Rob Elliot has given an interview today and he reveals that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez gave him a heads-up on the signing of Matz Sels before he arrived a couple of weeks ago.
It was basically Rafa reassuring Rob that he has every confidence in him for Newcastle – and that he shouldn’t worry and that Matz would be good competition for him.
A bit of classy man-management there from the Newcastle manager.
Rob Elliot – has been reassured by Rafa Benitez
Rob Elliot speaking to Eir Sports (formerly Setanta Sport):
“It’s quite a cliche for footballers coming back from injury to say they’re feeling stronger.”
“But in my case, with the tendon being repaired, I could barely kick a ball towards the end of last season, getting it to the halfway line only.”
“My kicking has always been one of my strengths and I lost a bit of that.” “I’m hoping with the work I do in the gym on my thigh and knee that I’ll come back stronger and feel 100%, as I haven’t been like that for a year or two.”
“The manager phoned me when the club signed Matz Sels and said: ‘I’m really happy with you, it’s good competition – but I like you as a goalkeeper so don’t worry’.”
“I told him that competition was good, it only makes you better. It was nice of him to do that he didn’t have to, he could have waited until I saw the transfer.”
“It’s good that he’s brought me over for pre-season training camp in County Kildare and it’s good that he has told me that he likes me as a goalkeeper, but that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going to come back into the team.”
That’s what we really like about Rob Elliot – he knows he cannot take anything for granted at Newcastle yet he showed just how much of a leader he can be for the Magpies last season.
Rob was simply great for Newcastle and was our Player of the Season in our annual poll and deserved to be too.
We’ll just have to wait and see until Rob is fully fit again – maybe in a couple of months – so he can fight it out with Matz Sels, Karl Darlow and Tim Krul for the number one goalkeeper jersey.
But we half expect Tim to be sold this summer – probably to Everton.