Rafa had got more excellent publicity in his native Spain today, this time in publication AS after he was given a great write-up in Marca earlier in the week.
That followed Tuesday night’s fantastic 6-0 win at QPR, which was our biggest away win in the league since back in 1962 when we hammered Walsall by the same score-line.
Rafa Benitez – getting some success at Newcastle
AS reports the Spanish coach has changed the dynamics of the team after the first two defeats and Newcastle are now second in the standings in the Championship.
AS then lists 10 reasons why they think Rafa has Newcastle winning their last five games in the Championship:
- Mind-Set – Getting the players mentally ready for every single game – it will be a tough game and we must respect our opponents
- Defensive Strength – Rafa has already strengthened the defense considerably and we are currently on a five game run of clean sheets and have gone 495 minutes without conceding a goal
- Youth In Captaincy – Rafa appointed 22 year-old Jamaal Lascelles as the captain after he showed considerable leadership skills last season when more experienced players didn’t – most of whom have now left the club
- Rotating the Squad – as Rafa did at Liverpool he rotates the squad to keep the players fresh and when they do play they do their utmost to keep their place in the side
- Jonjo Shelvey – Rafa has for this man playing near his best form over the last few games and when he is on form and motivated we know Jonjo is some player
- Reduction of Injuries – Rafa replaced the 3G technology indoor pitch with the latest 4G technology pitch that has helped to reduce the injuries.
Rafa also reconfigured the inside of the training ground with lighter colors and installed comfortable sofas and the like – so there was more space and amenities for our players to fully relax between training sessions
- Productive Set Pieces – before the game at QPR 8 of our goals in the first 10 came from set pieces.
Rafa does set piece drills in every training session and this is really paying off for the team
- Road wins – last season we won only two away games at Bournemouth where we were really lucky and Spurs when we scored the winner in stoppage time.
This season we have already won our last three away games in the league with that improved mentality Rafa continually stresses with the players
- Fans behind the team – the Geordie fans are right behind Newcastle and simply adore Rafa – and to prove it they keep singing Rafa’s name during the games – all the time!
- Summer signings – we made some really good signings this summer such as Matt Ritchie and Rafa finally cleared out the deadwood at the club – and there was a lot of it
Rafa seems one of Spain’s favorite sons, but that is hardly surprising given his great record in football management.