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Rafa Beneitez Gives Insights Into Why He’s So Successful

7:43 pm, Monday, September 19th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 58 Comments

Rafa Benitez held his press conference today and it was a good one as he explained some of his football philosophy which is a nutshell is to keep improving the team and his players continuously and learn from both the wins and the defeats.

Rafa and his coaching staff have done a lot of analyzing of the game last Saturday and have worked with the players on the many things they did wrong in the really poor performance which produced a shock 2-0 defeat.

So we will see how a changed team will fare tomorrow night against Wolves again at St. James’ Park – although the ground may not even be half full for the 3rd round of the EFL Cup tie.


Rafa Benitez – continual improvement is the name of the game

Rafa started with a saying in Spain which is getting a lot of press after his upbeat press conference today:

“Sometimes you prefer to be the tail of the lion, or the head of the mouse – that’s a Spanish expression.”

“When you are in the Premier League and you are at the bottom, you are the tail of the lion and some people are happy being the tail of the lion.”

“Some people prefer to be the head of the mouse, you are at the top, you are strong enough and you are there.”

“What we want to do is to be sure we are strong enough, to be sure that we can manage the games, because teams will come, they will wait and we have to be sure that we know what to do every time.”

“And if we make mistakes, we still carry on,  because there are a lot of games to play.”

Rafa made the point today that when we do well and we win 6-0 as an example he doesn’t spout off after the game about how great Newcastle are – that we are the best in the world and all that nonsense – he prefers to analyze and find how we can further improve.

That’s why he pointed out after the QPR win we can still improve.

It’s also the same with a defeat – he doesn’t say we are hopeless and useless because of one defeat, but again he wants to analyze what went wrong and correct it and make the team better.

It seems he has done a lot of that after Saturday’s defeat and we will see how our lads perform tomorrow night – very well we hope.

And also Rafa never wants to use an excuse as to why we lose a game – he prefers to look at what the team didn’t do right as the reason for the defeat.

He also was candid in saying he wants everybody associated with Newcastle to be united – after all he said that’s the name of the team – Newcastle United.

The press conference today was an insight into what makes Rafa so successful – whatever happens in the game he wants to take it and make the players better and the Newcastle team better.

It will be a surprise – a big surprise if he doesn’t do that this season, especially with the good players he has assembled on Tyneside.

Improving the team and the players and getting promoted is job one for Newcastle United this season.

We can do it!

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Tags: Coaching · Newcastle News · Poll · Press · Press Conference

58 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // Sep 19, 2016 at 7:52 PM

    Ha ha, the mackems are the winnets stuck to the tail of the lion.

  • 2 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 19, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    Oops we’ve moved again chaps, keep up.

    Bobby I see that there are a few who don’t read your posts, more votes for a draw. 😉

  • 3 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Bill, aye, just noticed myself! 🙂 Ignore me at your peril you bounders! League cup, under any guise, means NO DRAWS. Extra time and penalties decide the tie on the night. You know Bill, sometimes I wonder why I bother. 🙂

    Jail, winnits? Haven’t heard that saying since I was at school matey, gave me a giggle to see it. 🙂 Pretty much sums them up though.

  • 4 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:22 PM

    That’s a major difference between pards and Rafa. When Palace get the occasional win, Pardew makes a big issue of it and how his wonderful tactics were the difference between the two teams, whereas even following a rout like at Loftus Road, Rafa plays it down and says there’s still room for improvement. Which means, of course, that when it goes wrong, like Saturday, he doesn’t leave himself wide open to the nasties who’d love to jump all over him. No doubt in my mind that he’ll put it right and we’ll go up, without a fanfare about it all being down to him. He doesn’t need to say it, his record speaks for itself. Whereas… 🙂

  • 5 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:23 PM

    Aye trues words of wisdom from we sages of the blog just pass the bounders by.

    We must continue to try and enlighten them however, it’s our duty. 😉

  • 6 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    Bill, 🙂 🙂 Never been a sage before… except when I dressed up as a very friendly lion once. (Only bloggers of a certain vintage will get that little pun)

  • 7 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    No! I’ve ruined my attempt at humour! I meant a rather fat feathery owl, not a bloody lion. That was, of course, Parsley. Realised the second I’d pressed submit. Damn and blast. 🙂

  • 8 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Too many lions with winnets must have confused me! 🙂

  • 9 Tsunki // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    I was into The Herbs back in the day. Never saw the TV programme though ha ha 😉

    Only kidding kids – don’t do drugs!

    So. 58 now voting for a draw. Perhaps they know something we don’t. Like a nut house for example. 😐

  • 10 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:37 PM

    I wonder if George Lucas knew about winnets!

  • 11 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:38 PM

    Any Spanish speakers out there? Watching Deportivo Alaves vs Deportivo De La Coruna on sky. Just wondered what Deportivo means. Is it like City, or United?

  • 12 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Sorry got to go and entertain some friends now, no drugs but a generous helping of Ale will probably be consumed.

  • 13 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    I blame Ed for even giving the draw as an option – he’s clearly confused 58 people! 🙂

  • 14 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Good entertaining Bill. No drugs though… might be a struggle mate. 🙂

  • 15 Essex Geordie Bill // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    I think Teresa May could help there, oops sorry politics slipped in again.

  • 16 Tsunki // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    it’s sports or sporting I think.

  • 17 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:47 PM

    Ah ha! Deportivo translates to sports in English apparently. Makes sense I suppose.

  • 18 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Tsunki, lol, just checked myself. Good thing google innit? 🙂

  • 19 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 8:56 PM

    No!!!! You lot just ain’t listening. Tsunki, would you believe the draw is now 61?! The mind truly boggles.

  • 20 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    It’s now 62. Mmm, I suspect a bit of winding up may be occurring. It’s not big and it’s not clever. Quite funny though, I’ll give you that much. 🙂

  • 21 cyprus // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:12 PM

    ‘especially with the good players he has assembled on Tyneside.’

    Many are ok, no one is actually a what a player we got on our hands, right?

    Is it sacrilege to say we want better players in January? A couple is all I’m asking for.

  • 22 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:24 PM

    Cyprus, I think the problem may be getting top players to play in the Championship mate. We’ve got Ritchie, who seldom fails to impress. We’ll probably have Arma back in January and his goals will help a lot. Then Judge from Brentford – definitely an exciting player. I think the emphasis is on team players to get us out this league, then it will be easier to attract the kind of player to get us off our seats on a regular basis. Please tell me you ain’t No 63! 🙂

  • 23 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:26 PM

    68?! Now I know you’re all having a laugh. 🙂

  • 24 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    I think we’ll fong them thoroughly in the cup. Payback time lads.

  • 25 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:42 PM

    Google was first named Back Rub. I like it!

  • 26 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Actually its Backrub without the space to be accurate. I would have stuck with it. Can you backrub that for me please? Beautiful.

  • 27 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Hernandez, on loan to Alaves, looks like a proper young player. Very quick with tidy feet. Wonder if Rafa can use his Spanish influence to make a deal? Definitely one for the future.

  • 28 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    My mind only oogles. I don’t believe in boggling… Harrumph.

  • 29 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:48 PM

    I hear we’re getting Werner von Niblik in January. Amazing if it’s true….

  • 30 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:49 PM

    Boggle is the new oogle G2, keep up with the times matey. 🙂

  • 31 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:50 PM

    Yes, it’s sacrilege Cyprus mate @21. Throw yourself at Rafa’s feet and beg forgiveness.

  • 32 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:51 PM

    I’m not having it Bobbybee. I’m just oogling at you now in incredulity! Harrumph…..

  • 33 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:54 PM

    I suppose I could settle for boogle……

  • 34 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:55 PM

    No, I’ve got to stay strong…… Oogle it is.

  • 35 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    Deportivo actually means wearers of filthy thongs in Uzbecki Bobby mate…..

  • 36 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    I’m just going to backrub that and make sure it’s accurate…..

  • 37 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    Actually it just occurred to me. It won’t be left as a draw against Wolves will it? There are no replays are there? it takes me a while but I finally get there….. Harrumph

  • 38 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    You oogle away to your hearts content G2. I’ve got enough on with now 70 people saying we’ll draw in a competition that doesn’t do draws. Extra time or penalties will see the tie decided tomorrow night. Anyway, are we even doing draws this season? Seems it’s win or lose even in the league. 🙂

  • 39 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:08 PM

    Right. That’s it. You lot have driven me to despair. 72 now. I can’t do this any longer. If you hear about somebody found hanging by a black and white scarf… well, you know who to blame. (Now, where did I put that bloody scarf?)

  • 40 Average_Contents // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    BandB’s got it….

  • 41 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:20 PM

    Bloody cheap nasty scarves. Stretches forever. Started with a foot to spare having tied it to a lintel. Bouced up and down several times before coming to a rest with both feet firmly planted. All I’ve got is five nasty lumps on my head and a scarf that now says N–e–w–c–a–s–t–l–e United. Guess which part
    I put the knot?

  • 42 Average_Contents // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:23 PM

    Ed’s clearly got a generic voting system that he uses and forgot to take out the draw.

    Unless of course he means just over the 90mins like the bookies do eg normal time but yeah, naughty ed, he should of stated that if indeed that is the case.

    I reckon he just forgot to take it out myself.

    It is funny though that people are voting draw for a knockout comp.

    Ian/carl/pushy/sack and jizz need to focus on the footy as clearly their knowledge is not up to scratch.

    Rugger chums 🙂

  • 43 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Try a bungee cord Bobby mate. A lot more fun. Very stretchy. I do it for hours……

  • 44 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    I meant bounced of course, not bouced.

  • 45 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:26 PM

    Your bouce is my oogle Bobby mate. Great minds often oogle alike as they say…..

  • 46 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    I’m fully focused now AC mate. Ed won’t fool me again with that one….. Harrumph.

  • 47 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    G2, I presume you wear a crash helmet. Five times was more than enough for me. 🙂

  • 48 Average_Contents // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:28 PM

    Up early tomorrow so it’s bed time for this know nowt gobshite anyhow….

    Have fun.

  • 49 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    Hard to have fun with this headache average, but I’ll do my best. Got any paracetomol handy?

  • 50 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:30 PM

    No, I’ve got some old insulation that I strap to me heed Bobby mate. It makes me a bit itchy the following day though….. haven’t found a way round that yet…. Hmmm.

  • 51 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    There is no time for draws! WE are Newcastle United. We will have our revenge on Wolves! Rafa and Odin have both spoken on this!

  • 52 GeordieTwo // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:33 PM

    At least I think it was Odin. It was a big, hairy chap with a huge beard standing on a street corner. I’m sure it was him……

  • 53 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    Use the crash helmet G2, should cover it. Failing that, keep some paracetomol handy for when it gets too much. Looks like average snuck one in before he left. Bloody wind up merchant. 🙂 73 now. Mmmm.

  • 54 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    Was he carrying a hammer G2? Often get Odin and Thor mixed up myself. Big blondes with hairy faces all look alike to me. No offence swemag.

  • 55 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Or was it Cupid Stunt, the Kenny Everett clone? Same description. 🙂

  • 56 jimmysmith // Sep 19, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Rafa’s still learning about the players in two respects. One, how they handle the weight of expectation of playing for such a big yet success starved club, now inexplicably relegated, particularly in front of our massive and fragile crowd, with it’s own anxieties. Two, how the players can handle different positions and how they play with others in different positions. He’ll rotate and get it wrong at times, Perez on the left in front of Dummett for example, Gayle up top on his own,with Diame behind, don’t look great tactically, but Rafa will be looking at his options and will want to keep his better players involved as much as possible and also happy. The hope is that he doesn’t persevere more in hope rather than expectation once it becomes clear certain combinations of players haven’t been sufficiently effective.

  • 57 Bobbybee // Sep 19, 2016 at 11:02 PM

    Jimmy, i reckon it’s safe to assume that Rafa will get it right sooner rather than later. His success rate has been built on rotation and he generally knows when to stick. Like you say, he’s still learning about the squad he’s assembled and keeping players on their toes can only help to keep the squad focused. He’s won virtually everything possible by doing it his way, whereas we’ve won nowt for 45 years or whatever it is now. I’m happy to let him do it his way, but understand it can be frustrating when it goes wrong, like Saturday. Then again, who would’ve thought every player would have an off day all at once? Delete it from the memory bank and look forward is how I see it. A bad day all round. Be interesting to see the lineup tomorrow night though. I want to see Murphy up front. He’s bigger than Mitro and possibly slightly more likely to score goals in this division. I’d also like to see 442, but accept Rafa prefers 4231 so it’s unlikely I’ll get my wish. Murphy and Gayle might be a winning formula.

  • 58 jimmysmith // Sep 19, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Yeah, I of course have faith in Rafa, and in the players, but not so much that I think either can’t find ways not to go up. But yeah, we are more likely to get things sufficiently right over the course of the season to do it, and probably as Champions. Going in with apparently the best coach, best players, and certainly best ground and biggest support gives us a tremendous advantage.

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