We get a glimpse into why Rafa is such a very good man-manager and why his players would run through a brick wall for him – however painful that may be.
Rafa brought in Kenedy during January and let the Brazilian know he believed in him, and that did wonders for Kenedy’s confidence.
The 22-year-old was terrific for us on the left wing and worked his socks off for the team.
In the same way, Rafa has talked about Jonjo Shelvey this season, and this year he has behaved himself on the field and has been outstanding for Newcastle.
Jonjo Shelvey – been great for us this year
Jonjo ran the game for us against Chelsea on Sunday and was our Man of the Match.
But it does not seem that Jonjo will be playing for England in this summer’s World Cup in Russia with England manager Southgate not selecting him because of disciplinary concerns.
This is what Rafa Benitez has told BBC Spor about Jonjo:
“For me, the way that Jonjo has been playing, the things that he has been doing – he is different to the midfielders that England has already,”
“His behavior has been fantastic throughout the season. Some people say that: ‘Maybe it’s because of this. Or maybe it’s because of that.’”
“In terms of quality, I don’t have any doubt about his quality.”
“And, in terms of his behaviour, he has been fantastic during the whole season.”
Jonjo did pick up two red cards in the first half of the season, and they probably cost him his place in the England squad.
But England have nobody in midfield with Shelvey’s creativity or passing ability.
It would be silly if Southgate picks Jack Wilshire of Arsenal who has shown nothing this season.
But he was selected for Euro 2016 two years ago by Roy Hodgson having played very few games for Arsenal in the previous season.
If Southgate does that this time then he’s picking players on reputation – and that’s never a good thing.