Rafa Benitez had been interviewed by the Chronicle again today in what they are calling Part 2 of their exclusive interview with the Newcastle manager – let’s hope there are parts 3 and 4 to come.
Rafa has again given written responses to the questions posed by the Chronicle journalists and there are some good points made by the Newcastle manager.
Maybe the biggest is when he was asked if he is happy with his decision to stay at Newcastle United last May after we had been relegated.
One of our favorite photos of Rafa Benitez
This is how he answered that question:
“To be the manager of Newcastle United is a great privilege.” “I’m really enjoying being at this fantastic club so, of course, I’m happy with my decision, yes.”
Rafa was also asked why he thinks Newcastle have been so successful this season (we are top of the league with the most points – the best goal difference – the most wins – the most goals scored and the least goals conceded) when the other two relegated clubs Norwich City and Aston Villa have not done as well.
This is what Rafa said about that:
“The commitment of the players and staff from day one was exceptional.”
“Everybody was helping us and trying to improve in their own departments and the competition between players too has been fundamental to the results we have achieved so far.”
“We have also benefitted very much from not having a situation where jobs and funding had to be cut at the end of last season.”
“That allowed us to invest in some important changes to improve the squad and the facilities before the start of the season.”
“Also to have so many fans behind us, having a full stadium at home and an incredible away following too, everywhere we travel.”
“This gives you a great sense of the size of this club.”
Everybody put a little bit more effort in, if that was possible. It is not an easy division and it is not easy to ensure you can recover immediately from demotion.”
“Demotion means there have been a lot of things wrong with your club, which you have to address very quickly.”
“I think we have managed to do that well.”
Rafa will need to sort out his relationship with owner Mike Ashley this summer when he is scheduled to meet with him one on one – but we expect that meeting to go very well.
Rafa is exactly the right person Mike should leave to the club to – after his previous selections of people to run the club have been poor at best.
Mike’s got a winner running the club now – keep him.