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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