It’s interesting the way the press will go back years to bring up feuds that may have existed in the past between two managers.
Such is the case with Neil Warnock and Rafa Benitez, when Neil was upset that Rafa had played a weakened side against Fulham at the end of the 2006-2007 season, when Neil was manager of Sheffield United and they were relegated.
Fulham won 1-0, but Neil was also upset at Sir Alex Ferguson for doing the same thing against West Ham and lost that game on the final day of the season.
Rafa Benitez at the Foundation Awards dinner this week
Maybe Neil should have spent more time trying to get points on the board for the Blades?
But Neil’s opinion on Rafa seems to have changed a lot.
Neil Warnock at his press conference today
Here’s what he has said about Rafa today in the run-up to the game tomorrow:
“I have to say how much I admire him. “What’s gone on in the past will not go away.” “I was disappointed at the time, but that’s gone.”
“I’ve got nothing but admiration for him, to stick with it.” “To be relegated and then to stay.”
“He’ll be on a good salary, but it’s not money that motivates you at this stage of our career.” “He wants to win and see the project through.”
“I was surprised he stayed, but it shows what he thinks of the club. He was at Real Madrid two years ago, he went down but he stuck with them.”
“It shows it’s a special club.”
Rafa was at Real Madrid from June of last year and was fired in early January – but that turned out to be great news for Newcastle in retrospect.
It’s daft and pointless to carry on feuds with people simply because life is too short – those are good words from Neil Warnock, who has mellowed a little with age.