Yes – Rafa Sometimes Watches Films – But Only While Football Is On The Other Screen

I’ve known a few workaholics in my time, and Rafa Benitez is a classic case of both a perfectionist and a workaholic.

After his team wins 6-1 and he is being interviewed after the game he will profess to be disappointed the goal was conceded because the team could have prevented it.

That’s a perfectionist for you.

Rafa gave several interviews over the weekend while he was still in southern Spain with his first team squad, and it’s an interesting one in the Telegraph with Luke Edwards.

Rafa Benitez – coaching in southern Spain last week

Rafa was asked if he is a workaholic and this is how he answered that question:

“I don’t want to say that I am always working because it’s ‘Oh, Rafa is just football’ – I have my family.”

“I sleep but at the same time, I feel the responsibility. Not just for the games and the performances of the first team, every decision.”

“I go to the training ground early in the morning, between 7:30am and 8:30am. Not just me, my staff. Then, sometimes I leave at 6pm or 8pm.”

“I have a big screen in my office to watch games and I prefer that because if I go home, I only have the computer and that’s quite small.

“I don’t only watch football, I like films. But I am also on the computer watching football and you can see someone punching someone or jumping over things, or whatever, in the background, you can concentrate on both things.

“It is easier now, at the start of my career, I only had VHS tapes. I would have two screens, two remote controls in my hand and I would watch both at the same time.”

“I like to see players. We see the players and know if they are good or bad. You can’t say I don’t want the information, you need the data, but there is more.

“When I joined Newcastle, I asked for all the data about players in the Championship, so I have the best stats in the Championships.”

“And I was watching players and talking to people and saying ‘what do you know about this player’.”

“That human part is crucial.”  “You can watch a player and have a feeling and after you can see the stats. “

“That is fine, but it’s not just the stats. You have to watch the players.”

Rafa is definitely a family man which is one reason he wanted to join Newcastle.

That’s so he was a lot closer to his wife (the former Maria Montserrat) and his two teenage daughters Claudia and Agata.

Before Rafa agreed to manage Newcastle just over two years ago, he had been at Inter-Milan, Napoli, and Real Madrid – too far away from his family.

So there you have it – Rafa seems to be in the right place at the moment at Newcastle.

Now if we can only get Mike Ashley to start treating him like the world-class manager he is – who has quickly brought everybody at Newcastle together and united.

Then we could really go places with Rafa at the helm!

Comments welcome.

38 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #1

    It’s not just the stats you have to watch the player – that’s right Rafa! Some nuggets on here have extrapolated Dara to spreadsheets from whoscored and what have ye, and used them to “prove” all sorts of crappy theories ha ha there is a lot more to the intricacies of how players interact and influence, you can only get that by good old fashioned pitch side scouting.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Comment #2

    Dara? Data.

  • c-dog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #3

    Latest comments from Rafa look like a desperate plea to Ashley. It’s clear Rafa loves the club now because of the fans and doesn’t want to leave. But someone of his stature deserves better and the transfers Ashley has delivered have been absolute garbage.

  • martoon

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #4

    You would think Rafa would be able to afford a TV for his home in the North East? 😀

  • Tsunki

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #5

    NUFC are probably renting a flat in the Heed for him. £450pcm, no DSS.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #6

    Newcastle United have been charged over the club’s under-18 side wearing kits bearing the logo of a betting company.
    The Premier League club are sponsored by China-based online gaming firm FUN88 and the first-team shirts have its logo on the front.

    Tut tut Charnley.
    At least it wasn’t Toys R Us

  • c-dog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #7

    Any fine will be deducted from next years transfer kitty no doubt.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #8

    slap on the wrists, quick fine, soon forgotten.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #9

    I bet the kit man gets a kick up the proverbial, however….

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #11

    Lol Jib

    The worst aspect of this affair is the fact we’re associated with a Chinese gambling consortium in the first place. Tacky, though less so than Wonga, admittedly.

  • lesh

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #12


    Yes, it seems to be a case, a desperate one as you put it, of Rafa using the media to communicate with Ashley. If Charnley’s Rafa’s conduit to Ashley then he’s probably been faced with a deafening silence to any messages he’s tried to get to him.

    Ashley’s treatment of Shearer (stony silence) suggests that Rafa’s getting the same contempt.

    With serious and important messages about what needs to be done to move the club on seemingly falling on deaf ears, Rafa’s using the media to inform any potential buyers of the major restructuring required after years of Ashley’s austerity and neglect. That could work to PCP’s advantage as Stavely’s probably fully aware of what’s needed.

    And, all of Rafa’s media utterances could just add some pressure on Ashley not to be greedy with his asking price.

    There you go Jiblets, there’s a bit more to chew on!

    Oh, and thinking about the proposed gun fight (The Gun, geddit?), it’d be worth the trip just to watch Online and Jib talk to themselves. Two posters whose life experience and knowledge seem so wide rangingly incredible – could the two be one and the same. Could The Gun be witness to the official outing of…….OnlineJib?

    Just thinking out loud. 🙂

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #13

    TBH RobLeenio, it’s the same as having Ladbrokes or Heineken on our shirts.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:36 PM

    Comment #14

    Lesh – Jobline? Jinline? Joyline Gin?

    I’ll give up…

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #15

    Dubai, nah, sorry I disagree. Ladbrokes yep, I see where you’re coming from but Heineken is a decent brand, a product you can get behind and appreciate, not a smoke and mirrors website designed to ‘fun’nel as much cash away from you as possible in the shortest possible time. We shouldn’t be associated with companies like this.

    Just out of interest, if we were taken over at some point by a Middle Eastern consortium, what would their take on it be? Do they not have strict laws over gambling?

  • clinath@ed

    Mar 20, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #16

    There is a 3rd scenario to explain Rafa planning for the future and Ashley ignoring him, with minimum contact.
    Rafa is expecting to be dealing with new owners next season….!

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #17

    RobLeenio, it’s all to do with what they’re seen to be doing, so Sheikh Ya Booty takes over, he would run the contract out. Then, depending on how much cash he had, would either get his brother/cousin’s company to put a shed load into them – aka Etihad – or, if he didn’t have mega bucks would not be seen to be the owner.

    It’s all who can piss higher up the wall.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #18
  • Tsunki

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:11 PM

    Comment #19

    In the far East you will probably find the perception of gambling companies is slightly elevated compared to over here. Every man and his dog in Chinese society is hopelessly superstitious and gambling is a way of life and high on the social order of topics for discussion.

    Over here we associate with the seedy bookies next to the tat Parlour and the pound shop.

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:21 PM

    Comment #20

    C Dog #3

    Are you still including Kenedy in the absolute garbage transfers?

  • calvinzolamakongo

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #21

    Had to get plantinum club ticks for the udders game as missed when they went on members sale …whats it like any good ?

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #22


    Great views from the Platinum seats, nice bar, less atmosphere than the moon. So good and bad.

  • hibbit

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #23

    i personally love it but plenty on here like too have a dig at it,
    the prawn sandwich brigade is often thrown at its members
    i think a lot depends how old you are !!
    out of interest how much have paid ????

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #24

    dig-n-dig #20, he is – and Lejeune, Dubravka, Merino and, presumably, everyone we signed to get out of the Champo.


  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:42 PM

    Comment #25

    Wow, Pain – you set the cat amongst the pigeons last night.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #26

    Seems that I did Rob. I was just responding to Mike Williamson’s comment.

    Having lit the blue touch paper and retired, I eventually signed off with a football related post to try and restore order. Then I went and joined my wife for the rest of the night as per usual.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #27

    * Throws a bomb, then casually wanders off whistling, leaving Online Guy’s head to explode behind him.


  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:11 PM

    Comment #28

    He has been getting a bit too much these last few days – both of him.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #29

    So, should Rafa keep us up this season, how does that compare to the achievement of being promoted as Champions last season? Greater or lesser?

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #30

    What is going on… football talk on a football blog. world has gone mad!

    thats a good question. I would say staying up as a greater achievement. in the championship we were expected to get promoted and favourites for 1st place. we made additions to the squad and achieved what was expected.

    this year with no where enough reinforcement and additions, and with gayle and joselu as our main strikers (absolutely crazy thinking it still), we were on for a season of struggle and many had us tipped to go down. The fact we may stay up is credit to the manager and players.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #31

    If you compare the squad strength v. opposition for each season then this season has been the far harder task. But, on the other hand, he has had an extra year to get his mindset and tactics across to the lads and he is more attuned to the requirements for success in the Premier League – the Championship was new territory for him.

    However, given the shock of the summer transfer window and disappointment of the winter window I think that he has been up against it more this year. So staying up, to me, would be the greater achievement.

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #32

    I am still of the belief that we are not a ‘championship’ team. Really dislike labelling as this and ‘premier league’ player etc.

    If we had a good striker, a clinical one, we would easily be top 10 especially so with how the season has progressed as a whole. think the team up to striker #10 and striker position is easily mid table. Not top 10 or top 8 yet but theyre young, improving and potential is there provided they have a top coach/manager behind them.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #33

    Ron, Pain, I think I’m with you both. Last season Rafa had a bunch of cash relative to the other contenders. Yes, we had a low net spend but we were able to spend hugely for that division given the quality of the players we had available to sell. Rafa remodelled the squad which was a huge task, but he eventually built his own team with his identity. I think the achievement last season was making such a change in the squad in such a short time, not necessarily in using that squad to win the Champo. That was almost the easy bit as coaching and tactics are what Rafa does well.

    This season is completely new – fighting a Premier League campaign with a team which was built for the Championship with virtually no additions, certainly none with significant Prem experience. I’m not sure it’s ever been done before. It’s definitely a good case study for his Elite Coaches Conference.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 20, 2018 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #34

    Ron, I know what you mean about not calling our squad a Championship team. I agree they are not that now, but I think they were at the start of the season, but they’ve grown as a unit under Rafa’s guidance and we now have the basis of a decent team. We need to build on that in the Summer, though.

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #35

    A Pain in the blog / Jib, Jane, Jeff,

    Whilst insinuating I was someone else (rupert) I’m not . = wrong again Pain

    Did you find out who it was who had you moderated under your Pain name ? No ? =wrong again

    Keep going Pain , you might get your hat trick .

    Go ask Ed ..clear your mixed up thoughts Jib.

  • Online Guy

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #36

    A Pain in the blog

    There you go first attack of the day from you on me at # 26 and I’m having to respond

    Your just obsessed with me

    How’s the grudge going ..feel any better today Jimmy ?

  • sing in the corner

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:33 PM

    Comment #37

    It’s you’re..

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 20, 2018 at 5:38 PM

    Comment #38

    Rob, ronaldo

    The problem is that, in our still precarious position, we’re only as good as our last few games. Like most of us, I was worried sick before the Southampton game that we could very well get dragged down into the relegation battle. Now I’m thinking about who we can get in the summer in terms of a number 10 and striker (plus backup).

    It will just take one injury to a critical player, or a bad day at the office, or all the teams around us to suddenly improve and then it’ll be back to the cold sweats.


You must log in to post a comment.