Rafa Benitez In Glowing Acknowledgement Of Steven Gerrrard

If anybody ever though it wasn’t Steven Gerrard who brilliantly hauled Liverpool back from the dead in that Champions League final in Istanbul back in 2005 against AC Milan, they can think again.

Rafa Benitez has today given an amazing tribute to Steven Gerrard, who announced his retirement from football yesterday and the Newcastle manager has thanked Steven for winning the Champions League for Liverpool in that epic game eleven years ago.

steven gerrard rafa benitez

Steven Gerrard and Rafa Benitez with Champions League Trophy

This is what Rafa had to say about Steven today in the build up to the Newcastle – Blackburn game tomorrow at St. James’ Park:

“Thanks to Steven Gerrard, we won the Champions League”

“Everything was special that day. My concern was at half time how to express what I wanted to say in English to make sure the team understood.”

“We needed a goal after half time and he scored it.” “He lifted the spirit of the team and we could react.”

“I was really lucky because we got the best from Steven. He scored 104 goals for us when we were there.”

“He was the kind of player you do not find too often now – a good professional and a leader on the pitch.”

“You could see in every training session, he was someone who had to be different and always wanted to be in the game.”

“He played in different positions so he was learning the understanding of the game.”

“Stevie was always a good example and if he ever wants to talk about how to approach things, I can give him my ideas.”

“Though he also has a lot of other people around who can give him some advice.”

“Maybe he can be a good coach in the future. He has the knowledge and experience and now he has been in another country to learn there.”

There’s a glowing acknowledgement of Gerrard if ever there was one.

We will always remember Steven Gerrard for that game back in 2005.

It’s a game in which you could witness one single player take the game by the scruff of the neck in that second half and it was simply a miracle that Liverpool were able to eventually win that game.

But win it they did and I for one had to reach for the bucket and sponge at the end of the game.

Comments welcome.

64 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #1

    ‘Wijnaldum admits that “in different circumstances” he would have “loved to have worked longer” with Benítez.

    ‘“But I had my plans in my head and we both went our own way. He said he wanted to keep me to get promoted and that the right offer had to be made before I could leave. Once everything was done he said Liverpool was a wonderful club and that he hoped I’d enjoy it here.”’

  • geordieboy83

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #2

    Confirmed RAfa bingo

    Yedlin. Lascelles. Clark. Dummet
    ————-jonjo. Diame. —————-
    Ritchie. Perez. Gouff

  • Bobbybee

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #3

    It’s blindingly obvious that if Ashley doesn’t back Rafa he’ll move on. Does Al not think this was all discussed BEFORE Rafa decided to stay? It’s like a self fulfilling prophecy if you keep harping on about it. Ashley has invested 15 million pounds in Rafa alone for three years. Has he done that to blow it? Would it not have been easier to just ruin the talks and let him go? 15 million in wages for one manager kinda tells you that he’s backing him. If not, then we’ll find out later. Right now the club, manager, players and just as important, the fans are all pulling in the same direction. Scare stories only cause trouble. Unless he has some genuine information to give us, that he knows Ashley is going to dump Rafa first chance he gets, then I for one would sooner he kept quiet. All this does is open up old wounds that if they haven’t healed, are at least starting to scab over. We’re all in this together and if Ashley messes up, he’ll face the backlash like never before. This is Rafa’s first season of a three year deal. Let’s just enjoy it without scare tactics being chucked into the works.


    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #4
  • Bobbybee

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #5

    Ron, looking at his performances I’d say we dodged a bullet there And got 25 million smackers to boot. He just hasn’t adapted well to the Premier league and it shows in his play.

  • AncientC

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #6

    The Mike Ashley due diligence claims are always good for a hoot. A millionaire (he was not as rich as he is now back then) buys a football club, and does not check if the club owes any debts for the ground or player installments. Who would seriously believe that?

    It was a ruse to give Ashley the leverage to rename the stadium and plaster his free advertising everywhere. Everybody knows it (well most).

    It wouldn’t be as bad, if he would just come out and admit it – but treating the fans as gullible idiots is why he will never be welcomed by some fans.

    Ashley’s encircling of Rangers like a vulture, tells you everything you need to know about where his interests are in football.

    As others have said, hopefully he will carry on playing the absentee landlord, but once we are back in the PL, I have a suspicion we will be seeing more of him.

    The best thing for all concerned, would be for Ashley to sell the club, once it looks like the club has secured promotion. The Wonga deal ends in May, a new owner could come in with pretty much a blank canvass to create their own deals.

    Ashley must surely know by now that he does not know how to run a football club; gambling on Benitez staying so that the club does not nosedive again, is a large gamble to take.

  • hibbit

    Nov 25, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #7

    looking back we dodged more than one bullet LOL

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #8

    A millionaire (he was not as rich as he is now back then)

    Strange – according to Forbes he was worth £1.9 billion in 2007

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #9

    “I was really disappointed because I wanted to achieve something with Newcastle. Even if it was not a title I wanted to help the club get back to fifth-to-10th place to start with, and maybe get the club back into Europe again. Unfortunately it didn’t go that way. It went totally wrong. That was the biggest disappointment for me last season.”

    And why did it go wrong, Mr Wijnaldum?

  • AncientC

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #10

    Do you have a link for that Jib? I didn’t think Ashley was in the billionaire bracket back in 2007, but I could be wrong.

  • JamesToon

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #11


    I’m hoping that Ashley recognises the potential of this club and it’s branding if he backs Rafa and gives him full control, the potential that Rafa could have us playing in Europe within 2-3 years (he’s the only possibility we have of getting back in that position anytime soon) how much that would benefit himself and his business.

    I think Rafa will have made it clear, and he will have it inked on his contract, he has full control of day to day footballing responsibilities at the club, and MA and LC would be foolish to take any of that away from him, and will know the consequence if they do (rafa walks out)

    All this talk and shearers interview about the next 12 months just puts doubt in the back of my head, I absolutely love the toon more than I have ever before!!! Please Ashley don’t take that away from me!

    I pray to god that Rafa will be with us for a very long time, and have a very successful time here, if Ashley continues what’s he’s doing I do just feel a trophy might be on it’s way to SJP soon…

  • JamesToon

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #12

    Rafa is like a god to us now, I dread the day he parts with us, so I’m just gonna enjoy every minute possible under his tenure. But he’s genuinely perfect for Newcastle United, he really has reconnected the fans back with the club

  • JamesToon

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:16 PM

    Comment #13

    You are my rafaaa…my only rafaaaa…you make me happy…when skies are grey, so please dont take, my rafaa away… (i know i skipped a few lyrics 😉

  • AncientC

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    Comment #14

    JamesToon, I am hopeful myself, but I would be even more hopeful if the club had a new owner.

    With the club promoted, it would be a great time to sell. Sports Direct has bigger problems than advertising hoardings right now, and SD has promoted itself to death at St. James’ Park…besides, repeat advertising isn’t as effective as taking his hoardings and putting them in front of a new audience, preferably well away from Newcastle.

    All wishful thinking of course. One can only hope.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Comment #16

    Again MA is a known quantity, there are worse owners than him and I for one do not want it to be Chinese owned.

    I can’t help thinking that he’d be delighted to own a successful club. Just hasn’t had the intelligence to actually underpin the creation of one.

    Perhaps he has had his ‘Road to Damascus’ moment with the signing of Rafa (all hail him) to run the show, we”ll see!!

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #17

    Given the choice of a Russian Oligarch an Arab Prince an Indian Chicken Magnate or Chinese new money I think a chastened Mike Ashley is the most appealing.

  • AncientC

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:28 PM

    Comment #18

    Jib, thanks.

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:51 PM

    Comment #20

    Mick Lowes last commentary for BBC Radio Newcastle tomorrow.
    been commentating since 1991

    Bets of luck in your retirement.

    should get a chant going for Mick
    There’s only one Mick Lowes!!!

  • Belfast

    Nov 25, 2016 at 5:57 PM

    Comment #21

    Yippe another Gerrard tribute article.

    Ed I’ll let someone else break the news that they don’t even like each other. I have a hunch “Steven” won’t be calling Rafa anytime soon.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    Comment #22

    Not the worst owner in the world but regularly named as one of them, it must have felt great seeing his name being constantly mentioned along with Oyston and Venky.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Comment #23

    What backlash would there be from you if he done the dirt on Rafa, would you not simply shrug your shoulders and put it down to a long list of bad owners?


    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #24

    There are worse owners than Ashley? Yes correct there’s also a lot better out there

    Better the devil u know was the arguement used for Pardew staying in the job


    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Comment #25

    anyone know how eds alleged prime jan target did for dundalk yesterday.

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:19 PM

    Comment #26

    WWSBRD // Nov 25, 2016 at 6:12 PM

    There are worse owners than Ashley? Yes correct there’s also a lot better out there

    List some

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:23 PM

    Comment #27

    Despite enjoying a lot of possession and putting together some good spells of play, Dundalk never really created any clear cut chances and it would be hard to argue that they deserved anything out of this.

    No mention of Horgan

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:25 PM

    Comment #28

    By the way Donald Trump hates soccer

  • Belfast

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #29

    Worse than Ashley – Oyston, Tan, Cellino, Venkys and the Hull owners.

    Better than Ashley – Everyone else

  • Mag52

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:28 PM

    Comment #30


    Man. City supporters haven’t had too much to complain about since the sheik took control of their club. Nor, for that matter, have Chelsea with Abramovich. Arsenal, part American and part Russian owned, are not looking too shabby either.
    Just my opinion, but for me Ashley is a wrecking ball for our club. The ball is on the upswing at the moment. Gawd ‘elp us when it comes back down.

    My team for tomorrow is :
    Yeldlin Lascelles Clarke Dummitt
    Shelvey Hayden
    Ritchie Diame Gouffran

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:29 PM

    Comment #31

    I was about to post something very similar but you saved me the bother.

  • Belfast

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #32

    And I’m not even taking the piss sadly.

    He could write a book about how not to run a football club. Because his tenure has been a complete embarrassment mostly.

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    Comment #33

    Man City is pretty much owned by the United Arab Emirates.
    Their human rights record is a joke

  • Jib

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    Comment #34

    If it’s success without a moral compass you want – ask Mr Putin to buy us out of the Kremlins coffers – he’ll probably get a discount cos he shot down two of our fans on their way to New Zealand.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Comment #35

    Take out the moral compass and just football he has been consistently the worst owner out of the 88 not including Oyston, Venky and Tan. And Mike Ashley hardly scores high on the moral front either.

  • JamesToon

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #36

    Ancient C

    I dont think ashley will sell up and if he did, believe or not there is a possiblity that we could get someone worse than mike ashley, e.g. a cellino or vincent tan

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:47 PM

    Comment #37

    Only Rafa has made it even remotely possible we could end up with a worse owner, if Rafa hadn’t of approached us we’d have been in big trouble.

  • posada

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:48 PM

    Comment #38

    You just about got the maths right re ground improvements.
    From memory the increase from 36 to 52 Thou cost about 52 million.
    The rest of the debt was run up re transfer fees etc and trying to compete with the very best teams.
    It might take 25 years but it would pay for itself.
    Also, could you imagine still having a ground that only takes 36000. Many would not be able to see their team play.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #39


    Yeah I said that earlier!

    I reckon if he continues to back Rafa (all hail him) for two or three seasons there will a mellowing of opinions about him.

    What is it we really want as fans that’s the bottom line. For me it’s some silver ware in the Toon locker.

    Even better if we had an honest upright owner but I’d settle for Mr Ashley.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 25, 2016 at 6:59 PM

    Comment #40


    What Lesh comment are you replying to?


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