It is a sign of Rafa Benitez’ man-management when a player he has rarely played at Newcastle still speaks positively about the Newcastle manager.
Since Rafa arrived on Tyneside just over two years ago, he has not played Aleksandar Mitrovic much.
And while at Newcastle the Serbian striker has been frustrated at his situation, but very rarely says anything negative about the manager.
Mitro is now enjoying his loan spell at Fulham, where he’s scored a good 7 goals in 8 appearances for the Cottagers.
And he’s still saying that it was Rafa’s right not to play him for the Newcastle first team – if that’s what the manager wanted.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – after scoring against Derby
Here’s what Mitro has said about Rafa and his current situation at Fulham:
“I respect Rafa Benitez’s decision not to play me and now I feel comfortable playing for Fulham.”
“I’m hoping that it will last. Every gathering and every match – and even friendlies – is a chance for me.”
“It’s a new fight for a place in the team and I’m going to try and doing my best. Then the selector decides.”
Rafa has always talked well about Mitrovic, and each respects the other.
But Rafa never lets any emotion enter into the football business and which player he will play in any game; he picks what he thinks is the right team to beat the opposition.
And he fails or succeeds with that selection.
Looking at Rafa’s stellar career and record in football management he’s made more of the right choices of his teams than the wrong ones.
Rafa has over a 50% win rate in managing over 1060 club games as a manager.