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Player Reveals The Traits That Make Rafa Benitez World Class

We have missed Ciaran Clark a lot since he got injured in the 3-1 loss at home to Fulham.

And if Ciaran had been playing we wouldn’t be in the relatively poor position we are in now, where Huddersfield can still catch us unless we wake up and start winning some games again.

Brighton are promoted and will almost certainly go up as Champions and who would have thought that a short two weeks and three games ago?

Not many.

Ciaran Clark in training

The 27 year-old Irish international has given an interview in the Chronicle today where he explains why Rafa is world-class and how he goes about getting the best out of his players.

At the beginning of the season Rafa was keen that his players knew more about controlling games and the tactics that are used in various game situations and Ciaran seems to have taken all that information on board.

This is what Ciaran has said about Rafa as reported in the Chronicle:

“It has been a total change for me, Rafa Benitez is a real man-manager and he wants you to get involved and learn.”

“He wants to teach you and improve you as a player – if he does that then it improves the team.”

“He works hard on defensive shape and positional stuff, it’s something I have probably not had as a player in my career.”

“I feel like I am learning so much and hopefully I can keep doing it, I feel like I have learned more about the game.”

“To have that winning feeling and the confidence it brings shows on the pitch, hopefully I can keep playing the way I have been.”

“It is a real positive place and we are all on the training pitch and on match days we have confidence.”

“You can see that from results and performances we have put it in – Rafa Benitez keeps everybody positive and drills into you not to be complacent.”

“That is the key really, we have a good bunch of lads here and nobody gets too ahead of themselves.”

Clark has put in a good season for us and is likely to be even better next season in the Premier League (still an assumption) and if Rafa brings in a top center-back as is expected we wonder where Jamaal Lascelles will play.

Jamaal has been a little lackadaisical recently at the back, but of course he’s still young.

There are now only three games left and two are at home and 5 points from those game will definitely nail our automatic promotion spot.

But the sooner the better for worried Newcastle fans, after we have slumped and taken a measly one point from the last nine – not a good time to choke.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • cyprus

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #1

    April 20, 2017
    In truth
    Lou’s points are all legitimate and make sense.

    In order to get top players in next but year, which we’ll need in order to compete, 52k fans won’t do it. Promise of success from a newly promoted team won’t do it either, as the odds are low.

    The Rafa allure will help.

    But the only real way to bring a player up North is dinero. Mucho.

  • cyprus

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Comment #2

    If we choke it will be up there with those two PL seasons with KK.



    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:36 AM

    Comment #3

    We won’t choke though

  • HarrogateMag

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    Comment #4

    I don’t think its choking but its no surprise that its the ‘ever presents’ Dummet , Lascelles and Ritchie are looking jaded – Rafa has not done squad rotation with these guys and Shelvey is nothing like his early season form, and hasn’t been rested since his return

  • hibbit

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #5

    it looks like it’s you that’s losing your bottle
    keep the faith lad we are going up
    it just was never going to be as easy as folk on here thought

  • Ibizatoon

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #6

    Earlier in the season Shelvey was dropped / rotated after looking somewhat lethargic. Perhaps a trick has been missed due to Hayden being out so long that has forced Rafa to stick with him recently and now it’s showing either through energy levels depleting or the idea that he’s untouchable as far as team selection goes.

    Can he afford to drop him now with 3 games left? Perhaps it’s worth it for 1 game to try and get the best out of him for the last 2?

    I remember thinking it was a bold move by Rafa at the time, but it worked.

  • welshgeordie9

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #7

    This goes back to us not signing anyone in January we could have then rested key players like Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle, no wonder Gayles out with an injury, would have won the league, more players, fresh legs.

  • posada

    Apr 20, 2017 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #8

    I don’t think I have ever reacted to a goal as I did when Butterfield scored.
    I had given up and was starting to go to make a cup of tea, when suddenly the ball was in the net.
    It was part joy and part a release of frustration.
    It seemed as if everything was going their way and that moment changed it completely.


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