Rafa Benitez spent a few hours with the local journalist last week – after all, it is the International break – and he gave them a free-roaming interview and told them how he prepared for games and how he prepared for training.
Rafa showed them pages taken from his Apple MacBook that showed various training regimes.
At one point there was even a list of potential transfer targets that he whizzed over – it’s a pity he didn’t have trouble at that point so the local journalist could see who we were after.
But there again that may have counted against us as Rafa likes to keep his targets secret.
Rafa Benitez – detailed planning goes into the training
Rafa has continued to say the team can get better and it seems he’s right because our lads look a very well-drilled side and we have 10 points form the first 7 games which is quite good.
Here’s some of what Rafa told the journalists as reported in the Chronicle:
“I can still see plenty of room for improvement.” “When I say that phrase in the press conference it is not because I have to say this. It is because I can see this.”
“Here you see the micro cycles during the week,” There’s a training schedule at the top of the page with what comes later in the week and month.”
“Below that, a green football pitch rectangle with dots representing the players. There are four rectangles: even the warm-up is detailed on it.”
“There are exercises with times next to them – and the conditions in which each football exercise should be carried out.”
“The way you train is important and with this methodology, you have less injuries. Before we came, there were a lot of injuries. Not anymore.”
“At the beginning I told Wendy I needed to know everyone,” Are the journalists’ characteristics marked up in pink?”
“It’s only negatives with the journalists!”
That last line was a reference to information he had on the local journalists, and when he first came to Newcastle, he asked Wendy Taylor – Head of Media and Communications – for details on each of the local journalists.
But it seems clear the local journalists, and Rafa get along very well – they are pulling in the same direction as are the fans.
But what Rafa has on his MacBook shows the level of detail and thinking that goes into everything he does at Newcastle United.
There has to be an awful lot of time spent by Rafa and his (expert) coaching staff on what to do in training – never mind the match plans he puts together for every single fixture.
This is the level of detail you go into if you want to win European titles – Rafa has won three of them with three different clubs – and become a world-class manager.
We are privileged to have Rafa at Newcastle.