Rafa has taken an opportunity to look back on his year at Newcastle – since he joined us on Friday, March 11th.
That was after the club finally came to their senses and sacked the woeful Steve McClaren who seemed out of his depth from the moment the season started.
Steve went eight games without winning and picked up only 3 points in that time. but then we hammered Norwich 6-2 at home for our first win just one week after we had been humiliated 6-1 at Manchester City conceding all six goals in 20 minutes.
Rafa Benitez and two of his Spanish coaches in training
But we then lost three of the next five games including 3-0 defeats to Sunderland and Leicester City and a 5-1 hammering at Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace.
We were delighted when Steve was sacked and we somehow managed to sign Rafa Benitez – it seemed unreal at the time.
Since Rafa came in things have been a lot better and the Spanish manager has reflected a little bit on his nine months at Newcastle.
Rafa had this to say to the local press as reported in the Chronicle:
“What I have this year is very good and very bad memories. The best memory is when we beat Tottenham at home. The atmosphere and the fans were amazing. That is my best.”
“The worst memory was when we got relegated. That was an awful feeling when Sunderland beat Everton, It was strange for me because we weren’t playing.”
“In Spain the last two games of the season are played at the same time so no one has an advantage, it was strange for me.”
“This season, the QPR game we did really, really well – that was the best memory. The worst? Nottingham Forest when we had the two players sent off was very strange.”
“We are now working and thinking about the present and the future. I try to find players thinking about both now and the future.”
“We can’t forget the present. Our future depends on the way we play the game, the way we train, the environment, the way we manage everything. We try to do everything in a football way.”
“You can have everything in place: but if you lose games it means nothing.”
That last sentence is so important – it’s all about winning to keep the feel-good factor at Newcastle, so we really hope we can beat Sheffield Wednesday tonight.