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!