Interesting Comments From Rafa During His Radio Call-In

Rafa Benitez has just finished the Radio Newcastle call-in show with Mick Lowes where Newcastle fans had the opportunity to call in for an hour and ask questions of the Newcastle manager.

It was a fascinating call-in and Rafa did reveal some things that we had not been aware of before and of course fans could listen from around the world since it’s all available on the Internet.

We have put together some of the interesting points – but every fan should listen to the call-in once it’s available from Radio Newcastle.

rafa benitez smiling

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

Here are some of the points we found interesting and not in any particular order:

  • There will be an announcement tomorrow at 9:30 am when the club will announce the new captain for the season and what the numbers will be for the players.
    There were two players who wanted to wear the number 9 jersey and Rafa suggested a competition to determine who should get it – but the players decided between themselves ho will wear the number 9 jersey – so somebody tomorrow will get the number 9 jersey – and Rafa said he knows all about it – and that Alan Shearer was once the iconic number 9 at Newcastle – of course.
    But does he know who Jackie Milburn is?
  • Rafa was asked a couple of times why he decided to stay at Newcastle and he said what basically he has  said in the past – it was mainly because of the way the fans had related to him.
    He also looked at the club and how massive it was, so those are the two major reasons he decided to stay at the club.
    Rafa also mentioned that when he met with Mike Ashley the owner told him that he wanted Lee Charnley and Rafa to basically run the club together.
  • On Ayoze Perez he said he thought his best position is behind the main striker – the number 10 position – but Ayoze will also have to be prepared to play in other positions – like on the wing.
    He mentioned that Newcastle had indeed received two offers for Ayoze during the summer with one of them being quite a big offer – but the club turned them down because they want to keep Ayoze.
  • Rafa was asked the difference between Liverpool and Newcastle since Liverpool has two clubs and Newcastle has but one.
    Rafa said when he first went to Liverpool they got a great reception from the fans, but he pointed out they were winning from the off at Liverpool and he won the Champions League there in his very first season in 2005 at Liverpool.
    He pointed out the difference at Newcastle was that the fans wanted him there after he had arrived and  was basically losing because he was not able to save Newcastle.
    That’s one difference that Rafa and his coaches saw.
  • Rafa has brought in players who he thinks are young (if you are 26 you have 10 years left) but can grow into Premier League players in the future and that’s why he has offered most of them five year deals.
    Rafa said if we are promoted then it’s obvious that Newcastle will have to buy more players.
  • On the goalkeeper situation he brought in Matz Sels because Tim Krul and Rob Elliot would not be fit in August and it could take a few months before both are fit and well again.
    So by the end of the year Newcastle could have five goalkeepers all competing for the first team position, but he’d rather have that than be short of goalkeepers.
    He mentioned maybe in January he can send out young Freddie Woodman on loan, but it doesn’t seem any goalkeeper will leave Newcastle in August.
    Tim Krul could still win back the number one jersey – or Rob Elliot could win the number one jersey – it will be based on performances and any one of four goalkeepers can win the jersey – he said Freddie was too young.
  • On Moussa Sissoko he said that if he has to go then OK – as long as Newcastle receive the right offer for him, but if he has to stay that’s good too – because Moussa is a good player.
    Rafa said he liked Moussa as a player and he also  likes him as a person and he has talked to both the player and his agent on the current situation and thinks Moussa will be professional – whatever happens.
  • The name of Rafa’s home in Liverpool is Lindisfarne – and he said he did want to visit Lindisfarne in Northumberland  and his wife is a bit of a history buff and has been telling him of the history behind Holy Island – Rafa says he must visit Lindisfarne and fairly soon. Here’s some history on Lindisfarne – and there will (could) be a test on it at the end of this week.
  • Rafa said he hasn’t talked to the new Sunderland manager Davide Moyes – mainly because they are both busy in a hectic pre-season – but they usually meet up and talk at the LMA meetings and that’s when he meets and talks with the other managers in the league.
  • Rafa still wants maybe another three players brought in, but it looks like Rafa has given up on Anthony Knockaert of Brighton  because it seems Brighton – who are a rival for promotion – will simply not sell him to Newcastle.
  • Finally Rafa was asked a few times what his long terms goals are for the club and he said a couple of times – winning at Fulham on Friday. He is so pragmatic and didn’t want to talk too much – other than about this season and getting promoted.
    But he did say that he wanted to build a team that could compete with any team  and you can take that as if he wanted to build a tip-top team in Europe – it would need to be that if we can compete with any team in the future.
    Although Rafa didn’t say that – I did. 🙂

here’s the link to BBC Radio Newcastle.
Comments welcome.

171 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:28 PM

    Comment #1

    Unbelievably honest interview, it was totally live as well, normally they have a seven second seven delay to stop swearing

  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #2

    Such a breath of fresh air!!


    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #3

    2 new signings and a radio interview…this new NUFC is unsettling similar to a football club, has anyone checked on the round man from down south with illegitimate lineage?

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:35 PM

    Comment #4

    Makro was saying similar things that sounded good and positive. The difference is that Rafa has the CV and is much more likeable. If he can’t get it right, who can? That’s why the fans will have a massive amount of patience with him. I think Rafa will need it too because it’s not going to be easy. Certainly I’d be surprised if there aren’t any difficult times, with possibly a run of defeats, and Rafa will be severely tested.

  • Jib

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:36 PM

    Comment #5

    Rafa’s broadcast
    You’ll have to join the prog halfway thru

  • Jib

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    Comment #6

    Jail is 1 hr 13 seconds in or thereabouts

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #7

    Old Blackas won’t be making any bold predictions at this stage other than a top 8 finish.

    One of Rafa’s new boys is moving in next door so I’ll have to be careful what I say and cut the lad some slack if need be. Rest assured I’ll be giving him some pointers, and I can only see him going from strength to strength.

    I’m so much looking forward to the start of the season, especially to see the new look team on TV on Friday. I’ve got a ST for Huddersfield Town this season too so I’m hoping to get down there on Saturday.

  • Belfast

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Comment #8

    Video killed the radio star!!


    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:49 PM

    Comment #9

    Jail is famous now? Jesus wept

    Just listening to the interview now and I still love Rafa haha

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:56 PM

    Comment #10

    The interesting part of Rafa’s response was that he’s made some big mistakes on transfers. I love his honesty.

  • Jib

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:57 PM

    Comment #11

    That should be 1 hr 13 minutes 30 seconds

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #12

    I thought it was a good question, would have preferred the delivery a bit better but I don’t spend every day on the radio!

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #13

    I couldn’t listen to it live. Listening now as it’s archived.


    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #14

    Haha it was a good question explains why Gamez and Diame didnt get longer contracts etc

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #15

    It was, as I said totally live as well, can you imagine Pardew doing that, he bottled the last one and that wouldn’t of been live anyway.

  • BandB

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    Comment #16

    Thank you Jib. I’d have hated to miss Jail for Ashley on the wireless.
    Jail, you did well to remember your name.
    I sometimes forgot mine.
    The only thing I can compare with is that moment when the teacher catches you laughing, and asks you to share the joke with the whole class.

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:05 PM

    Comment #17

    This is the direct link to the archived recording if you missed it:

  • Laurent Robert 32

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #18

    Just seen Jib’s post with the link as well.

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #19

    Great Leicester goal.

  • martoon

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:09 PM

    Comment #20

    Evening guys – last call for your season predictions – I need your:

    Final League Position
    Final no. of points
    League Cup round
    FA Cup round
    Player of the Season (Blog)
    Top goal scorer (TGS)
    No. of goals for TGS

    Please put martoon in your post so I can find it easily.

    So far I have predictions from:
    JP…from The Rock
    Our Toon
    Jail for Ashley
    Charlie in the Gallowgate
    outside the box
    one fine day
    southeast magpie
    nut meg
    The overrated Frenchman
    Oleg G
    Very Terry
    Essex Geordie Bill
    The American
    Rafa Revolution
    Back Door Man
    toon kk
    the white tino
    Ruddy Marveaux-lous
    Kabul Fish
    Toon fm Exeter
    Spotlight Kid
    TacoFlavoredKisses ForMyBen-arfa
    Hail Wor Ashley
    Mister Tuff
    dok – the horrid colonial
    El Sleeve
    Munster Mag
    off the ball
    The one and Ayoze 17
    Shot Bru
    Laurent Robert 32

    Apologies if I’ve missed you.


    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #21

    That last question’s response is brilliant, hes not taking the Championship for granted at all

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #22

    We still need a top striker IMO. Reading between the lines, I think Rafa believes that too. Trouble is, of course, they’re hard to come by.

  • jane

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #23

    Goodness me, genuine turf-scorching pace from Leicester sub Ahmed Musa as he blasts past the last defender, manoeuvres the ball onto his left foot and pokes home.

  • Jib

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #24

    B and B
    Worse than that is eating a dainty , blackjack or midget gem and having to get the packet out and pass it round.

  • jane

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #25

    martoon i missed who won last season’s prediction competition? wasn’t me as i had Charlie Austin TGS 😐

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #26

    I like the way he has told Armstrong it’s better to join a Championship team that doesn’t need to win every game.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Comment #27

    Player of the season Lascelles
    Top scorer Gayle
    At this stage the other categories are pin the tail on the donkey. We can give an informed, meaningful opinion after the first 4 games. In short, I haven’t a scooby.

  • even the stevens

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #28

    Just wanted to mention a few things, and to touch on what some people said during the phone in and also on the blog in recent times. You can definitely feel a change in the way the club is now being run. It is a lot more open, a lot more communication is happening now then ever has done for a long time. You can tell Rafa is deciding for himself what he wants to say in interviews and not being limited to pre writen scripts. I remember when Steve mcclaren was first appointed manager and he wouldn’t even talk to the press on his way from the ground to answer questions. What a change has taken place. Gone are the days when we were the joke of football thanks to the people running the club. We now have a club and a team everyone is proud of and other fans even envious

    I was at the open day on Monday, the atmosphere around the place was terrific, all the staff were fantastic and it was great to see the club putting on such an event for the fans, completely free and was a superb day.

    I always have hope and optimism that we can do well but with the momentum building I feel the hope is turning to belief.

    Last Saturday I took my 7 month old daughter up to the stadium to get a baby grow ready for Friday kick off so we could watch the football together, I ended up getting her the full strip with name on the back – much to the annoyance of my wife. I can not wait for the start of the new season, it seems the future is bright, hwtl.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #29

    I don’t see the logic of loaning Armstrong to a competitor.

  • ToonTiger

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #30

    McCormack not moved yet has he? I wouldn’t be surprised

  • tomellifred360

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    Comment #31

    NUFC Fantasy Football.


    All welcome

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Comment #32

    Like he said, to a team that doesn’t need to win every game, a mid table club that he might hopefully take points off our rivals.

  • giimps

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:24 PM

    Comment #33

    Final League Position 1
    Final no. of points 103
    League Cup round 5th round
    FA Cup round qf
    Player of the Season (Blog) Diame
    Top goal scorer (TGS) Gaylel
    No. of goals for TGS 19

    I hope that’s in the right format


  • Novocastrian66

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Comment #34

    martoon; thanks for the update. Glad you got mine as I’m in Greece at the moment with very ropey internet connection and I wasn’t sure it was posted.

  • so-far-king-quick

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #35

    Reading through the rumors they reckon the mackems have been told to pay 10m if they want januzaj, if he would come would anyone take him ? I definitely would surely worth a look would rather pay 10m- 15m for him then for mccormack even potentional resale value aswell

  • BandB

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #36

    Swansea SOLD Shelvey to us Blackley.
    And they were relegation rivals (right up to that point, actually)
    I can see the logic.
    He seems to have doubts whether he is a particular prodigy.
    Though I am puzzled that Rafa hasn’t spotted yet that Armstrong is the greatest young player ever…….
    ……….not to manage a single Premier league goal.

  • jane

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #37

    GOAL – Barcelona 3-2 Leicester
    Ahmed Musa
    Posted at
    Whack! You don’t save those! Ahmed Musa chases down the Barca keeper, and then more pressing forces left-back Juan Camara into an error. Jeff Schlupp muscles him out of the way and finds Musa 15 yards out. Right-footed this time, and the same result, Wooshed into the top corner,

  • edtheduck

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:34 PM

    Comment #38


    Thanks for doing this…

    Final League Position 1st

    Final Number of Points 104

    League Cup. Winners

    FA Cup QF

    Player of the Season blog Richie

    TGS Mitrovich

    TGS Goals 27

  • Jail for Ashley

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #39

    Rafa, like we all thought has evaluated him and given him a chance. We all heard from the horses mouth that, diplomatically he doesn’t think he’s ready for the sharp end of the promotion battle whereas he might be able to show what he can do at a mid table Championship club just as Andy Carroll did.

  • BandB

    Aug 3, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Comment #40

    Well done Jail!

    You managed to avoid calling the single female contributor a “lady caller.”

    Not a BBC word, “lady”, Mick.

    You’ll get your fat arse singed for that in the morning, Mick.

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