45 year-old Sky Sports’ Football League correspondent Scott Minto has been interviewed in the Chronicle today and it’s really interesting what he has to say about Rafa Benitez.
Minto was a top player playing left-back for clubs like Chelsea (1994-1997) and Benfica (!997 – 1999) during his playing career and now he’s a Sky Sports pundit covering the Football League.
He was born in England and also speaks Spanish fluently and he got to know Rafa Benitez well during the time he presented Revista La Liga – the Sky Sports Spanish football show.
Scott Minto – when presenting Revista La Liga
During that time the then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was a regular guest on the program.
Scott has some fascinating insights into the man who is now the Newcastle United manager.
He talks initially about Rafa staying at Newcastle even when we were relegated and goes on to say how his calm demeanor is perfect for a (great) club like Newcastle United:
“You have to put it into context, Rafa Benitez isn’t just a Premier League manager, he’s a top four or top six Premier League manager.”
“Given his CV and his capability, you would fully expect him to be at a club that is playing in the Champions League.”
“I think he’s good enough to still be at that level and I think that his next job – if he leaves Newcastle – will be at a club at that level as well.”
“Coming down into the Championship, Newcastle could not have made a better signing in the summer than keeping Rafa.”
“Of course he’s an excellent manager, but it is also his mentality and the way that he deals with things that is absolutely ideal for a club like Newcastle.”
“There was always going to be an expectancy in the Championship.”
“I think it also says a lot about the size of Newcastle and the potential of that club that Rafa would agree to stay with them.”
“I don’t think he would have done that for any other club in the Championship.”
“It’s a difficult division, but Newcastle were expected to go straight back up.”
“They could have been caught out by that, but Rafa’s dealt with it really well.”
“He just exudes this calm when you meet him – it’s an authority that suits the division down to the ground.”
That’s just a terrific and succinct description of Rafa’s credentials to be the best manager Newcastle have ever had in their history.
If only he can stay at the club for the next several years.
In Rafa we Trust.