Another Reported Benitez Conflict Debunked


We’ve been surprised that Rafa Benitez has looked quite a warm personality since he joined Newcastle United and the thing we remember when he was at Liverpool was that he was reported to be detached from his players.

Steven Gerrard’s comments that he never told him he had played well during Rafa’s Liverpool stay also stands out.

But Steven did admit Rafa was the best coach he ever had at Liverpool and that he played his best football when Rafa was at the club.

We’ve seen Rafa be warm with a number of the Newcastle players and certainly no breakups with his players at Newcastle.

albert riera

Albert Riera while at Liverpool

It seems to us the press have made far too much of the stuff that was going on when he was at Liverpool.

Back in March 2010, Benitez fined and transfer listed then 28 year-old Spanish International Albert Riera after the left-sided player  had said Rafa was coaching a sinking ship.

In addition, Riera was quoted in the press as saying the relationship Rafa had with his players was “practically nil” and hinted in addition the reason he wasn’t in the Liverpool starting line-up was personal.

However, six years on Riera has explained his quotes at the time were taken out of context as he tried to explain to Anfield HQ recently:

“The only problem was the media.” “I was frustrated when I was not included in the Spain squad for the World Cup in 2010, because I hadn’t had a lot of playing time in the Premier League for like two months.”

“So journalists put some words in my mouth saying that the person who was responsible for me not being included in the Spain squad was Rafa.” “After that I did another interview and said that I have to be my first critic.”

“But the media was not interested anymore.” “I have a normal relationship with Rafa – I meet him from time to time like at Pepe Reina’s wedding, or some family parties.”

“Rafa and Pepe also share the same agent.” “I had signed with him, too, when I was 18, but I’ve never had an agent since then because I was scared of them.”

“I’m the one who manages my career with the help of my lawyer.”

Of course you cannot be too close to your players because then your judgement can be affected, as it seemed to be with Steve McClaren, who wouldn’t drop either Sissoko or Wijnaldum when he had ample opportunity to do so after some away games last season.

It seems the players ultimately lost their respect for McClaren.

Certainly if you are playing and look at the touchline and see the coach with his head in his hands it wouldn’t give you much confidence – you would think – we are not doing very well.

🙂

You cannot be the nice guy all the time and be ultra successful, because on occasion  it sometimes needs a ruthless streak.

But there’s no doubt who is the boss at Newcastle United these days.

Comments welcome.

Note – with a 0-0 draw against Slovakia and Wales hammering Russia 3-0 tonight – Wales win the group in Euro 2016 – a poor show by England today – they still don’t seem to have the killer instinct against weaker sides.



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62 comments so far

  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    Comment #1

    Their two centre -backs were too big and strong for Sturridge and Vardey. AC would have been handy to chuck on in a game like that.

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  • Yo-yo

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:04 PM

    Comment #2

    Who won the group betty ?
    It was like they were playing in Cardiff.
    And I hope Gary is proud of them.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Comment #3

    Yes all credit to Wales . Like Jib said a small country against a huge one. Ramsey and Bale are the difference. We just can’t seem to unlock a packed defence when they sit back with ten men behind the ball.

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  • jimmysmith

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:09 PM

    Comment #4

    The last six games and the surprise of pundits and opposing managers that we were down in the bottom third suggests the squad is decent. I’ve long felt that our problems were the result of mismanagement for the two or more years prior to Rafa’s arrival, not the quality of the squad. Essentially mismanagement created a somewhat fragile vulnerable group, but that was then in the EPL, and this is now in the Championship, under Benitez.

    I think we need to replace Taylor, Obertan and Marv with two good young prospects, and move Dummett to CB and buy a legit left back and keep what we have as a priority. Anything achieved beyond that would be a bonus, but not essential.

    At the end of the season, Collocini, Gouffran, Rivierre, Ameobi and a few others come off contract. Which would provide ideal timing to strengthen appropriately and more easily for the task at hand and at just the the right time.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:11 PM

    Comment #5

    I think we are better using pace to get in behind defences but how can we catch teams on the break when they stay in their own half.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Comment #6

    England I’m on about.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:21 PM

    Comment #7

    Woy just said hindsight about team selection! Bollox, as soon as I got off the chopper and switched my phone on, I said he’s taking this lightly for a must win game, six changes for a team just starting to gain ryhthym was fcuking amateur as was his decision to have Kane taking corners against Russia!!

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:22 PM

    Comment #8

    Get in there the sheepshaggers (well that’s what muppets say anyway) are top of the group, get the frig in there, and by the way we are not a one man team.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Comment #9

    fair play to your lads welshie, you can stop wishing you were English for a few days!!

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  • jimmysmith

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #10

    Yes well done Wales, but Jesus, 3 nil. The Russians are probably on a freight train to the gulags as we speak. What a rubbish tournament altogether for Putins men.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Comment #11

    Well done Welshie. Great result for your boyos. I didn’t say one man team , I said Bale and Ramsey were the difference. That’s two.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #12

    Jail…. I think he just assumed we were going to win and gambled on shuffling his pack. Rooney has to play, he’s a great orchestrator .

    By the way who’s chopper did you just get off ?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:40 PM

    Comment #13

    Jimmy,
    There’ll be videos of Putin doing judo and England fans running away all over the news and papers to make out they had a really good time of it.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #14

    Betty

    My dear friend, we are not a one or even a two man team.

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:41 PM

    Comment #15

    Welshie

    Your lads did very well but I wonder how you would have done if you had to face 3 teams in the group who were prepared to park the bus, concede possession and try to hit you on the break.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Comment #16

    Betty,
    It was an AW139 and I don’t know who it belongs to.
    Of course he assumed it was a win, but it wasn’t a matter of course, it was a must win game, an unlucky goal could have seen us in third.

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:47 PM

    Comment #17

    Expat

    Best team finished top.

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  • jimmysmith

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #18

    I think it’s reasonable policy to rotate the squad and show faith in players not in the first choice 11. We really were all over them. Why might be thinking he should’ve taken Wor Andy instead of Rashford.

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  • Tsunki

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    Comment #19

    Been a completely awful tournament so far imo. The sooner the crap teams who play to percentages are out the better.

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  • jimmysmith

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #20

    “Woy”

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    Comment #21

    What i can’t understand is why England never do well in the euros or the World Cup, best time was under Sir Bobby Robson, when you put a group of players together from the two Manchester teams, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal then i always wonder why you never do well, somethings wrong somewhere.

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  • Munster Mag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:54 PM

    Comment #22

    Well done the welsh boys, cant imagine too many english fans expected ye to win the group. Meanwhile ireland u20s are into the final of the rugby world cup. Fine achievement from a small country where rugby is not the main sport.

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #23

    I believe England were unbeaten and defeated Wales which possibly negates your comment there. Time will tell though.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    Comment #24

    Welshie……. Some of your senior players look a bit past their sell by date. Sort of like mutton dressed as lamb.

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:57 PM

    Comment #25

    Liverpool and Man City in for Townsend allegedly

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  • jimmysmith

    Jun 20, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Comment #26

    I think the problem isn’t so much England, as much as Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Holland, Argentina and Brazil refusing to jolly well doff their caps, tug their forelocks, and roll over.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #27

    We’re in the most difficult side of the draw now, could play Portugal next and our record against them in Championships isn’t the best.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #28

    Well, we didn’t suck. No. We didn’t win but we didn’t suck either…..

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  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Comment #29

    Well done Wales. A tremendous effort. Russia goes home. There is a silver lining after all.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #30

    We weren’t particularly good either though, were we G2?

    expat…Both of those seem like terrible moves for Townsend. Whilst I rate him, I can’t see him getting the game time he craves at either of those.

    Best off with us…then I would say that.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Welshie…… Your elongated headed horse faced hero is top scorer now.

    He must be a centaur.

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  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #32

    Good points there Tsunki mate. Really boring to watch a team play for a draw like Slovakia did. They suck.

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:04 PM

    Comment #33

    Betty

    No problem with Portugal. Just make sure Robaldo keeps taking all their penalties and free kicks

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  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #34

    We weren’t particularly good Ibiza mate, no. Possibly vaguely good or trying to trot over in the direction of good. That’s as far as I’ll go. Harrumph…..

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #35

    Betty

    Or a CENTAUR forward…….lol

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  • welshgeordie9

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #36

    Expat

    You should have beaten Russia but you didn’t, yes you had all the possession against Wales but it took you in injury time to get the 2nd and the winner and also you should be looking at beating Slovakia but you didn’t.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:05 PM

    Comment #37

    G2@28….. Be careful with those comments you might get sucked into it as well.

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  • bettyswallocks

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #38

    Expat….. Very good.

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  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #39

    “trying to trot over in the direction of good” I can go along with. In fact, I’ll throw in a…well said G2!

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  • expatmag

    Jun 20, 2016 at 11:06 PM

    Comment #40

    Welshie

    As usual, you missed the point

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