You could tell in the Sky Sports interview of Rafa Benitez by former Blackpool manager Ian Holloway in early August that the two men got on well and seemed to just love to talk about football – it’s one of the best interviews we have seen and seemingly it was the very first one by Holloway for Sky Sports.
Ian even seemed in awe of the Newcastle manager as he was right into what Rafa was saying as the two experienced managers talked about the upcoming Championship season.
Ian Holloway and Rafa Benitez in early August
Ian has been talking about Rafa Benitez today (who isn’t) and has said that the former Valencia, Liverpool and Naples manager has quickly changed the mentality of the Newcastle players and he admires the man because he is still so humble after achieving a lot in his management career.
It’s changed from losing – we lost 19 of our 38 league games last season for a loss rate of 50% – to a winning mentality – we have won 9 of our 13 total games this season for a win rate of 69%.
Here’s what the pundit has said on Sky Sports about Rafa and Newcastle today:
“Newcastle and Rafa Benitez have achieved a very difficult thing this season by removing the disappointment and losing mentality from the club.”
“What a man Rafa Benitez is. I was very, very impressed with him when I met him.” “Despite his background at some of the world’s biggest clubs, he’s so humble.”
“He has taken on the job because of the supporters not for the money. How refreshing is that.”
“That philosophy is definitely coming through on his players. They look like a team that are enjoying the challenge the Championship brings.”
“The rest of the division needs to watch out as this team could go on a huge winning run at any stage of the season.”
Newcastle couldn’t have had a worse start than losing our first two league games, but since then we have won 9 of the 11 games we have played in all competitions.
If we can continue those results through the end of the year, then we should be in great shape by January.
That’s what we are hoping for and with Rafa in charge – anything now seems possible at Newcastle United.
Howay The Lads!
Here’s that great interview with Rafa Benitez by Ian – if you haven’t yet seen it.