The Huge Demands Of Rafa Benitez And Why He’s A World Class Manager


In any job if you want to be in the very best in the business then you have to have sky-high standards.

We always remember Liverpool’s legendary manager Bill Shankly talking about what you need to do to be successful in football management and he said this in what has become one of Bill’s classic quotes:



It really does applies to all professions and if you want to be successful then you’ve got to aim for something much higher than you want to get too – otherwise you will always fall short.

So as one particular example of this is any Premier League club which aims to finish in the top half of the Premier League will probably be in a lot of relegation trouble over the years.

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino was Rafa Benitez’ assistant when he was the manager at Liverpool and for a short time at Inter-Milan before he was fired.

Since taking the Saints job Mauricio has been talking about his time working with Rafa and how demanding the Spaniard was in everything he did.

But Mauricio realized rather quickly that if you want to be the best then you have to do things as perfectly as possible – as perfectly as you can.

This is some of what Mauricio Pellegrino  said in his interview in the Sun recently:

“Rafa was really demanding and, if you want to be the best, you have to be that.”

“For example, with the ­physical training, the goalkeeping training, I had to draw up the plans for the week”  “It had to be on his desk by 8:00 am Monday without fail.”

“This was important. It may sound a small thing but all these small things collectively make a big thing. The big thing is the game. Tactically I learned a different level.”

“It was a pity. We got 86 points that season at Liverpool (2008-2009 season – 4 points behind – you guessed it – Manchester United) — the most amount of points for a team finishing second.”

“The team that season was one of the best I’ve worked with. It was a shame — the Premier League was a huge goal for us.”

One recent example of Rafa’s high standards is that he’s not too happy Newcastle have not signed any players over the last two to three weeks when we had three or four them lined up and close to signing.

Rafa will not stay quiet and accept any mediocrity and will soon be talking to Lee Charnley about what has happened and the two of them together will try to work out what has gone wrong and try to fix the problems.

Hopefully we can still get some good players in this week.

That’s exactly what Newcastle need to do right now.

Comments welcome.



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98 comments so far

  • jazzyp

    Jun 26, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    Comment #1

    We have a world class manager that has finally given Nufc fans hope coupled with Ambition. A word that was classed as slander on here years ago when there looked no hope or direction under the Fat controller.
    Just back the manager Ashley and stop penny pinching and holding our club back

    7
  • Spoof

    Jun 26, 2017 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #2

    So MA made promises to Rafa but the signs are that MA is failing to meet those promises, sounds not to dissimilar to the situation that KK was in with MA, we all know what KK did, he walked what will Rafa do ??????????????, Sean Dyche as a replacement would be a good call for me, that’s if MA can convince him that Rafa leaving had nowt to do with him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5
  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 26, 2017 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #3

    Like I’ve said previously Rafa does not hold the purse strings.
    Chronicle article saying there is a £15 million limit on players – Mr Tubbs orders.

    http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/five-managers-havent-persuaded-mike-13240674

    2
  • Ron Knee

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #4

    MT

    Depressing article.

    0
  • john tudor

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #5

    SELL UP GET OUT

    2
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #6

    Oh wow, now we’re talking about replacements for Rafa! He’s still here and he himself has not said he’s unhappy. It started in the Daily Mail, that we’ll known publication that never makes stories up.
    We’ve got to be serious about this. If Ashley is selling we can all have a party. I want rid of him every bit as much as the next man, I just don’t obsess over him that’s all. And before anybody says I said I didn’t want him to sell to the Chinese, I suggest you read it again. I said how ironic it was that Ashley finally gets a good manager, steps back and let’s him carry on, exactly what we wanted, and decides to sell! I pointed out the possible downfalls, such as they might want a hands on approach and THEN Rafa might say, ‘this wasn’t the deal I signed’ and he would be within his rights to walk. Which, we, can all agree, wouldn’t be an ideal start to new ownership.
    I want him gone. Who doesn’t? It would be a shame to lose Rafa in the process though.
    So, if he’s selling, we might have to accept that he won’t be keen to throw money at it. He’ll do the bare minimum – but surely that’s worth it if he goes? You wouldn’t fill your pockets with twenty pound notes before selling a jacket, would you? Well, I wouldn’t.
    He’s given Rafa everything from promotion etc. We don’t know how much it is, but surely if it means he sells up it’s enough? It certainly looks like these talks haven’t stalled so it might be on. Who knows?
    But if struggling this summer is the price to pay to get rid of Ashley, I’ll pay it.

    5
  • Our Toon

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #7

    Bobby

    You seem to have an issue when it comes to reading, for the 2nd time in consecutive days don’t misconstrue what I write to fit your agenda. You’ve come out and said Ashley said he’s taking a back seat and as such you believe him. Good on you and I hope it works out for all of us but I’m not you and won’t be fooled that easily.

    I didn’t say “do you think he’s bought in the new guy to hide behind”. Here’s what I said in response to wwsbrd who stated that Ashley has no one to hide behind.

    (Could he hide behind the fixer he’s bought in or the apparent takeover / investor?

    The only person I trust within the camp is Rafa, the rest just tell lies, I hope we have enough going on behind the scenes to give rafa some solace but I can’t help not trusting Ashley and his con men. Once bitten twice shy!! Hopefully I’m proved wrong though)

    That’s the full response, I didn’t say he has bought in the fixer to hide behind but have said he could potentially use him as someone to hide behind. It’s not as if Ashley doesn’t have history with this type of the is it……JFK cough cough!! My response wasn’t even to you it was a discussion with wwsbrd, if you have an issue with it try sticking to facts rather than the chucking accusations or alternatively you could just ignore my posts and continue to live in a positive world where you truly believe Ashley is a changed / reformed man, and that rafa truly has the power!!

    4
  • Our Toon

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #8

    How do we know the club is being sold or we are looking for investors? Is it through the papers or the regime that also claimed they were selling the club but ended up having a piss up in Dubai instead? Curious as I don’t know what to believe, certain fans don’t believe transfer news or players we’ve apparently missed out on but do believe takeover talks.

    Before anyone mentions the new fella that’s come in, we had the same scenario with Keith Harris, think that’s his name. When in all reality we had no intention to sell.

    3
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #9

    Jib – you do know that the word you are struggling with is “probably” don’t you? It’s just a joke you saying “prolly” isn’t it? Ah, thought so.

    Could it be that our former stooping, toothless talent scout has actually been much maligned for his picks, and that the criticism he had for the endless train of third and fourth choice signings has demoralised him to the point of walking out in frustration at the hierarchy’s book balancing gymnastics? Seems a plausible theory.

    Also, while I don’t believe Rafa has expressed any sort of desire to leave just yet, it’s true to say the rest of us have been here while a desperate and misfiring (and demonstrably cynical) business approach has sowed bitter seeds over many years. Rafa may yet watch in dismay as the next crop of Rivieres and Ferreyras come through the turnstiles in lieu of proper pl talent.

    If Ashley really is secretly lining up investors or even a takeover do he can take a step or ten back from this poisoned seat, he may well be inclined to stick the V’s up at us all as he goes.

    2
  • WLtoon

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #10

    An unpopular, but familiar tune is starting to be sung on the blog now.
    I think all those fans who thought Ashley had changed his ways since Rafa took us up are totally blinkered.
    I dont care what journalists are saying , nor what they think, the vibes are there for all to see.
    Could it be possible that even Rafa is being hoodwinked by our owner ?

    4
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #11

    Our Toon, fiddling with words. Means the, same thing – you’re looking for trouble that might not be there. You were using the new guy to forward another conspiracy theory. Read ad what you’ve said, it speaks, for itself.
    I KNOW he’s got history. How could I forget? But lately he had backed the manager. He had stood back and don’t start quoting press stories ffs about this and that. No substance to it.
    Don’t you get bored being miserable? It is rare you credit the club with anything.
    Anyway, we’ll all get what we want if this sale goes through, but if it is going through, don’t expect the jacket to be full of money. He won’t spend wildly this window if he’s selling up, but can we at least agree we’ll both raise a drink the day he goes? 🙂

    1
  • Ron Knee

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #12

    Did Rafa get his legal team in again after we won promotion? Can’t remember.

    0
  • toon22

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:39 PM

    Comment #13

    The fact is most every Prem club is waiting for the players to come back from their hols and the various tournaments to end.We also know MA will wait till the 1st of July before spending regardless of interest to buy us or not.
    What we have is a load of paper talk,something they always do with Newcastle when theres not much else to sell newspapers.

    Almost nobody is buying or selling players right now.

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #14

    So just got back from my long weekend,dying to know who we’ve bought in, cmon don’t keep me in suspense.

    Surprised no one’s taken Vern and Sammy as yet, thought they’d have been snapped up.

    1
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #15

    I don’t understand this approach from Ashley. Surely he knows that he can’t muck Rafa about like he did all the others? So we’re going to miss out on every decent player out there Ashley and fight it out for 18th place? Because that’s what is going to happen unless we sign some very good players.

    3
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #16

    When I think of Ashley as being a successful billionaire businessman, i struggle to picture the same guy being at the wheel of not one but two – identical – disastrous business decisions that relegated the club. Such a man surely would learn from his mistake and not repeat it? And yet I can see nothing yet that suggests he won’t do it again. Simply having Benitez as manager doesn’t quite convince me that this indicates a sea change in Ashley’s approach to the working of the club.

    5
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #17

    The key here is sorting out the truth from the dross. I’m willing to be patient until early July but by then we need to have several confirmed signings. Otherwise the disaster with Ashley begins again. I have seen no real evidence that Ashley has been trying to sell us either.

    2
  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #18

    WLtoon – we are going to find out for definite within the next few weeks.
    Whilst it is early days at the minute – it is certainly possible for Mr Tubbs and Junior Tubbs to pull a stunt on Rafa. They are not honourable people. But I’ll just wait and see how the window develops and draw any conclusions from that.

    5
  • WWSBRD

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #19

    Ron
    Don’t think so mate, no need to as nothing was written up as a contract was it? Just discussion of ideas and verbal promises?

    1
  • Moonraker15

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #20

    If Rafa walks because Ashley has put limits on his spending, then I for one will boycott my beloved club until such time as Ashley is gone! There’s no point in propping up a club with no ambition as we’ve done for years. I so hope it’s a storm in a teacup and can be resolved; the good news is Rafa won’t accept mediocrity as previous manager’s have so Ashley is between a rock and a hard thing.

    6
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #21

    We have to remember the guys in charge are at best incredibly slow learners. They have lurched from one bad move to another over a decade and we are currently in equally the worst place we have been since Ashley took over, essentially. If not slow learners, they have tick-like intransigence. It may well be that we are on the cusp, finally, of a revolution in the business/sport model at NUFC, but it is absolutely equally probable, not possible, that things are the same as usual, and our best relegation is a decent bet in the next five years. History is a reliable touchstone. It does not lie.

    2
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #22

    Palace have chosen Frank de Boer as their new manager I see.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #23

    Difference between players and a sale. We’ve been linked to 130 players, is it now? About that anyway. Clearly crap. We’re only linked to one sale.
    The sale talk has been in business news and followed Penfold’s trip to China. Ashley has brought in his fixer to prepare it for negotiations. Apparently he uses this guy all the time. Chinese faces have been spotted in the hallowed halls. Rafa has talked openly about the potential sale.
    I think there’s more substance to the sale than the 130 players we’ve been on the verge of signing.
    But again, nobody knows what’s going on behind the scenes. That said, I’m confident that if Rafa sees a problem, he’ll address it head on and we’ll know if he’s not happy.

    2
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Next relegation…

    0
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #25

    Right then, I’m going to put my Senior Official Club Journo hat on and look into this whole situation. Harrumph….. Expect a series of stunning revelations and earth shattering interviews over the coming days……

    5
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:56 PM

    Comment #26

    Chinese owners will want to put their superstitious stamp on the club, it’s a fact that culturally they are absolutely immersed in the worship of Luck and Destiny, as witnessed by the bluebirds going red a few years ago. Seeing as the black and white stripes are too talismanic for Geordies to be interfered with, am I reading too much into the player lettering on the new strips being red? 🙂

    2
  • Spoof

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #27

    Bobbybee

    That comment was made tongue in cheek, but at present it doesn’t look great, and lets face it, Rafa has always stated how important the fans are to him, was it not our desire in trying to get him to stay which did have an influence on him, of course it was and he has always been upfront and honest with us, so why is he now quiet after these rumours, as unfounded and as speculative as they may have been, maybe they have just hit on something by pure luck, but we cannot hide from the fact that he is not happy, I doubt that any of us could deny that, now that doesn’t mean he is going to quit, but at the same time it certainly doesn’t mean that he won’t.

    1
  • jazzyp

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #28

    Ffs stop saying this club hasn’t signed anyone or players are on holiday. Who gives a flying toss about other clubs transfer business and let’s concentrate on our own.
    Whether there on holiday , At a tournament or whatever. If the right money was offered the deal would be struck.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 4:59 PM

    Comment #29

    If someone starts mucking about with the position of the furniture and plant pots start appearing on the concourse at St James Park, you’ll know the Feng Shui man has been round 😀

    2
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:02 PM

    Comment #30

    The China connection with us is far too vague for me. Charnley went to China in March to discuss commercial deals apparently. And some gaffer that Ashley rates from Sports Defunct was apparently hanging about the club last season. Ashley is a clown as far as football goes and he finally knows it. That’s why he hired Rafa. But if he forces Rafa out then all bets are off. It will be the last straw for many and why would a smart Chinese businessman continue to have supposed interest if Rafa is forced out by Ashley’s ongoing stupidity? So far I don’t buy into this whole thing. If we don’t get players in July and Rafa walks then we’ll know it’s business as usual for Ashley. And another relegation for us….

    3
  • AncientC

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #31

    Cardiff’s owner is Malaysian. Newcastle’s home-shirt is as recognisable as Juventus’. Chinese owners wouldn’t be idiotic as to come in and change the home skip.

    2
  • AncientC

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #32

    To be fair, Vincent Tan wiped something like £60 million debt off Cardiff… and they are playing in the division at their level. Aside from changing the strip, he isn’t as bad as Ashley.

    0
  • jazzyp

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:05 PM

    Comment #33

    Or if the Chinese lucky symbol Fu appears on the strip then someone means business

    1
  • reilly

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:06 PM

    Comment #34

    If we spend big before July we will break FFP rules.

    1
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:07 PM

    Comment #35

    It has been reported somewhere from an absolutely reliable unknown source close to the club that any number of players (including the number zero) have or have not been considered or approached by the club, where officials have been tight-lipped about any activity, or lack of activity leading up to the transfer window. Insiders have also indicated Mr Benitez expects to have a squad of players ready for pre-season which will give the new owners, or possibly the existing one, a real shot of possibly winning the League, or, in the process, being relegated from it. Exciting times lay ahead as world class players are linked definitely in some vague way with the North East, including such names as Ronaldo, Messi, Pogba, the exciting prospect Mbappe or indeed any name in existence in the world, such is the scope of outrageous speculation.

    3
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #36

    Jazzy – like Fun88?

    😉

    1
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #37

    A lot of you are clearly already reaching for your Thongs of Gloom. Now lads, I clearly remember reminding you that July 15th begins Thong of Gloom week. Let’s keep that in mind going forward….

    30
  • Tsunki

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #38

    Ancient ; tbf it’s a far Eastern mentality that is admittedly strongest in Cantonese China.

    1
  • jazzyp

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #39

    Reilly

    How will be break FFP rules when we operate under our own sustainability??
    This rule only applies to clubs that operate way outside there pay grade over a number of seasons, Which we don’t.
    And wasn’t Sissoko sold on the last days of the Transfer window for 30 million , whether that be a lump sum agreement or stage payments

    2
  • GeordieTwo

    Jun 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #40

    No more rumours lads! From now on we stick to the facts! I like honey badgers! Fact! I’m trying to find out what beermonkey did with the rocket powered wheeled bobsled while I was away! Fact! Ashley has gotten us relegated twice! Fact! Well all right then….. had to get that out of my system. Harrumph…..

    47

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