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News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

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Even More Plaudits For Rafa Benitez

10:59 pm, Saturday, June 4th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 11 Comments

Real Madrid sacked Rafa Benitez in early January after just six months in charge, after some bad results, but that was in spite of Real still being third in La Liga.

They had also just qualified for the round of the last 16 of the Champions League which they eventually won for the second time in three years and 11th time overall, when they beat cross town rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties in the final.

A 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in November was the tipping point for Rafa and the Real fans turned against the man who is now the very popular Newcastle manager.

rafa benitez may 25 2016

Rafa Benitez – at Newcastle

Real defender Pepe had been dropped by Rafa early in the season and had been critical of the manager, but the Portuguese International has said on reflection that Benitez had done well at Real and his contribution should not be forgotten.

This is what Pepe said:

“I’m always sincere with my words and I must say I really liked the way he worked.” 

“Benitez is a great professional and has good coaching methods, but was unlucky.” “Luck is needed in order to be successful regardless of the amount of work you put in.”

“Rafa was honest with me – I was not a part of his ideal starting defence, but I asked him to give me a chance to prove myself.”

“Madrid’s strength lies in our fans.” “Being booed at Santiago Bernabeu is a struggle, but you realize the club’s greatness.”

“A player must reflect on his performance and keep pushing to the limit so those boos become cheers.”

“We have a demanding home crowd but they also have great respect to our opponents, as they praised Atletico Madrid after the final.”

“They enjoy the good times and hold their players to a high standard of play.”

Everything is now in place for Rafa to make Newcastle great again – and take us back to being one of England’s top clubs.

Unfortunately it has to start in the second division after total incompetence by those running the club last season meant we deserved to be relegated.

But with Rafa now in charge of all football matters at the club we expect Newcastle to start winning again, just like we did in the last six games  of last season when we amassed 12 points as the manager had Newcastle looking like a top six side.

Hopefully we can get promoted straight back to the Premier League in the coming season.

Comments welcomed.

Note: Sad to see the passing of the great Muhammad Ali yesterday – he was an inspiration to me when growing up and he ‘s the most courageous sportsman there’s ever been – in my book – truly the greatest.

Tags: Championship · European Champions League · Management · Newcastle News · Other News

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bobbybee // Jun 4, 2016 at 11:24 PM


  • 2 Bobbybee // Jun 4, 2016 at 11:31 PM

    Aaaargh! Pardew to trigger townsends release clause. No, anywhere but there. Opening up wounds hardly yet healed.

    Lil, i think the board still stands, certainly until after the so called inquest. I think Charnley and Rafa understand one another, they seem so relaxed together. We do need checks and balances, but from reading between the lines, I think they might have already worked that out. Rafa will run the club on all football matters, leaving Charnley with the purse strings. You have to have a limit to spending after years of balancing the books.

  • 3 Bobbybee // Jun 4, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    And on that rather annoying news about Palace, I shall retire to continue my book. Thanks to all for stress free blogging, been very enjoyable. 😉 g’night to all.

  • 4 BarcelonaMag // Jun 5, 2016 at 12:20 AM

    If you manage Real Madrid you’re on a hiding to nothing. You win the Spanish league and/or the Champions League, and you do it in style or you’re toast. Brilliant managers like Ancelotti and Pellegrini have been shown the door there for doing nothing wrong.So, the rubbish being spouted here in Spain about Rafa being a spent force is just that: rubbish. He’s class and it’s great to have him.

  • 5 jimmysmith // Jun 5, 2016 at 12:31 AM

    Would quite like to see Vardy at Arsenal. Not my favourite club, but certainly a side that plays the game admirably, and Vardy could really excel there. He has a unique combination of endless movement, searing pace, takes the ball in his stride amazingly well, and has a thunderbastard shot in either foot. He may well win back to back titles should he go, and be the catalyst for it both times.

  • 6 jimmysmith // Jun 5, 2016 at 12:46 AM

    Vardy 20 million, McCormack 15. There’s cinder in snow’s chance of Fulham getting near that from anyone, much less us.

  • 7 jimmysmith // Jun 5, 2016 at 1:11 AM

    The Ali Shuffle

  • 8 expatmag // Jun 5, 2016 at 4:37 AM

    Hopefully Townsend will realise that by playing for Pardew next season, he will probably be involved in another relegation battle so it would be better to remain where he is.

  • 9 Jib // Jun 5, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    I wonder if the 33 yar old Képler Laveran Lima Ferreira – more commonly known as Pepe is making all those nice noises about Rafa because he fancies joining Arbeloa at NUFC.

    That would be some story.

    In floods of tears at the San Siro after helping RM to their 11th CL and a few months later turning out at BurtonAlbion !

  • 10 expatmag // Jun 5, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    Not a chance

  • 11 Jib // Jun 5, 2016 at 8:06 AM

    I think this could be Rolando Aarons break-out season.
    There’s something about left-wingers at the Toon – since Ginola and Robert we really haven’t had one to drool over.
    Rafa will defo go with 4-2-3-1 in the Championship.
    A fit deJong should easily be able to play no 10 , Equally Shelvey as the passing midfielder next to Tiote (30 two weeks on Tuesday)
    The only real head scratcher is a natural No9

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