Rafa Reflects Back On An Eventful Two Years As Newcastle Manager


Rafa has been interviewed in the Chronicle today as he looked back to when he first arrived as the Newcastle manager on Friday, March 11th, 2016.

When he arrived he held a training session in the afternoon and that was a message to players that the hard work begins now.

It was a blow when he couldn’t save us mainly because fans thought Rafa would leave.

But after the love affair between Rafa and Newcastle fans had grown quickly, he agreed to stay on Tyneside.

For a manager of his world-class standing that was a massive courageous decision by Rafa and showed the innate confidence, he has in his own ability.

It also shows how he loves a challenge – like trying to get Newcastle straight back up from the Championship.

He did exactly that of course and with little help from Mike Ashley over the last 15 months he has Newcastle now in 10th place in the Premier League.

An amazing two years work from the Newcastle manager and he has guaranteed Mike Ashley will get at least £300M for Newcastle United.

Rafa has looked back at when he first arrived and this is what has said to the Chronicle:

“It was a difficult time back then because we didn’t have players in certain positions.”

“We didn’t have a left-back or a central midfielder because there were injuries.” “We had to change a lot of things after that for the Championship.”

“We did that and did well. Then we were promoted to the Premier League and had to change again.”

“The majority of the decisions have been right, there have been mistakes for sure, but the majority have been right.”

“We’re going in the right direction.” “We still have to guarantee the 40-point mark.”

“For sure. It is massive and where we are at the moment is a place where we can play with more confidence.”

“The risk here is our confidence. Everybody needs to understand the reason we are in the position we are because everybody has worked really hard.”

“The players, staff, fans – they have all worked really hard.” “Now it’s just the final push to make sure we don’t make any mistakes.”

“After that, we can enjoy it and see how far we can go.”

When you see somebody who is the best at what they do – whatever that may be – there’s something about them when they talk about their business.

It’s fascinating and we saw that with Sir Bobby Robson when he talked about football.

Rafa is the same – he’s got that passion and belief and when he talks about anything to do with football people listen.

If they don’t, they should.

Newcastle United are extremely fortunate to have Rafa as the manager.

Comments welcome.


145 comments so far

  • G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #1

    With regard to the Independent article Bobby, I’m always interested in the neutral’s view of our team. It’s nice when the press write about the positive factors in our club, rather than drag up the negatives.

    4
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #2

    G , lovely article. I like Martin Hardy and he is always good Sunday supplement on sky

    2
  • Munster Mag

    Apr 9, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #3

    The tackles were amazing. If anyone has a clip, do lob it up.

    1
  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #4

    You do know Martin Hardy’s a Toon fan don’t you?

    3
  • Rob1971

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:09 PM

    Comment #5

    Whats happened to Catchy and The Overrated Frenchman? I haven’t seen them on here for ages, especially TOF who hates Rafa

    5
  • G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:14 PM

    Comment #6

    I didn’t DM, but I could believe it. Still, he’s writing a column in a National, so broadly speaking it falls under the ‘neutral’ tag. Usually Journo’s only write whatever sells papers.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:15 PM

    Comment #7

    Rob 1971, probably trying to hide amongst the other Sunlun fans. Which, tbf, would be quite an achievement given how many of them are left! 🙂
    Every time I feel a twinge of sympathy for those mackems still turning up, I take a look at those pictures of them holding up crap like ‘Rafa beneath us’ and ‘let’s all laugh at Newcastle’ and quickly recover.
    He who laughs last… is never a mackem! 🙂

    7
  • Rob1971

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:24 PM

    Comment #8

    G Martin is definitely a newcastle fan, he wrote the tunnel of love, Rafa’s way and Touching Distance about nufc.

    2
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:25 PM

    Comment #9

    Munster
    I think Lejuene won’t of forgotten Kane’s tackle
    Or Shelvey for Deli Ali’s reaction in getting him sent off

    Should make this Sunday a Party Atmosphere – homage to Rafa and the team

    8
  • G

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:27 PM

    Comment #10

    Never realised they were one and the same person. Thought it’s a common enough name.

    0
  • lochinvar

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:28 PM

    Comment #11
  • Little h

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:31 PM

    Comment #12

    Ill be the first to admit im partly a bolton fan this season and a few other teams way down there.. at the bottom… of the championship…. can you imagine if ashley sells up and blunderland go down…. can we really have it that good in one season? Think about this… next year the bottom of league 1 alan pardews sunderland now that has a ring to it

    2
  • lochinvar

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #13

    Munster@3 looks like the Twatter police didn’t like that proviso link previous link ( probably lifted from this one )

    try this one

    http://www.planetfootball.com/videos/watch-newcastle-players-fly-into-7-big-tackles-in-the-space-of-20-seconds/

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #14

    West Brom have had their application for safe standing rejected. Bad news imo.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #15

    Little H, I like the way your mind works matey. 🙂

    0
  • Budge123

    Apr 9, 2018 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #16

    Champion the Metro s are off on Sunday between Heworth and South Gosforth.

    Great timing there.

    Time for a travel rethink!

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #17

    Wow! Danny Kelly on Talksport giving Rafa Manager Of The Season. Agree 1000%, but never expected to hear it on here. Darren Gough not having it like, but he’s better at cricket than football nous. 🙂

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #18

    DubaiMicky

    Don’t know if you realise it but most we can get is 56 points and that’s only by winning all of our remaining games.

    I’m as optimistic as anyone but I don’t realistically see that happening.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #19

    But as my prediction was 10th and 51 points I’d settle for that.

    Now the only other thing I want is for Ritchie to score a few more to make it up to 14. Only 6 games left Matt so get your finger out mate.

    1
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:25 PM

    Comment #20

    Bobby
    Well I think Goughy is a Man U fan…from Yorkshire. Enough said there methinks.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #21

    Strange how The EFL have already given Warnock the Championship manager of the season. Not saying he doesn’t deserve it, time will tell, but Fulham are breathing down their neck and Cardiff could yet fail to get promotion if they don’t do so automatically. Those play offs are a lottery after all.
    He might well deserve it anyway, considering what he’s done with a pretty average team, but other clubs’ fans might not agree.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #22

    Sing, he’s a dick mate. Supports whatever team is doing well. Since I’ve been listening he’s been a Barnsley fan, Spurs fan, MK Dons fans, Manure fan the job lot 🙂

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #23

    All you tweeters out there, get onto Talksport and vote for Rafa on their poll. Gough reckons it has to be Pep. God, how predictably boring is that? Rafa could’ve done what he’s done with that squad, I doubt Pep would know where to start with ours with all due respect.

    5
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #24

    Bobby

    I reckon that Fulham will catch Cardiff.

    0
  • sing in the corner

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #25

    I hope Ozil plays on Sunday. He is proper overrated shoyte.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #26

    Bill, I think you’re right mate. They’re the form team with the form striker right now. Think they’ve still got the mackems to humiliate too.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #27

    Right, gotta go put some diesel in the motor for my taxi duties tonight. Mug’s Taxis I should put on my car 🙂

    1
  • lochinvar

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #28

    Not that I would wish Ashley on anyone but perhaps he could give them a sub as a parting gesture as he drives south for the last time

    Owners Richard and Julie Bennett have declared their intention to sell up and end their involvement at Gateshead after three years in charge.
    The husband and wife duo took over from Graham Wood in May 2015, with the aim of returning the club to the Football League for the first time since 1960.
    However, promotion has eluded them, as did an FA Trophy final this season after Bromley beat them in the semis.

    “It has been a heart-wrenching decision,” a statement by Richard said.
    “But having invested considerable time and money during the past three years, we feel that we have taken the club as far as we possibly can.”

    0
  • lochinvar

    Apr 9, 2018 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #29

    A Mitro hatrick for Fulham against the Mackems to seal their fate has a certain attraction don’t you think ?

    6
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #30

    Moonraker from earlier I’ve given you a thumbs up for your post ‘re Charlie Austin just cos I could actually hear your with through the blog lol

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:14 PM

    Comment #31

    Bobbybee from earlier Keegans strength was in putting players together to form a team. He couldn’t do what Rafa has done, working with players to make them better. No offence to King Kev but Rafa is definitely more suited to our situation right now, doesn’t make Keegan any less of a legend in my eyes

    6
  • DubaiMicky

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #32

    EGB #18, We’re talking next year mate, not this one.

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:24 PM

    Comment #33

    *sigh through the blog ffs

    0
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #34

    I think Rafa may well throw Slimani on from the start against the Arse. Seeing the way Shane Long bullied there CBs on Sunday has got me excited to think what Slimani could do. He needs a couple of good games for us to justify a transfer in the Summer, even if it doesnt end up as a transfer to us. On the other hand, Gayle may well think his time at SJP is coming to an end regardless. Who will be most motivated?

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Apr 9, 2018 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #35

    Job done. Rob, nor in my eyes mate. He and SJH will always have a place in my heart because they rescued us from where Sunlun are heading now.
    I know some fans have a go at SJH because he took a chunk out before he left, but he deserved that imo. He speculated to accumulate and in doing so saved us from oblivion. Can’t give Shepherd the same leeway though.
    I can live with any owner who speculates to accumulate, as long as they invest in the squad along the way. It’s a business after all. SJH apart, we’ve always had greedy takers running our club, Ashley’s just the latest in a long list.
    The point I was making was simply that Rafa’s done this on his jack, whereas King Kevin at least had SJH backing him to the hilt. Nothing more mate, I love KK.

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Apr 9, 2018 at 6:03 PM

    Comment #36

    Bobby wasn’t trying to argue or prove you wrong mate, just giving my comparison of the styles of Keegan and Rafa. Different men for different eras, both greats in their own way.

    2
  • ShirebrookToon

    Apr 9, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    Comment #37

    Rafas right

    We still need to get to 40 points to be absolutely certain of PL football next season.

    I want to see us push on past 40 points and Finish as high as possible. Rafa deserves a knighthood for what he’s achieved so far this season.

    Championship team??

    What!!

    2
  • jazzyp

    Apr 9, 2018 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #38

    Psg and Bayern registered interest in Kennedy.
    Signing the lad has just gotta a whole lot harder

    4
  • Little h

    Apr 9, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #39

    Sky sports saying the big dogs are after kenedy so we can pretty much rule him out for next seasons transfer rumours not happening the loan had its desired effect and now hes out of reach in terms of a permanent deal

    1
  • Little h

    Apr 9, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Comment #40

    Lol jazzy just seen that ma self

    0

You must log in to post a comment.