Rafa Benitez must have been just a little dismayed after his Newcastle side had made such a good start to the game last night at Carrow Road and seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
Ayoze Perez fired in a great goal after just 23 seconds having been put through by Jack Colback and then Aleksandar Mitrovic was clean through and seemed to do everything right, but the ball didn’t end up in the back of the net.
But then Newcastle destructed in a short five minutes with two mistakes that gave away two sloppy goals in the 12th and 17th minutes and we were suddenly 2-1 down.
A smiling Rafa Benitez before the game last night
The first mistake came from Jamaal Lascelles when he stumbled and let the winger in to cross the ball for the first goal and then goalkeeper Karl Darlow made what may be the worst mistake of his career – so he’ll not do that again – as he miskicked the ball and let Cameron Jerome in to score.
So what does a manager do after that – two individual mistakes – after all they are human beings (damn it!).
Rafa was interviewed after the game and he says exactly what he said to Darlow and Lascelles and it just shows the confidence and brilliant man-management this man possesses.
This is what he said at half time as reported in the Chronicle:
“I didn’t have to lift them, I just told them to forget about their mistakes and concentrate on the next 45 minutes. because we were doing well and we could win the game.”
“I told them the past had gone, and they just had to concentrate on what was still to come.”
“We did well.”
“It’s always important for the team to recover, but when a player knows he has been involved in a mistake, it is even more important for him that he can score.”
“He (Lascelles) equalized the game, and the goal came at an important time.” “We were on top of them, we scored, and then we had a couple of chances to win.”
“It was a pity they didn’t go in.”
You get a glimpses from Rafa of why players would run through a brick wall for him – he’s so supportive of the players.
Even when players want to leave the club he seems to take a special interest in what ‘s best for them.
That’s what you get when your manager completely and utterly loves the job he’s doing and he’s world-class too.
Fortunately Rafa Benitez is the manager of Newcastle United FC at the moment.
Long may that continue!