Rafa Benitez has said he has a much better relationship with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley than most people think.
But one thing that has caused people to think otherwise was last summer when he spoke of how he was (very) disappointed with the transfer money he had been given.
Also a year last January he was also extremely unhappy when players were not brought into the club.
And fans attributed that to Mike Ashley not keeping his word and that Rafa was annoyed with the owner for the lack of transfer funds.
But this is good news from Rafa.
He has been talking to Sky Sports Spanish journalist Guillem Balague who wrote a book on Rafa’s Liverpool accomplishments and seems to keep in close contact with Rafa.
The interview took place in Rafa’s office at Benton.
“My relationship with the owners, normally isn’t as bad as people maybe think it is.” “Because I’m fighting for the best for my club.”
“So I am not fighting for what is best for Rafa Benitez.” “Normally I never have a problem with my contract.”
“It’s just because I want to improve, I want to improve the Academy, or I want to bring better players and be more competitive.”
“The fans appreciate that.” “It has been the same in Napoli, Liverpool, here, Valencia.”
“Then for professionals, they have this vision, they can go one step back and say listen: it’s improving my team, it’s improving my club, it’s improving my business.”
“And I think that people, professionally they realise, and then their perception, it depends.”
“Now the social network, it changed everything in one minute.” “So people can criticise you today and in two days time they are praising you.”
“Now, if you realise that it’s like this, then you stay calm.” “You make decisions in a better way.”
“So if you are too hurried to do something, you will make more mistakes.” “You have to stay calm.”
Excellent comments there from Rafa and staying calm is what he does very well.
And that translates to the players and even the fans.
That’s one reason when we went 9 games with just one draw last season the fans stayed right behind the manager.
And what he said would happen did – the team became better and started to win games.
It seems from these comments to Guillem Balague that Rafa is committed to the club.
That’s got to be good news.
Very good news.
Jack Farish is currently studying for a Master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Northumbria University.
His thesis project looks at Premier League fans’ team identification – that is – how well they support and identify with their team.
Jack has put together a relatively short questionnaire of team identification and satisfaction with life; it should take no longer than 10 minutes.
You can help Jack by filling out the survey here.