We have written a few times before about Rafa Benitez’ former assistant manager 54 year-old Pako Ayestaran – and suggested he would be great for Newcastle – he is such a passionate man and was so successful with Rafa Benitez in the early years of his career as a manager.
Pako was Rafa’s right hand man for just over 11 years from 1996 when he worked with Rafa at Osasuna before finally leaving as the Liverpool assistant manager in 2007 after Rafa and he had a big bust up.
Pako Ayestaran and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool
Pako worked with Rafa at Osasuna, Extremadura, Tenerife, Valencia and Liverpool before finally leaving Benitez in 2007.
They won the Europa League with Valencia in 2004, beating Marseille 2-0 in Gothenburg and more famously they won that famous Champions League final in 2005 against AC Milan in Istanbul.
That was the greatest comeback in European club competition finals when Liverpool were 3-0 down at half time and they won on penalties, after the score after extra time was 3-3.
They also won two La Liga titles together with Valencia and the FA Cup with Liverpool.
Pako is out of a job at the moment (sign him up!) and he talked yesterday to talkSPORT and this is some of that he had to say:
“We did have a fall-out but this happens in every marriage! I think that we have lasted longer than many couples.”
“We were together for 12 years. We keep in touch and it was last week the last time we talked about personal things.”
“To be honest I am very pleased about how well he is doing. He is a great manager and he has always delivered, wherever he has been.”
“Now with Newcastle he’s doing the same. I hope he keeps going at the same pace and they get promoted. It looks like that is going to happen.”
“We analysed why we were losing 3-0 against Milan at half time and tried to correct a few positions.”
“Rafa is not so emotional. He tried to be focused on what is happening on the pitch. That’s what he did at half-time.”
“If you remember Didi Hamann came on – and we had a big problem with Kaka playing in behind the midfield.”
“Once we resolved this gap between the midfield, we knew we needed an early goal. It happened and we took it from there.”
Rafa is now just concentrating on getting promotion and will not do too much else until Newcastle are officially promoted.
But in the summer if we are a Premier League club again, it would be exciting for Newcastle fans if Rafa paired up with Pako again and made him the Assistant manager at Newcastle.
After all Ian Cathro has not been replaced.
What do you think?