Rafa Benitez is the Newcastle manager and is known throughout the world of football, and he has given an extended interview in France Football.
The questions are mainly centered around him now managing Newcastle, which is a lesser club with less talented players than the clubs he has managed in the past – like Valencia, Liverpool, Inter-Milan, Napoli and Real Madrid.
But it doesn’t seem to faze Rafa, and he looks on his job in coaching as making the players he coaches better players – through his vast skill, man management and extensive experience in the game.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager – a better coach now
Rafa talks about why he joined Newcastle in the first place.
And then he talks about managing Newcastle last season in the Championship and how he is a better coach now (“for sure”) because of having the courage to do that.
This is just some of what Rafa has said in his interview in France Football:
“You have to look at the overall picture. Me, I saw the stature of this very important club, with great fervor, a passionate city – and a stadium like no other, a unique atmosphere.”
“I saw a rare link between the fans and the club and that’s fundamental to building something lasting. When making a choice, it is important to measure this energy, this craze, to know if we can create momentum.”
“OK, the club was not in a good position when I signed and we finally got relegated. But I understood that in Championship, we would have the means to rebuild, to start on a real project, which is more difficult sometimes than to fight for your immediate survival.”
“However, I felt that there was room to return to the Premier League very quickly, but also to play a real role in the long run.”
“In the Championship there is a major challenge around second balls, for example, and you have to be able to handle that.”
“It was also necessary to learn to control the tempo, not to get carried away in the match and allow them to bring you to their level.”
“It is also necessary to learn how to control blocking. When faced with ‘kick and rush’, we were sometimes caught out by long balls.”
“In other countries, the goalkeepers are protected relatively well, and even more than in the Premier League.”
“There will be challenges in the air and you must find solutions to protect yourself.”
“All of this is useful for the future.”
“Without a doubt, I am a better coach today.”
Rafa is the perfect coach for Newcastle, and he is a good man too, and we couldn’t do much better than having Mr. Rafa Benitez as our manager.
That’s my opinion in any case.