your partner when he comes on just offends after all this time. Let’s live but learn. I always found you more likeable and not offensive to the Geordie nation. Many found shepherd and hall only looking are self interest.

  • lesh

    May 31, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #22


    Get JC in? Which one? The famous one who or the one said to have been born in Nazareth?

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #23

    Carl…Not a question of confusion, perhaps a differing opinion? That’s not to say I agree with everything Ruddy has said, I don’t and have said so. Let’s be real though, people don’t post because of Ruddy, who hardly ever posts anymore?

    I do take on board about people perhaps being better placed to make judgements at games. Then again, on this very blog, we’ve seen people giving varying opinions who have been at the same game. That’s life. If it works for you though, who am I to judge?

    Yo-Yo…But where do you draw that line? I’ve seen both, shall we call them “parties” calling each other names or randomly coming on and taking a swipe at each other. It isn’t just a one sided thing.

    I agree, it would make things easier if that sort of thing was dropped, but probably a tad unrealistic on a blog.

  • lesh

    May 31, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #24


    *…. the famous one who performed miracles or the one born on Nazareth…..

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #25

    Lesh… Are they not the same person? 🙂

    Carl…My partner? Grow up. I’m talking about blog balance. There you go again. “I don’t want to go back over his history other than as a means of trying to under and him and likely future actions”

    That’s good for you Carl, but others do. Ignore the posts and talk about what you want to discuss.

    Personally, I have found it hard for a long time to be genuinely excited about footballing matters at NUFC, as I just couldn’t see where any of it was going, due to Ashleys running of NUFC. For the first time, it does appear they’re doing the right things, but peoples skepticism is justified. Most are trying to enjoy the ride, why on Earth are we talking about Ruddy?

    You mention being offensive to the Geordie nation. It was Ashleys treatment of said Geordies that pushed me over the edge and many others.

    We do all want the same thing, we just see the path differently.

  • Very Terry

    May 31, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    Comment #26

    Carl (Ibiza, Cyprus)
    I agree with you Carl. Since leaving England 4 years ago i read this blog a lot (ask my wife :-/) but rarely post comments because I don’t want to get ‘sucked in’ to what often goes on here.
    I enjoy Ed’s tireless enthusiasm for all things NUFC and look to the comments for informed opinion, passion and wit which is often there but far too often (yesterday being a prime example) spoiled by bickering and name-calling which seems, frankly, a bit sad.
    IMHO, as they say, all posters should try to remember that most readers are here for the football knowledge and opinion and the humour that Geordies are renowned for and not personal vendetta, one-upmanship daft stuff which must have any visiting Makems rolling around with laughter.
    I’m in agreement with Carl, what do other blog-readers think?

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #27

    Maybe because you are defending the indefensible. You fail to appreciate the view held by many both on here and at a number of NUFC associations.

  • carl

    May 31, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #28

    I am getting owt !!!

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #29

    What is your relationship to Ian Toon?

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #30

    Jail…Not sure that is going to help anything.

    Carl…I’ve agreed there is an issue. I still think you lack balance when assessing those responsible. It isn’t one way traffic.

    I am simply stating my opinion Carl. Out of interest, do you consider this an argument?

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #31

    Anyway, the blog is open for business. Post as you see fit, within the guidelines Ed has set.

    Enjoy your day all.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    May 31, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #32

    Anybody know if Ian cathro is still at the club??

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #33

    No it isn’t but neither is randomly turning up on a blog to attack other posters for not posting football related chat while not mentioning football at all.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 31, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #34

    Jail…Then perhaps make that point?

  • Lilongwe Geordie

    May 31, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #35

    Yes he is. Or at least was when season ended and there has been no word of his departure.

  • JP...from The Rock

    May 31, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #36

    Colo needs to get the hell out pf this club. Cut all ties with that Agrgie twat. Out for 3 months with a mysterious calf injury!? Some captain, probably the less vocal captain we have ever had, ridiculous. Move on Colo ur are no longer wanted.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 31, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #37

    I’d agree with you on that one but JimmySmith made the point that he is a Championship experienced defender who’s would be useful back up until we get back to the PL. Personally get rid.

  • cyprus

    May 31, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Comment #38

    Not sure why the venom re Colo, right now. There was this poster who blamed everything on that guy, when he was finally out, the results got even worse. Fact is, NUFC have always had a poor back four, or, at least, never a complete back 4. Colo was probably one of the better ones there, if you ask me. At least he could control the ball… which I guess says a lot about the quality back there.

    Many have been victimised, individually, it’s not that simple. Danny Simpson is a classic case of this, he now wears a medal.

  • cyprus

    May 31, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #39

    Very Terry,
    I agree with your post.

    Anyway, when we are winning it’s all love and kisses on here. It’s almost pathetic 🙂

    When we lose, nerves are jangling, patience is short.

  • cjtoon

    May 31, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #40

    Ironically with Lascelles, Mbemba, Janmaat, Colo & Dummett (Taylor If he Stays) I think we have a better defence than we have had in a long time, with decent cover in Haidara, Good & Mbabu plus Sterry & Satka maybe…

    I don’t think we need to do much with it for a season in the championship – only replace any outgoings, which there may be a few…granted.

    As cyprus said we have seen scapegoats made of a handful of our defenders in recent memories – Santon, Staylor, Colo & Janmaat to an extent too. I would love to see Mbemba and Lascelles get a season together next season they could form a great base to the team.


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