Jamie Carragher has talked today about what he learned from Rafa Benitez and about Rafa Benitez in the famous six years Rafa was the manager at Liverpool.
As we have all found out over the last year, the fans still love him at Liverpool for what he did for that great club.
And it will be fabulous that we will start playing Liverpool again twice in the Premier League starting in August.
Maybe can do the double over them next year?
It’s always been a much anticipated game following that famous 4-3 defeat we suffered at Liverpool back in April, 1996 – considered the best Premier League games of all time.
Rafa Benitez and Jamie Carragher – circa 2005
Jamie has been witnessing the goings-on at Newcastle since we brilliantly won promotion by winning 4-1 ar home to Preston on Monday night.
We followed that up with a great 2-0 win at Cardiff City last night with two fabulous goals from outside the penalty area coming from Christian Atsu after 55 minutes (give him a permanent deal) and the ever improving Isaac Hayden after 65 minutes.
Here’s what Jamie Carragher has said in his Mail column as reported in the Chronicle today and of course this is a man who played for Rafa for six years from 2004-2010 at Liverpool:
“He won’t quit. He never quits. That is something Newcastle United fans should remember as another storm starts to blow around Rafa Benitez.”
“It should have been a week of celebration on Tyneside, the club having secured an immediate return to the Premier League.”
“But instead a group of supporters who have so often had to endure disappointment find themselves confused by the uncertainty that has followed.”
“Benitez has indicated he will only stay on at St James’ Park next season if he feels that Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s owner, shares his vision for what is needed to be successful back in the top flight.”
“But he is confident that ‘everything will be fine’.”
“Watching the episode unfold brought some memories flooding back.” “Everything I’ve seen and read in the last few days had me thinking of many things, from our time together at Liverpool.”
“He had three different sets of people to answer to at Anfield and fell out with them all.”
“Rafa is an excellent manager and one of the biggest influences on my career — perhaps the biggest in terms of actually being on a pitch.”
“I played my best football under him and many of the things he taught me I still bring into practice, whether it is on these pages or with Sky.”
“But he is, without doubt, the most political figure I’ve come across in football.” “I saw what is going on at Newcastle happen at Liverpool.”
“It happened at Valencia, too, where he famously said he ‘asked for a sofa and they gave me a table leg’ during a row over transfers.”
“This posturing has a purpose.” “Benitez wants the maximum amount of money he can get ahead of the transfer window in order to keep Newcastle competitive.”
“If he doesn’t get the funding that he feels is necessary and next season goes badly, he can turn around and say: ‘I told you so.’”
“He raised the prospect of leaving Liverpool many times, suggesting he could go to Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich and even England!”
“He seems almost as popular in Newcastle as he was at Anfield. (more popular).” “He aligns himself with the fans and they are hard people to walk out on.”
“I’m sure the sound-bites will continue and the sense of drama will heighten. but this is part of the Benitez package.” (OK – we’ll take it)
“People talk about managers having certain styles and philosophies… well, Benitez manages by conflict.” “Look right through his career and you will see it everywhere.”
“From his time coaching the youth team at Real Madrid, where he clashed with director Jorge Valdano over the selection of certain players, conflict has followed him.”
“At Liverpool and Valencia, that method brought him great success.”
We’re absolutely sure Newcastle fans are OK with everything that Jamie says about Mr. Benitez.
That’s because what we all want to see Rafa produce is a Newcastle team we can be proud of and that can start winning trophies again for the first time in 1969.
And for some of us older folks – the sooner the better.
This is a zenith at Newcastle over the last many years and we expect owner Mike Ashley to back Rafa all the way and give him as much money for transfers as he possibly can.
We also believe Rafa Benitez has grown as both a manager and a person since he started managing Liverpool 13 years ago and Newcastle will be that much better for that.
Howay The Bonnie Lads!!