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

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Rafa Does Newcastle Proud

1:20 pm, Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 66 Comments

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez traveled to Switzerland on the last day of the transfer window and he was one of a small number of Europe’s leading club coaches who were meeting in Nyon to discuss a number of key issues to do with the modern game of football.

rafa benitez with top coaches yesterday

The UEFA Elite Club Coaches’ Forum includes Rafa Benitez

The UEFA Elite Club Coaches’ Forum was formed back in 1999, and it gives top coaches a chance to meet each other in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

They are encouraged to give UEFA their opinions, proposals and ideas to improve the game of football.

The coaches qualify by having managed in more than 100 Champions League games.

And because of that it is virtually unheard of for a second-tier club like Newcastle to be represented at a forum like this.

That’s the question put to Rafa on the Newcastle web-site yesterday and this is how he answered:

“Yes it is unusual, but I think it is very good for Newcastle United because I am representing the Club at the top level, at a prestigious meeting like this.”

“I can make sure I can bring back to Newcastle experience and information from the conference to help the Club.”

Rafa  certainly does Newcastle proud and he is so well regarded in football circles.

The Forum meets about once a year and it is chaired by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Do you recognize any more of the top coaches in the photograph above?

Comments welcome.

Note: I still have no internet access at home from Time Warner – and it looks like it will be tomorrow at the earliest before it’s fixed – thanks to our local Starbucks for allowing me to get these articles out today – the coffee’s good too!

Tags: Coaching · European Champions League · European Competition · Management · Newcastle News · Other News

66 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tsunki // Sep 3, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    John Carver shouldn’t have been put behind Wenger, he’s too short.

  • 2 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 3, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Meanwhile, near Crystal Palace, a silver haired man with a long pointy nose anxiously checks his watch waiting for a driver to pick him and take him to the prestigious meeting.

    The driver never showed up…

  • 3 Our Toon // Sep 3, 2016 at 1:54 PM


    Nope haven’t said players aren’t to blame, they should also carry the can but nowhere as much as the regime.

    Look at how the likes of cisse, tiote, sissoko etc started there careers here, they were flying but as gini said lots of good plans he was told about but none of them became a reality. Once these lads knew they were sold a lie that was it.

    I’m glad rafa has come in, hopefully we will see him reign for a long time.

  • 4 Jail for Ashley // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    When did Wijnaldum say that?

  • 5 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    The guy that served the 11o’clock biccies and coffee – was representing Sunderland

  • 6 Our Toon // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:18 PM

    In his interview when he explained his joy at joining liverpool….he also expressed no regrets over joining us

  • 7 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:18 PM

  • 8 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:22 PM

  • 9 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:23 PM

  • 10 Jail for Ashley // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    Where does he say he was told a pack of lies. I don’t doubt it just want to read the interview.

  • 11 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:25 PM

  • 12 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:28 PM

  • 13 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:29 PM

  • 14 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    The worm says.

    “I don’t doubt it
    I just want to read the interview”

    Get reading bonny lad

  • 15 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Our Toon/Laurent from two threads back

    It will be interesting to see where Yedlin does fit in, Laurent is right as he did play more as a winger when he came on but is that the intention or was that just to give the lad some game time so he could get a feel for the side that he has joined, I think its the latter but when it comes to cover for Ritchie then he could be used thee with good effect, what is interesting is where Anita who seems to be Rafa’s favourite will fit in, for me he is dreadful in every position where he has played apart from RB where even I have been impressed with him, for me the defence has to be one unit and not four individuals and they have to move forward together and drop back together and make sure that they work in tandem with the midfield when doing this, this is why Janmaat is now at his best, because he has gone, he just couldn’t do the team ethic bit whereas Anita who I don’t like can and does do the team ethic bit which is why I like him as a RB, but will Anita get a RB birth when we have Yedlin and Gamez who are both Rafa signing’s wanting that same birth, it’s going to be interesting.

    Can Yedlin do the team ethic bit, I’m not sure that he can but he was certainly getting better and better at it for the unwashed last season, and then there is Gamez, he certainly can buy into the team ethic and the defence is one system, it’s what he specialises in so who will get that position, god only knows.

    What also interests me is Lazaar, his last two seasons have allegedly been his best two seasons and during the last two seasons he has played as a LW more times than he has played as a LB, I honestly feel that if either of Yedlin or Lazaar are to be wingers then Lazaar is the most likely, another reason why I think this could be the case is due to something which I may have got totally wrong as I was convinced that Gamez was bought to be Janmaat’s replacement, I could have that wrong as it looks as if he could be used more on the left to challenge Dummett which then makes you wonder why have we then bought Lazaar, none of us know but it could be a case of Anita and Yedlin fighting for RB with Dummett and Gamez fighting for RB with Ritchie, Gouffran, Atsu, Aarons and Lazaar fighting for the winger positions with Yedlin, Anita and Lazaar being able to cover both FB and wing positions, it’s so confusing at the minute and it will be very interesting to see exactly how it pans out.

  • 16 Toon Tang // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Pards and Carvs were bringing the refreshment trolly in supposedly.

  • 17 Jail for Ashley // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    The worm?
    You still a bit sore from being put in your place again this morning. You really are so transparent. Have you ever actually discussed anything on here jiberish. You sneer and post links and everytime you get put in your place you either disappear or hurl insults. Complete no-mark.

  • 18 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    I don’t think Sunderland’s massive list of former managers has a hundred CL matches between them !

  • 19 Toon Tang // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    My favourite moment from Rafa so far, above anything else, is the way he just chops players from the team no questions asked. No matter who you are, if you perform shit you’re getting chopped. I wonder where he acquired this revolutionary approach? It’s something we’ve been missing for an absolute age.

  • 20 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    Rafa will go to 3 across the back with wing backs if the need arises .
    So that may have something to do with the diverse skills of some of his signings.

    Sorry Jail this is footy talk .

    Just sit in the corner and do a crossword or summat.

  • 21 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Toon Tang
    Even the iconic Stevie G wasn’t immune !

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Toon Tang,
    It would be absolutely great to give Pardew some extra strong truth serum, quadruple strength to actually get an idea of what’s been going on at the club for the last five years.

  • 23 Jail for Ashley // Sep 3, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    Only rugger fans call it footy!

  • 24 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    And about 5 million Scots

  • 25 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    Spoof, I guess they will have a preferred position, but also a flexible one to suit the style of game, depending on what Rafa thinks is best at that moment in time.

  • 26 Our Toon // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:46 PM

    Spoof and Laurent

    Yes he did play on the wing, will be interesting to see how rafa uses him and lazaar. Yedlin has pace to burn so looking forward to seeing him in action

  • 27 bettyswallocks // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    Jib…… You didn’t tell me what we would receive in season six if we finished fourth?

  • 28 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    I think Yedlin had the most foul throws in the league, and I’m sure it was that, via him, which led to Mitro’s equalizer at St. James’.

    Both have pace so I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on. From memory of watching Sunderland games with him in, his crosses were pretty poor. Hope this can be worked on with Rafa, or at least get into a better position when delivering, or cut it back.

  • 29 Toon Tang // Sep 3, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    Jail, I reckon a couple of speccy brews would have Pards crying like a jabbering wreck in the corner, spilling his guts about the behind-the-scenes running of toon.

    Ive got the mental pic in my swede and its not pretty haha

  • 30 lesh // Sep 3, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    I wonder if Rafa raised his concerns about closing the summer transfer window before the season starts? If he could curry support at this forum there’s a lot of clout to lobby the national and international football authorities.

    Jib, the rate you’re posting links, your Googling fingers must be callused!

  • 31 welshgeordie9 // Sep 3, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    September 3, 2016
    Welsh – interesting snippet for you. Just got back from Yorkshire – Skipton area. By there are some sheep in those Yorkshire Dales.
    Learnt that Skipton derives it’s name from old English – sceap means sheep and ton means town – forming the word Sceapton which eventually changed to Skipton.
    Seems like your type of town or a future holiday destination.

    Victor Meldrew, how about you kiss my hairy arse.

  • 32 cyprus // Sep 3, 2016 at 5:02 PM

    How did Luis Enrique manage 100 plus champions league games?

  • 33 cyprus // Sep 3, 2016 at 5:32 PM

    Off subject
    Congratulations Marcos my man

  • 34 Yo-yo // Sep 3, 2016 at 5:56 PM


    I hereby certify that:-

    In the ten years I have been living here, neither I, nor any person with whom I have discussed Association Football in Scotland, nor any commentator or pundit heard on Radio Scotland, nor any Scottish based TV programme, nor any other passing comment, have ever referred to the game as ‘footy’.

    Don’t believe everything you google.
    Your web page was probably written by en English rugby fan.

  • 35 Magtoonpie // Sep 3, 2016 at 5:57 PM

    Ed you should just tell them, Do you know who I am? I’m sure they will have you sorted out quickly or you’ll send over the Toon Army!

  • 36 Tsunki // Sep 3, 2016 at 6:22 PM

    Not enough footy talk on here imo. Not nearly enough. 🙂

  • 37 Laurent Robert 32 // Sep 3, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    There’s a very good Ottmar Hitzfeld: Football’s Greatest programme on now on Sky Sports 5.

    He was one who some fans, myself included, really wanted to take over when Shepherd was here. A dossier of his achievements apparently made it over to Shepherd of anyone remembers?

  • 38 SUTTY1978 // Sep 3, 2016 at 6:46 PM

    “The Forum meets about once a year and it is chaired by Sir Alex Ferguson.”

    He’s only keeping the seat warm for Carver. He was too busy ending world poverty to attend this year

  • 39 Blackley and Brownlie // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Okay. Hand up. It was me. I call it “footy” sometimes.

  • 40 worthing magpiee // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:16 PM

    Rumors from the paper

    “Crystal place boss alan pardew has been approched by stricley come dancing to appear on the show after his cup final performance”

    Any legs to this lads?

  • 41 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    The Huddersfield blog killer strikes again

  • 42 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:28 PM


  • 43 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    To the goon that questioned Luis Enrique’s credentials.

    True he has only managed 64 CL matches.

    However he has played in 94!


  • 44 Belfast // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Fitball not footy Jib.

    This is a graveyard article for sure.

  • 45 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Belfast the name is irrelevant.
    You could call it , fussball , futbol or balonpie – it doesn’t matter.
    It all goes “whoosh ! ” over Jail for Ashley’s head.
    He hasn’t got a clue 😀

  • 46 Yo-yo // Sep 3, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Fitba’ .. that’s exactly it Belfast

  • 47 cyprus // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:09 PM

    Not sure why the insult. Ed had said that that elite club needed a minimum of 100 games managed, not played.

  • 48 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:16 PM

    scholastikós malákas

  • 49 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    How many games i Europe have Ferguson Wenger and Benitez played between them ?

  • 50 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:20 PM

    “in” even

  • 51 Jib // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Do you think Pambos Christodoulou should have been there ahead of LE ?

  • 52 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    Just been looking at the latest betting odds due to having a double which I put on as soon as it was clear that Rafa was going to stay, I don’t usually gamble so I am at odds ( no pun intended ) to how internet betting works, the double I had was for us to win the league, my online slip states odds of 3.4 and the other part of the double was the unwashed to go down with the odds stating 3.5, although I’m not sure what these prices actually are I’m guessing that they are both 5/2ish in old money, the prices now are about 11/8ish for both so I’m guessing that I’ve done well with the odds as according to the bookies both my predictions have shortened in price, I could even cash out now and make a profit, but I won’t as the bookies usually get it right, so we will win the league, the bookies are never wrong.

  • 53 nufc786 // Sep 3, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    I think the signing of Lazaar could complement gouffran on the left with Lazaar surging foward and gouffran covering….

  • 54 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:04 PM


    Like what Jonas did for Enrique, I can see that but at the same time where does that leave Dummett, many don’t like Dummett but I do I think he is a really good fullback and it seems that Rafa does as well because if he didn’t he wouldn’t have had him as stand in skipper, so many fans are desperate to get rid of Dummett, he is a good defender with a club who’s terrible defending has held us back for so long, I really don’t get it, we complain about a poor defence and when we get a good defender we want rid of him because he doesn’t bomb forward and leave us exposed, ala Janmaat, Haidara and Santon, the mind boggles ?

  • 55 jimmysmith // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Wasn’t the idea to buy players with good characters. I suppose to make up for the lack of competition for places, and also lack of sufficient quality altogether in one or two positions, and a host of shortcomings off the pitch, on the train pitch, and in the boardroom.

    It’s hard to exonerate the players because you just don’t know what’s really been going on and why, but morale is surely something that needs to be instilled by the club into the squad through professional practice across the board, and clearly we didn’t see that.

  • 56 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:30 PM


    I’m not sure that you are aware of what is now happening at our club as your post seems as if it was posted 12 months to late, we’ve signed players who are fully aware that they belong in a squad and not a team and they will be rested/dropped regularly but what they have got to be is 100% ready when they are called upon, if players accept that as they have then they have character due to accepting that what is most important is the club/team and not themselves.

    Morale has to be instilled by the club into the squad through professional practice across the board, and we clearly didn’t see that——————–what on earth on you on about, you can’t instil morale nor can you instil confidence, both have got to be gained and the best way of gaining them is due to results and performances, a manager can help as Rafa clearly is as our players do seem to be getting more and more confidence and self belief, but morale is not something which can be coached.

  • 57 jimmysmith // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:36 PM

    Morale IS instilled, just as results are earned through thorough and careful recruiting, quality preparation etc. Do you imagine team spirit occurs magically? It’s built.

  • 58 nufc786 // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:44 PM


    I think some fans fancy Dummett as a CB as he did do well there for a short time.. Lazaar could end up playing LW as well as covering LB but Gouffran played well against Brighton so competition will only bring out the best. But i do agree that Rafa seems to like him and if Rafa sees Dummett as a LB he can only improve

  • 59 jimmysmith // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    Who said anything about morale being coached? Other than you.

    Instilled through professional practice throughout all areas of the club was the point. Good coaching simply one element of that building process.

    The point is also directed at how the club was run pre Rafa, obviously.

  • 60 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:47 PM


    you’ve said it yourself mate, morale and team spirit are built, you have just said that yourself, so if it’s built then how can you expect it to be instilled, your contradicting yourself bonny lad.

  • 61 nufc786 // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    This article also shows the stats of Lazaar against Dummett. Lazaar has more assists ans goals but Dummett has less goals against and slightly more cleansheets

  • 62 jimmysmith // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    I think you need to look-up the meaning of instilled?

    I’ll help.

    gradually but firmly establish (an idea or attitude) in a person’s mind.
    “the standards her parents had instilled into her”
    synonyms: inculcate, implant, fix, ingrain, infuse, impress, imprint, introduce;

  • 63 Mister Tuff // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:50 PM

    Been away all day – not much happening on here.
    Have to say that the expression footy was never used by anybody I played 11a side, five a side with. – over many years.
    Clearly a rugby mans expression – or indeed Jib Jibberish a Johnny come lately Toon “fan”.

    Jib Jibberish ( rooty tooty footy fan)……OOT.

  • 64 Spoof // Sep 3, 2016 at 10:59 PM


    “Who said anything about morale being coached? Other than you.”

    seriously mate I’d quit whilst your still just slightly behind, I never said that, I said it couldn’t be coached, not that it coild, but you said it could be instilled, coached/instilled are similar but you are now so confused that you are accusing me of saying what you yourself said, hey look, we all have bad days, it may be best if we leave it as it is, no harm done bonny lad.

  • 65 jimmysmith // Sep 3, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Spoof, I never claimed morale was coached, nor did I claim that that you did. Simply that you claimed I did. You’ve jumped to a number of conclusions without foundation.

  • 66 Tsunki // Sep 3, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    Sorry everyone I’ve been out inculcating morale into some young footy players.

    What did I miss?


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