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Rafa’s Brilliant Answer On How He Deals With High Expectations

1:22 pm, Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 56 Comments

Rafa has to handle very high expectations at Newcastle United.

He is a world-class manager and yet he’s currently managing a team that’s only in England second division – the Championship.

But Rafa has explained that he joined his local club Real Madrid when he was just 13 years old and then he became a coach at the club for 10 years – so he was schooled to have the very highest of expectations.


Rafa Benitez – easily deals with expectations at Newcastle
After 20 years at Real Madrid

Rafa was immersed in the Real Madrid culture that if you didn’t finish top of the league and kept winning games  you were not successful – that’s certainly true at the biggest club in the world.

Finishing second in anything is not what Real Madrid would ever call being successful.

So this is how Rafa responded today when asked how he dealt with the very high expectations at Newcastle United:

“When I was 13 years old I started playing for the Real Madrid academy.” “So to finish second was nothing.”

“You had to finish first, first, first every year.” “After I was then a coach there for 10 years.” “It was 20 years growing up with this mentality – that you have to win and finish first.”

“What I have seen after winning some games in a row here is that everyone thinks the job is done, but it certainly is not done.” 

“We have to keep sending the right message and the message is we have done nothing yet.” “We need to keep working hard and keep focused for every game.”

“We know that you can lose at any time.” “The other day I was watching Aston Villa; they were losing, winning and then they ended up drawing.”

“Everything can change in one minute.” 

“The Championship is so difficult and you have to be sure you keep your players on their toes until the end of the season.”

That’s just a great answer from Rafa Benitez and it puts what Newcastle are trying to do into a little bit of perspective compared to the top club in world football, Real Madrid, who Rafa was managing a year ago.

But we’d still be delighted if we get promoted this season.


Comments welcome.

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

56 responses so far ↓

  • 1 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Love this man!!!!

    Not in that way… (you guys… :/)

  • 2 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Ah, I think I get what you mean BandB. So you’re saying that this side to me wasn’t unexpected? In which case your original comment about me being able to take a joke was sarcastic? Fair play…

  • 3 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    Brilliant view for a manager which is exactly why I think we will walk this league

  • 4 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Exactly WWSBRD. Such a great manager.

  • 5 LGFUAD21 // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Could be another tough one tonight.

    My line up.

    Anita – Mbemba – Lascelles – Dummet
    Yedlin – Shelvey – Hayden – Atsu—–
    – – – – – – – – – – -Diame – – – – – – – – – – –

    Players did look a bit tired after Derby so I think its worth resting the runners and giving others their chance. I think we will need Mitro to hold the ball up and there were times where we missed that against Derby.

    The result obvious took the headline but I wouldnt have said it was a great performance from either side. Gouffy got a great goal and that allowed us to coast a bit and then we obviously had to shut up shop second half. My concern is that, take away that stroke of brilliance from Gouffy and we could have really struggled.

    Particularly the second half we really needed someone to just provide a release.

  • 6 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:31 PM


    So did Chris Hughton…….I dont hear snyone shouting his name from the rooftops

    You know what I mean.

  • 7 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    No, not sarcastic at all YMFB.

    I’d like you to enjoy posting.

    The thing posting on here is not to get hacked off if people ignore your posts. Most people are talking, not listening.

    If someone has a go at you, either hit them back yourself if you have a comeback, or stick your nose in the air and walk away.

    The worst thing to do is to start looking for allies among your enemy’s enemies. Its a lose/lose situation.

  • 8 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    Hoots and Keegan did very differnt things at Newcastle

    Ur point was Keegan won nothing at Newcastle, well he got us promoted as Champions thats winning something

  • 9 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM


    Sure, I understand that. From now on if I’m depressed at something I’m just not going to bother coming on this blog. It’s not fair on you guys.

    The problem is that the gangs on here get out of hand sometimes. Like when I personally agree with a comment from let’s say jib for example, I feel reluctant to say anything, or to discuss because that makes me look bad on here. I don’t know, it seems childish that’s all. But yes!! Enjoying posting keeps me on here.

  • 10 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM

    Also Hoots is remembered very fondly by town fans, name was chanted against Brighton

  • 11 Tsunki // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Wow. I’d rather have the nothing that Keegan served up than the nothing that McLaren, Pardew, Allardyce, Souness…

  • 12 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    And he got us into the Champion’s League, Yo.
    And that is definitely winning something, I’m led to believe.

  • 13 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:37 PM


    With the resources he was given that season, it would have been a bloody disgrace if he hadnt won it.

    Anyway, you know exactly what I mean. Under Keegan, we threw away a 12 point lead in the PL and had no significant cup runs in either europe or at home.

  • 14 Tsunki // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    SBR what a waste of space. Won nowt.

  • 15 Jail for Ashley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    When I were at Palace it were always tenth tenth tenth, so when we ‘it forty points, we could all relax.

  • 16 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:39 PM


    So, what you are saying is that you prefer to remember a 5-0 beating if Manchester United (as an example) 20 years ago rather than winning a trophy since then?

  • 17 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Looks like Arfa is letting his standards slip already after getting his big move !

  • 18 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    You and Jib, YMFB.

    It’s a thing of beautiful deftness.

  • 19 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Those resources were what Keegan fought for and earned by ‘spitting his dummy out’ as he did through out his managerial career with us because he had a plan for the club and he did it, he made a division 1 team into a world wide brand challenging for the top title

    I would love for Newcastle to win a trophy, fans of every team in the world want that, but u need quality and luck. Keegan got us the quality and tried damn hard on the luck but it didnt happen, that doesnt make him a throw away manager

    The man is a club legend and earned that right

  • 20 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:46 PM

    Clearly its not worthy of praise, I mean he didnt win the CL did he

  • 21 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Confused BandB.

  • 22 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:48 PM


    I could swear Mr Ashley said qualifying for the Champions League “counted as winning something.’
    And if Mr Ashley says……….

  • 23 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    As you said YMFB, I gave you a straightforward pat of the back for a bit of good craic.
    I’m happy not to fan it into something else.

  • 24 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Aye something along the lines of ur not getting rid of me until we win something or get into the CL so someone will pay my laughable price tag…least thats what I heard

  • 25 YoungMagpieFromBurnley // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Ok BandB, gotcha. Agreed!

  • 26 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 1:56 PM


    He said: “getting into the Champions’ League. That counts as winning something” in his pre-West Ham interview with Sky.

  • 27 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:01 PM


    I take your point but you need to understand mine.

    Keegan was backed by the club in the purchase of PL players such as Brezford Sellars Venison Beacewell Sheedy etc to get us out of the division and into the PL.

    Once there, he was further supported by the signings of Fox Peacock etc and later, Ferdinand Shearer Ginola etc.

    I am.not saying he didnt build an attractive attacking side. He did. And they were everyones favourite second team.

    But he failed to address the key issues of the defence ehilst not the worst, they were nowhere near the best.

    I am also critical of his ability tactically which is supported by the fact that we lost key games we should have won because he had no idea how to close down and shut out the opposition.

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

    So do you need to rubbish what he done here because he wasn’t tactically the best manager around here expat.

  • 29 lochinvar // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    Will Bayley who won Gold in the Para- Olympics Table Tennis was Yellow carded by the ref who he then hugged !
    Great result for the lad and great viewing but I mean a Yellow Card in Table Tennis ?
    He’s lucky some of the Premier League refs would have given him a straight red. ?

  • 30 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:14 PM


    I am not rubbishing him at all. He did some great work but he should have continued the job instead of running away when he didnt get his own way.

    His second stint us best forgotten. He should never have come back.

  • 31 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    Keegan was backed because he made sure he would be, he wasnt gifted it. He also convinced those players to join us

    We finished 2nd 4 points behind 1st, 7 points ahead of 3rd and 15 ahead of the best defence in the league. Man Utd did bloody well to pip us to the title but Keegan didnt throw it away

    Also none of this means that the club legend should shut his mouth (where this whole disagreement stems from) about going ons under Ashley and the disgraceful way he has treated our club

    Keegan should be in a position of power at NUFC, should be sat in the director of football seat if u ask me

  • 32 Tsunki // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:23 PM

    Expat sorry mate but I think you’ve got into a hole with this. Kk’s first stint was a fondly remembered brave stab which didn’t come off but not for the lack of effort. His second imho was ruined by the shambles Ashley had installed to manage the clubs affairs. Ashley could have had his Damascus moment back then but no he laboured with his “boards” through a succession of grimly – determined hangers-on until he saw the light of relegation a second time. You seem to reserve some contempt for Keegan despite the status he gave this club. I don’t.

  • 33 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:29 PM
    Lovely evening for footy in W12

  • 34 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Maybe Keegan shouldnt of come back but he didnt hire himself and he didnt lie to himself about what powers he had

  • 35 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:37 PM

    Why if people disagree with you – have they got themselves in a hole ?
    The Keegan time produced some great moments – but at a time when some steel was needed to move on from great disappointment he bottled it.
    I think he let the Geordie nation down.
    The majority prefer to think of the great stuff he produced and not to dwell on what was missed – so be it.

  • 36 expatmag // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:38 PM


    I dont reserve any contempt for him other than I find it unnecessary for him to constantly criticise the club, whether justified or not. It is not particularly helpful.

    I also think this vonstant hero worship of him is very much kver the top.

    Like it or not, he was given he resources and backed to the hilt but he failed…..and then ran away……that is not contemptous but factual and I lost a great deal if respect for him over that.

    Still, his time has gone and now we turn to Rafa to get us back where we belong and hopefully a trophy or two in future to help those to finally remember something more worthwhile than a 5-0 defeat of Man Utd 20 years ago.

    With that, I am off to bed lads. Heres to victory tonight

  • 37 nut meg // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Whatever views people have about Keegan I am pleased we had him here to give us what can only be described as a roller coast of a ride…never to be forgotten.

  • 38 Tsunki // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Jib, not because he disagrees with me. But because he is painting a rather blacker picture of KK’s tenure than seems to be warranted. I think Expat is overstating what most people accept about him but to a point where he seems to be unappreciated for what he did do. The faults are overly magnified.

    You just lay into KK because you are a controversialist.

  • 39 BandB // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    I suppose three people who have been written out of the official club history couldn’t really expect to turn up and plonk a statue of one of them near the stadium without attracting a certain amount of outrage.

  • 40 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    Geordie nation? Where u from again?
    As for Keegan letting Newcastle down Ive rarely heard such guff in my life so well done on that

    Hes a pundit, its his job and his passion to talk about Newcastle and he knows more about what goes on behind the scenes than anyone on here. I am happy to hear the truth about NUFC rather than sticking my head in the sand but each to their own

    He is a NUFC hero without doubt. Keegan is the one who made us think we deserved to be up there ‘where we belong’ rather than accepting Ashleys mediocrity

    But ur entitled to ur opinion

  • 41 Tsunki // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    Yep despite what Jib likes to tack onto my motives, you are entitled to your opinion, and we disagree is all.

  • 42 simon376 // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    All this talk of Keegan, I just can’t understand it. I knew him quite well first time round as manager because of my family connections and my attempts of training with the team, I was always useless. He was a great bloke who had a team that entertained the majority of the country not just us fans. Yes we threw away a 12 point lead, but was amazing getting there. Second time round, the players clicked and saved us from relegation, then he was let down and left. Good on him for standing his ground. But I think instead of trying to bring up bad points, let’s remember the great times, the entertainment and now look forward to what is going on now under Rafa and what we all hope will happen. Let’s not drag up the downside of the past, look ahead and enjoy

  • 43 Markaccus // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    We don’t demand a team that wins, but we expect a club that tries. NUFC under Ashley have not even tried to win anything. Keegin tried his best, and fell only just short. We havent been near since. Yrs it was disapointment, but does that mean we should be happy aiming for and succeeding in mid table finishes and no cups? Personally, i’d rather have the thrill of coming close and being disappointed rather than that.

  • 44 dannyhunt // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Anyone know if overseas streams are broadcasted at the last minute or if its not listed now its not on? Cheers from a kodi newbie

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    When people say KK should have never come back, who should have instead? Unless it was a snivelling yes man any manager would have walked, the fact that McCardew took the job after it became obvious that it meant deliberately avoiding success was a crime against the ethics of sport.

  • 46 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    You do make me chuckle
    He was so passionate about NUFC that he joined second division Fulham and the Al Fayad millions – 9 months later.

  • 47 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    There will only be one camera for highlights so streams will probably be non existent.
    For some reason that I haven’t fathomed out yet some of the betting sites can sometimes get something but you have to have an account.
    You’ll get Mick Lowes commentary on here

  • 48 Jail for Ashley // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:08 PM

    So you saying he should have quit football because of his love of Newcastle Jib.

  • 49 WWSBRD // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:10 PM

    Glad I make u chuckle because u often make me sigh

    And as with a lot of ur posts I fail to see the point in it is it to slate Keegan for getting another job or to suggest he wasnt passionate about Newcastle?

    I wasnt joking about asking where ur from either, using the term geordie nation is interesting

  • 50 sobadithurts // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    You are one very creepy individual.
    Do you still live with your mother by chance?

  • 51 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    I’ve said quite clearly that he’s a bottler that can’t take pressure – he knew how ethereal that fan adoration could be and doubted his own capacity to win anything.
    He’d seen how nasty the fans could turn when he sold Andy Cole.
    He was never going to sit at home and pine for the plaudits of the Geordie masses.

  • 52 Jib // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Went to King Eddies juniors N Shields
    and Tynemouth GT later Preston HS

  • 53 magscar // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    Been out for the day and the KK slanging match is still going on?

    It is a match day – game is on R5 Extra according to

  • 54 davis_toons // Sep 13, 2016 at 3:54 PM get the bigger job in the CV’s some “lower / out of fav’s” managers are willing to disregards their own principles or philosophy for the time being but not all.

    Some managers call that work within the parameters
    (Alan P****)

    KK cant be one of them.

  • 55 Moonraker15 // Sep 13, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    Can’t believe some tw@ts on here slagging off KK. He’s the only person who had the vision, drive, passion and charisma to rebuild our club from where it was, destined for the 3rd division!
    You obviously weren’t around when we were at our peak beating Barca in the CL and hammering Man U 5-0 in the PL. To be honest we were unlucky cos if we’d beaten Man U the following season when they “stole” a 1-0 victory at SJP we’d have won the PL as we deserved. It wasn’t that KK wasn’t good enough but we were just unlucky! However, there’s never been a better era in Newcastle’s history so please lay off the great KK !

  • 56 Moonraker15 // Sep 13, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    The fact that KK sold Andy Cole against the fans wishes proves he was not a bottler. By the way the reason was that he wanted Les Ferdinand who had murdered us at QPR earlier that season. No one can say it wasn’t a good decision even though Cole went on to great things ! KK was no bottler he’s realistic if he can’t see a way to success he will resign. You are a disgrace to slag him off; he built this club!

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