53 year-old Pako Ayestarab was one of the coaches who spent time as Rafa Benitez’ assistant when Rafa started out in management back in 1996 when he managed his third club – Osasuna.
Pako stayed with Rafa as he moved to Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia and Liverpool and the two men finally parted ways back in September, 2007 after 11 years assisting Rafa.
However the partnership did not end well and at the time Benitez had accused Ayestaran of betrayal after his assistant had talked to other clubs without informing the Spanish manager he may be daparting.
Pako and Rafa at Liverpool
It’s only recently the two are back on speaking terms and Pako has been interviewed in the Mail and he’s explained what it was like when the two of them were with Liverpool and how they brought new sports science and other things to English football.
This is what he told the Mail:
“We helped English football evolve.” “The players were a bit surprised by the level of monitoring and control. We were taking decisions for them over many facets of where they’d been used to be left alone – diet, training, hours of sleep.”
“Rafa started building a database of players, too.” “He has what can only be described as an obsession – in a good way – over control and being right across things.”
“The idea of worldwide scouting was quite new but he had this database of over 10,000 players, which was new for the time.”
“It was training, factors that influence recovery and recuperation, charts of exactly how many minute a player had played over a season. We dug our man-made ‘Pako Hills’, three mounds with different gradients, at the club’s training ground for stamina and resistance training.”
“At Liverpool, I loved it from day one. It’s the feeling of belonging to a club, to a community. I was in Liverpool Lime Street and people were coming up to me, saying thank you, thank you for coming. I’m thinking ‘f***!’”
“I was in Valencia for many years and I’m only stopped in the street to be criticized and then I come here and they are saying thank you before I have even started.”
Since leaving Liverpool in 2007, Pako has managed the following clubs.
2011–2012 Al-Ahli (assistant) Dubai 2013–2014 Tecos Mexico 2014–2015 Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel 2015 Santos Laguna Mexico 2016 Valencia (assistant) Spain 2016 Valencia
His last management job was at Valencia and he was appointed manager in May of this year on a two year contract but was sacked in late September when the team were in last place in the league table, having lost all four games of the season.
So Pako is available now – maybe his next stop will be a reunion with Rafa at Newcastle?
He would love it at Newcastle and the fans are very like Liverpool fans.
So maybe in the summer when hopefully we are back in the Premier League?
However, we have to point out we are a little different to Liverpool because we have won absolutely nothing since 1969.
In that time Liverpool have won about 49 trophies, although that’s including the FA Charity / FA Community Shield.
Don’t hold me to the number 49 – I may have missed a few!
Here they are.
League First Division: 11 1972–73, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1989–90 Hey - what about the Premier League? Cups FA Cup: 6 1973–74, 1985–86, 1988–89, 1991–92, 2000–01, 2005–06 League Cup: 8 1980–81, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1994–95, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2011–12 (record) FA Charity / Community Shield: 12 1974*, 1976, 1977*, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986*, 1988, 1989, 1990*, 2001, 2006 (* shared) Football League Super Cup: 1 1985–86 European European Cup / UEFA Champions League: 5 1976–77, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1983–84, 2004–05 UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa League: : 3 1972–73, 1975–76, 2000–01 European Super Cup / UEFA Super Cup: 3 1977, 2001, 2005 WOW.