The Newcastle boss has always liked Arsene Wenger and you can see that when they meet before a game – like last Sunday at St. James’ Park as an example.
Arsenal fans have been grumbling about Wenger for quite a few years now, and some will be glad to see him leaving the club at the end of the season.
Rafa was asked about the Arsenal manager who joined the club way back in 1996.
Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger meet – when Rafa was Napoli manager
This is how Rafa answered that question:
“I have been talking well about Arsene Wenger for quite a while. When he came here to England, to do things in the way he did and win in the way he was winning, was a massive achievement.”
“He is an example for everyone, but especially for foreign managers like me.”
“His behavior has always been good.” “He was fighting and winning before me, and it was really difficult to do that.”
“He did really well – he is one of the best managers in football history.”
“I think it is the last time we will see this (a manager be in charge of a big club for 22 years).”
“There is so much money in football now that everyone wants things quickly and want to change things after a couple of bad results, we saw that ourselves when we had a bad run.”
“The reality is that you have to be patient and have an idea and a plan.”
“If you stick with the plan you have more chances to do well and that is what he did for 22 years.”
Benitez’ contract runs out at the end of June next year so we are hoping Mike Ashley can sign him up on a long-term deal – but that could be difficult if Ashley doesn’t sell the club.
Ashley would have to completely change the way the club is run for Rafa to stay, and the manager has said that a few times this season.
The best thing is that the two men speak early on and it will give both sides that extra time should an agreement not be reached for Rafa to stay past this season.
We (definitely) expect an agreement to be reached and are hoping Ashley will give Rafa everything he asks for – and then keep his word.
Personal Note: That’s it for today – I’m off to the Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh for a full body bone scan, an MRI scan and a CAT scan – all in one afternoon.