There’s a very good piece in the Chronicle today, where they have had a question and answer session with Rafa’s biographer Paco Lloret, who is the sports journalist for Valencia and who got to know Rafa while he was at Valencia for three years, between 2001 and 2004, when he left to join Liverpool.
It was a surprise but also a tremendous coup when, with the massive help of the Geordie fans, Newcastle persuaded Rafa to stay on as Newcastle manager, even through we will be a second division side next season.
Paco Lloret – Valencia sports journalist and Benitez biographer
And in the annual Chronicle survey, which they have just competed, a massive 98% of fans think Rafa is the right man for the Newcastle job.
Paco Lloret’s biography on Rafa Benitez
So to say the least – the world-class manager is very popular on Tyneside.
Paco LLoret had some insights about Benitez, when he was asked why he thought Rafa decided to stay on at Newcastle.
“After his bad experience in Real Madrid, Rafa needs to be working for a club which offers him time and calmness from the beginning, which is certainly not something he experienced at the Bernabeu.”
“Newcastle can be the right place for this because he feels respect and love from people: supporters, directors and journalists. Everyone it seems.”
“But in Madrid he didn’t receive a good deal and it was very tough.”
“Really, nobody trusted him and he tried to convince them that his ideas would eventually pay off in order to be accepted but he failed to do so.”
“Now he is free from all of that and he can be himself again without this great pressure.”
“He is excited to embrace this atmosphere in Newcastle and extend it going forward.”
And finally, Paco seems to know all about the Tyneside club, when he was asked if Rafa has been impressed with Newcastle United as a club:
“Sure, he knows what Newcastle means.” “For a start, he knows the immense history of the club and the strength of the fans.”
“What Rafa realises is this is a great club that currently finds itself in a bad moment.”
“He wants to restore that over the coming years.
“If he does well and he’s successful, he’ll want to do so in his own way.”
“Rafa will want to put his own imprint on to Newcastle.”
It’s great to have Rafa at Newcastle and the future looks bright going forward, with the 56 year-old at the helm.