Former Player – Rafa Benitez Only Talks Football – Will Aim High At Newcastle

Luis Garcia knows all about Rafa Benitez the Newcastle manager, and he played for Rafa for three years at Liverpool from 2004, when Rafa first arrived at the Reds.

He also played for Rafa for one season at Tenerife – when he was on loan from Barcelona – when Rafa got them promoted in that one season.

After that Benitez was signed by Villareal – and the rest is now history – with Rafa establishing himself as one of the best managers in the world.

Luis has been talking to Sky Sports about his former boss and said what Newcastle fans now know – Rafa is mad about everything to do with football.

So yes, of course, he’s adored at Newcastle!!

A young Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez looks on at Luis Garcia in training

And Rafa can talk about football until the cows come home.

Just ask former Newcastle captain Bob Moncur who has had dinner with Rafa many times.


Here’s what Luis Garcia has said to Sky Sports about the current Newcastle manager:

“Wherever Rafa has gone, he has always given everything. He has always supported his clubs, the charities, everything.”

“He is always totally committed and that’s what people love about him. He is protective of his players and his club.”

“He always gives his best and Newcastle are seeing that now.”

“I sent him a message to congratulate him on promotion – he has done a great job.”

“It’s difficult to be relegated and come back after only one year, especially when important players leave.”

“Now he’s trying to build a strong team because he knows it’s going to be another tough year.

“He’s the same manager he ever was, you cannot talk to Rafa about anything except football. Football is everything.”

“Talking, learning and improving. He attends to every detail. Everything has to be under control. He loves that.”

“He wants you to have the right preparations, the right rest, the right food, the right everything. New players have to adapt fast to the needs of the team.”

“I know Rafa and I know he will not be planning just to fight to stay in the Premier League.”

“I think he will be wanting to aim high, to try to get into those 10 positions at the top of the table and maybe fight for the Europa League places.”

We’re very lucky to have Rafa Benitez at the club as our manager and we are hoping and praying that owner Mike Ashley doesn’t screw this all up.

How Will Newcastle Fare At Huddersfield?

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Comments welcome.

74 comments so far

  • Jib

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #1

    Open day at SJP today

  • barkel

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #2

    I see McCarthy is out of the Everton squad for tonight with a new injury

  • Jib

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #3

    McCarthy has been out of Everton’s squad since the 8th August – he is defo coming to us.
    Siggurdson’s purchase and Shelvey’s issues have guaranteed it.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #4

    Jib – I know lots don’t like him but I personally think we might be the challenge he needs. Under rafa he could improve a lot.

  • toontaff2

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #5

    If he does come, I think it’ll be for far less than 25 million.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 17, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Comment #6

    I’d also hope that another striker is a top target…but agree with all these.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    Taff – totally agree. No chance we will pay more than about 12 million of say

  • hibbit

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #8

    i would be very disappointed if we paid any where near 25m for him

  • ToonFanAbroad

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:03 AM

    Comment #9

    I’m interested in what the next couple weeks hold for us with regards to transfers.

    Read a report that we would be earning minimum £90 mil from winning the championship and everything else added on.
    Ashley said we would get all funds generated. With a net spend of only £23 mil at the moment we might be in for a busy end to the transfer window.

  • beermonkey

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #10

    He ain’t worth 10 mill

    If he was good he would have been sold by now
    If he was a bargain he would have been sold buy now
    He is neither so let him stay there

  • beermonkey

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #11


    You see all these impressive figures but it’s no what you win
    Italy what your potential earnings will be for a season in the prem and what you win
    We won’t see any of the money till end of the season
    I read on here I think winners of the championship get 7 mill is it might be wrong but it’s nothing compared to what the relegated teams got from the prem

  • lochinvar

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #12

    By all means sign up Kenedy and Hirst.
    But then why let Gibson go if you’re trying to build the future.
    Everton are rumoured to be sniffing around Woodman and that would be a huge mistake to let him go.
    Now Spurs have said Delli Ali is worth £150m and we didn’t sign him because we were penny pinching on the original deal of£5m.
    Someone needs to get a grip with our transfer strategies and get the new Training Ground and Academy built.

    The futures black and white not a bland shade of grey indecision.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #13

    My team against Huddersfield, knowing how they played last season hogging the ball for long periods going side to side, I’d deploy pace on the flanks and move Ritchie into the No10 position.


  • Mr Funk

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #14

    I see Allan didn’t play for Napoli last night in the champions league (not even on the bench) – I wonder if he is still available for transfer?

  • Markaccus

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #15

    Really concerned about the possible arrival of Mcarthy. I just don’t see what he will add to us. A direct replacement for colback, but not an improvement. Obviously always glad to be proved wrong if he doeas arrive. Just can’t see it.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Comment #16

    Hail…I don’t think he’ll change the line-up much against. Dummett, Lejeune and Shelvey are probably the only changes I would imagine.

    I don’t see Richie as a candidate for the #10 slot, seeing as Rafa has Perez, SDJ and Diame at hid disposal. With Perez and Gayle not being a match I would like to see Mitro on top (if he’s not out in the cold now), I think he did alright i pre-season and he works better with Perez.

  • hibbit

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Comment #17


    we didn’t let Gibson go he walked
    we made him what the club consider a good offer and Everton doubled it plus they offered him a signing on fee

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    Comment #18

    Mark…I don’t see that one happening…when I glance at our incoming-list so far it hard to see us paying anything near what McCarthy is quoted being valued at…maybe on loan – I could definitely see that.

  • Mr Funk

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #19

    Damn it – they had him listed as Marques Loureiro – just getting my hopes up.

  • ToonFanAbroad

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #20


    i think the figure of 7 mil for winning is correct, but we were still supposed to receive a 40 mil parachute payment along with some other money.

    I’m not sure though, will just have to wait it out and see

  • Yorkshire Magpie

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #21

    we didn’t let Gibson go! he was under 18 and we offered him a professional contract. so did Everton he chose to move to Everton. I don’t know if Everton offered him more or he saw more of a route to the first team there or what his choice was in moving. but Newcastle did offer him a contract and once he accepted the one from Everton we couldn’t stop him, it was then a decision of either coming to an arrangement with Everton on the fee or let it be decided by tribunal

  • Our Toon

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #22

    Huddersfield will dominate the ball on Sunday so we need to ensure we have someone who can hold it up to release pressure and give our runners a chance to get in behind or up field

    Mannequin, Mbemba, Las, Clark
    Merino, Hayden
    Ritchie, Gayle, Atsu
    Joselu / Mitro

  • lesh

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #23


    Don’t want to not pick but the parachute payment wasn’t generated by promotion and thus may not be part of Ashley’s ‘every last penny’

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #24

    Manquillo Pazdan Lejeune Kenedy
    Merino McCarthy
    Murphy Jota Atsu

    If we sign the latest links that’s an entire first xi signed. Looks good if you ask me

  • lesh

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #25

    * not pick = nit pick

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #26

    Our Toon…playing Gayle as #10 in a 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1 will not help our midfield…especially not if Hudders are going to dominate the ball as you say!

    I would love for Rafa to go 4-3-3 with the players we have or even 3-4-3/3-5-2 in the future

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #27

    I think Huddersfield’s very apparent style will be taken into account though which means setting up to counter and Mitro doesn’t fit into that kind of system.

    I don’t think Rafa will move Ritchie inside and put Murphy on the wing, but it’s what I would do.

    Another factor is, when does a £10m pacy winger signing get a start if not against another promoted side suited to being hit on the counter? Surely we haven’t just bought him to never give him a chance to establish himself.

  • ToonFanAbroad

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #28


    didn’t realise that was a thing!

    explains why we are penny pinching, as well as all the drift wood we have

  • Our Toon

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #29


    He’s played that role more often than he’s played the role of sole striker, when we lose the ball he drops in like all no10s to make 5 min midfield. He’s good at pressing which is what the no10 would be asked to do, he’s not there to follow runs into the box from midfield as merino and Hayden cover that.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #30


    He would have been a starter if atsu didn’t perform so well in pre season and in the first game, Murphy will have to wait for his chance to impress. We will set up for counter which means it’s better to have someone holding it up for runners rather than going for a hail mary and hoping a long punt comes off. As it showed against spurs we were toothless and the ball just kept coming back again and again and again

    Jesper – rafa has always played 4-4-1-1, he’s not going to suddenly wake up and change the philosophy

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #31

    Our Toon…I don’t think Rafa will change formation either mate…it was just me hoping 😉

  • Our Toon

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #32


    Ahaha he could change during the game though and has done so previously 😉

  • lesh

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #33


    Ashley’s ‘promise’ seemed sound at first read but you need to bear in mind that he’s got bullchit Bishop to craft his public utterances. Caveat emptor comes to mind.

  • G

    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #34

    I can see SDJ playing the number 10 role behind Gayle against Udders. With Mo Diame on the bench with Joselu as the plan B.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #35

    About counter attack depending on how you set it up, sometimes it’s better to have a target man up on top. Our National Team has always played a 4-3-3 based formation where counter attack was part of the tactic (especially when we meet better teams so to speak) and we utilised the winger to its max.

    Then we had a focus point on top who was technical gifted as well, and a marothon-man or distribute(r) in the #10 slot.

  • Jib

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #36

    This was the team away to Huddersfield last March
    Murphy and Gayle a goal each (Gayle came on for Murphy 2nd half) plus a Ritchie penalty after Nahki Wells tripped him in the box.

  • welshgeordie9

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #37

    Another player we can add to our very long list.

    Bookies cut Newcastle to 9/1 to sign Everton winger Aaron Lennon.

  • OneAlanShearer

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #38

    If we play SDJ at all in the premier league it’s going to expose him big time. He can’t run. So unless all of our team push up and are making runs constantly he will be a liability in the number 10 role in my humble opinion. He’s slower than colback. We need someone with pace who can hold the ball up but then join in attacking runs forward or get back to defend. He can do neither.

  • RUNAWAY777

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #39

    Toontaff2 and Hibbit I have let my heart rule don’t worry lad still looking for one hibbit few but not found what I want bro the search goes on tell you what lads it’s good to see a young lad so happy when you tell them you can use my ticket when I am away.

  • Our Toon

    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #40

    One Alan shearer

    You need a football brain to be successful in the premier league not pace. If it was down to pace then sissoko would be very successful. SDJ if you’ve ever seen him play consistently is a very intelligent footballer, doesn’t need pace as he has a picture in his head before the ball comes to him


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