There’s a reason why Rafa has been so successful in football management – the profession he seems to have been made for – and that he is extremely ambitious and single-minded in reaching his goals.
And as manager of a big club like Newcastle United, who have been a sleeping giant for far too long, he seems at home with a City and a set of fans who share his passion for the game.
Newcastle has always been a football mad City with the emphasis on mad.
Rafa Benitez celebrates with player after 2-1 win
For the first time this season we saw an angry and frustrated Benitez of the touch-line as he kept berating the referee and Lee Probert – who was unlucky to have been appointed as the 4th official for the match – and Lee got an earful from the Newcastle manager – and often too.
Robert Madley has never had a good game refereeing Newcastle games and we remember how he awarded the game to Sunderland last season at the Stadium of Light on October 25th, 2016.
He awarded Sunderland a dubious penalty just before half time and sent Coloccini off – an erroneous red card that was later rescinded.
But we had lost 3-0 and lost 3 points due to a bad refereeing mistake from Madley.
Madley gave away another very dodgy penalty against Newcastle on Tuesday night and if referees are going to start giving penalties for what Ciaran Clark did against Glenn Murray then there will be penalties on almost every corner from now on.
It’s an area of the game the FA and the referees have to clean up somehow – we see fouls all the time on corners from defenders that go unpunished and one of the most regular is defenders holding other player’s shirts and dragging opponents to the ground.
There has to be some consistency from referees on what they do on corners.
But that’s what happened and it was yet another penalty for Brighton and they’re into double figures for penalties this season when we have had only two.
That seems to be what made Rafa so annoyed at Madley, who is young for a referee at only 31.
So we saw the rare spectacle of Rafa furious on the touchline.
But his football brain was in full swing still and the two substitutions he made late in the game paid off.
Daryl Murphy had three good attempts on goals and probably should have scored with a header from our first corner after he came on.
And Ayoze Perez kept his cool and dispatched a sensational (that’s the right word in this case) winner into the net after 89 minutes.
Rafa’s behavior on the touch-line showed his massive single-minded obsession this season to have Newcastle promoted and we won the game through Rafa’s changes late in the game.
You have to also respect that Rafa took a massive gamble to stay on at Newcastle, because if we are not promoted it will not look good on his resume if he cannot get a famous club like Newcastle promoted.
So Rafa has taken a massive risk in his career – and the fans seem to understand that and this must be a season where Newcastle fans are out doing even themselves.
They are proving that Newcastle United is one of the best supported football clubs in the world and all credit to them for that.
A home attendance of over 51,000 in the second division of England – would you believe it?
What Rafa wants to do – and we hope he gets all the help imaginable from Mike Ashley – is to make Newcastle into one of the best teams in the world.
We are all for that – and that’s certainly what Rafa wants to do – you have to aim very high to get any success at all.
Being in the top half of the Premier League as a major goal only leads to relegations.
What is not certain is whether Mike Ashley will do what’s necessary to support Rafa in making Newcastle into a top side.
It was a phenomenal win on Tuesday night and we are still celebrating it.
But the game at Huddersfield on Saturday will be an ever bigger test of the lads and of Rafa Benitez.
We hope we can win that one too.
Howay The Lads!!