Will Former Top Assistant Now Join Rafa At Newcastle?

It’s looking like Ian Cathro is keen to take the job at Hearts with current manager Robbie Neilson expected to become the new MK Dons manager before Saturday.

Hearts beat Rangers 2-0 at home last night and move into second place in the Scottish Premier League and above Rangers on goal difference.

This would seem to be a great opportunity for 30 year-old Cathro that maybe he just cannot turn down.


Pako Ayestarab and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool circa 2006

Newcastle will not stand in his way and if he does leave the club then Rafa will need to bring in another assistant to fill out his team.

We wrote an article a week or so ago about 53 year-old Pako Ayestarab.

Pako spent time as Rafa Benitez’ assistant when Rafa started out in management way back in 1996 when he managed Osasuna.

Pako stayed with Rafa in the early years as he moved to various clubs on his way up the ladder – to Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia and then Liverpool.

The two men finally parted ways back in September, 2007 after Pako had worked with Rafa for 11 years.

They did not part on good terms but they are now back on speaking terms.

Pako’s last management job was at Valencia and he was appointed manager in May of this year on a two year deal, but he was sacked a couple of months ago after a poor start to the season.

So Pako is available now and there has to be some chance that Rafa will bring him back into the fold at Newcastle.

This is some of what Pako said in his long interview in the Mail last week:

“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.” “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 minutes a player had played over a season.”

“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***!’”

Pako would simply love the passion at Newcastle.

It will be interesting to see who Rafa will bring in if Ian does leave, and it could be Pako.

But there seems no possibility that it will be Steven Gerrard, who surely will end up with some role at Liverpool.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

13 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #1

    Bring in Stevie G!!!
    Shelvey should be available for next 4 games as the hearing will not happen ore 19th December, apparently!
    Brentford game will revert from Monday 6th Jan to Sat 14th, 3pm, if Brentford or the Toon have an FA Cup 3rd round replay -for those planning a trip to Griffin Park.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #2

    ore -before

  • toontaff2

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #3

    Monday 16th = 6th = is it me or is it this site?

  • Jib

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #4

    Pako Ayestarab was Rafa’s assistant manager at Liverpool.

    Rafa’s assistant manager at NUFC is Francisco de Miguel Moreno.

    Cathro is just a coach.

    I doubt Rafa needs 2 assistant managers.

    I have a feeling Cathro will be replaced by Jesus Gamez in the fullness of time.

  • toontaff2

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #5


  • toontaff2

    Dec 1, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Comment #7

    Or maybe not , given the current climate!

  • cyprus

    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #8

    So, tomorrow’s game live on Sky and these providers? Excellent.

    beIN Sports CONNECT Canada/USA
    beIN Sports 2 Australia
    Diema Sport 2 HD
    Digi Sport 1 (Cz/Svk)
    Eleven Sports HD (Belgium/Poland)
    EuroSport Russia
    Sportdigital TV (Germany/Switzerland)
    SportKlub 4 Serbia
    Stod 2 Sport 3
    SuperSport 7 (Za)
    TEN 1 (India/Sri Lanka)
    TV3 Sport 2 (Den)
    TV3 Sport HD (Sweden)

  • jon.c

    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #9

    Thank you FA for holding out on Shelvy hearing if he banned it will be over the Christmas period when heavy fixtures are in force and we could struggle the FA just love our team

  • Jib

    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #10

    The Italian media are gleefully reporting Pochettino and Sissoko’s falling out.

    They think it will give Inter or Juvenus the opportunity to pounce – are they mad ?

  • Jib

    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #11

    Dario Dumic is a 6’4″ central defender of Bosnian extraction brought up in Denmark.

    He plays for NEC Nijmegen in Holland and has been linked with us in the Dutch media.

    His manager Peter Hyballa has threatened to walk if he’s sold.


  • Belfast

    Dec 1, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #12

    I think Shelvey will definitely get banned. Well from what I read last night he’s claiming mitigating circumstances – which to me sounds like he’s admitting it happened but claiming he was abused first. It might be a shorter ban though.

    I don’t think I can ever remember the f.a charging anyone with an offence and them getting off with it.

    And let’s face it – (But he called me this first) Isn’t really much of a defence.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 1, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #13

    I doubt the current rules will cover medical discrimination. However, the bald headed idiot should know two wrongs don’t make a right.


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