Rafa Benitez and captain Jamaal Lascelles seemed to have an argument in training earlier in the season, but everything seems to be back to normal.
And Jamaal has talked on the Four Four Two website about Rafa’s coaching.
He says Rafa makes small improvements to his game continually and the manager is big on tactics – which we already knew.
That’s especially true in defense as Rafa continues to make Newcastle a difficult team to break down.
It’s not surprising that Rafa is by far the best manager Jamaal has ever worked with.
Rafa Benitez with Jamaal Lascelles after defeat at the Etihad
And as soon as Rafa came to Newcastle in March 2016, he saw the vast potential in the 24-year-old center-back.
After being only a bit player under former manager Steve McClaren, Jamaal quickly became an essential player at Newcastle under Rafa Benitez.
This is some of what the former NottinghamForest defender has said in Four Four Two.
“He’s always correcting small things with me and talking to me,”
“He will tell me to watch clips of various players to improve my game.”
“He’s by far the best manager I’ve worked with – he’s very easy to talk to and his door is always open.”
“You can tell he’s managed at the highest level, and every day it’s like playing in front of a new manager because he has the authority and commands respect immediately.”
“Players want to impress him in training because of his stature and what he’s achieved during his career.”
“He’s big on tactics – not so much skill and technique but positioning, and controlling the back line and the spaces between defense and midfield.”
“Anyone who watched Newcastle last season will have noticed we’re pretty hard to break down, and that’s all down to his tactics.”
“He’s such a perfectionist.
“If it’s not right, he’ll stop training and correct us.”
Newcastle fans will be hoping Rafa can have a third successive excellent season after he signed seven new players in the summer.
But he’s still not getting the financial support from owner Mike Ashley he needs to have Newcastle become a top team quickly.
It will take a lot more time, but Rafa may decide not to hang around when his contract runs out next June.
We hope he stays at Newcastle.
What do you think?