The way Rafa shakes hands with the Newcastle players after the games we had assumed that he also praised them for their displays when warranted.
And we thought Steven Gerrard’s famous words that Rafa never praised him after he had played well for Liverpool was no longer the case with the older Rafa Benitez.
But that may not be the case – and we may be wrong (yet) again.
Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has said that Rafa rarely praises the Newcastle players.
Rafa Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles after beating Arsenal earlier this year
Peter Crouch said that Rafa overdid things – well that’s because he’s a perfectionist, so that explains that one.
But it seems that all Rafa wants is for his players to learn from every single game how they can improve.
This is how Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles explained it on the Four Four Two website:
“Some managers will just praise you all the time, but even when you do something well at Newcastle, Rafa will tell you how you can do it even better,”
“It’s rare that he praises players, as he knows no one here is potentially where they should be in terms of the level they can take this team to.”
“He knows I’ve got a long way to go. I’m, only 24, so rather than praise me, he will give me advice.”
So it’s true – Rafa is not too big on praising his players – but he seems very keen on wanting his players to learn – all the time.
That’s OK with us.