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Insights Into How Rafa Benitez Brilliantly Manages His Players


Rob Elliot has given an insightful perceptive interview in the local papers, which illustrates just why players will run through a brick wall for the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.

Not only is Rafa mad keen on everything to do with football, but he is an excellent man-manager who knows how the players think and gives them massive support, especially when they are going through tough times.

Nobody can say Rob Elliot hasn’t had a very tough year, after picking up his serious ACL knee injury playing for the Republic of Ireland a year last March.

31 year-old Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot

Rafa brought back Rob Elliot to the first team line-up for the last three games of last season – a masterstroke and games that we won and gained a massive 8 points on Brighton to dramatically win the Championship.

This is how Rob Elliot has explained Rafa’s interactions with him over the last year or so and why the Newcastle manager is so very good at what he does:

“I spoke to him in the summer and had my operations.” He’s shown faith in me and looked after me by doing that.”

“We sat down and we talked. He said ‘is everything OK with you?’.”  “Obviously, my contract was coming up. All I said to him was that my contract probably needed looking at.”

“I was very unsure of my future before that, and before I started playing in the previous season.”

“He was ‘OK, I’ll speak to Lee Charnley.” “A week later he said ‘we’ll have a meeting, and your contract will get sorted’.”

“I ended up signing a new deal in the summer. “I never really had to go and see him.”

“He’d only been my manager for two games when I was fit and gave me a new contract while I was injured, was enough to me.”

“I don’t think I needed to knock on his door and ask what he thought of me or what my position was.”

“You knuckle down and wait for your opportunity and he gave me that in the Preston game.”

“The Preston game was massive,” “I didn’t expect to play. The manager told me on Sunday morning as I went out to training.”

“He casually came up to me – we usually say hello in the morning – and said ‘I’m going to play you tomorrow’.”

“It didn’t really sink in properly.” “While it’s been brilliant watching the club and the lads do so well, it’s been tough personally.”

“You work for six or seven months to get back fit after a horrible injury at the worst possible time, and then Karl was playing brilliantly.”

“You have to sit there and keep plugging away.”  “It’s just great when you get your opportunity that you can help in some way. It’s just nice to contribute something.”

“The lads have put the effort in and have gone through the pain barrier. To contribute a little bit makes you part of that group.”

Rafa will also have had a quiet word with Karl Darlow about why he was bringing Rob back.

And we didn’t see Karl go in the huff or anything like that – he was just delighted he played a major role in getting Newcastle promoted last season and back in the big time – the Premier League.

Comments welcome.


68 comments so far

  • Our Toon

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #41

    To compare Abraham’s to remy is quite laughable to say the least. Remy was an international who played at the highest level and abraham is a kid who is untested and unproven.

    Andre Gray tore up the championship and he managed 9 goals last season, Gayle tore up the championship and he’s not managed more than 9 in any PL season.

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  • john tudor

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #42

    tammy tap in no,no, no

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:28 PM

    Comment #43

    When we agreed to take Abrahams his wages were 25k a week. Suddenly they’re 55 and it:s a different deal. We gain nothing from signing this lad. How many senior players are on less than him? That’ll go down well in a happy dressing room. He’s not our player and never will be. He’s not decided yet if he’ll come here and frankly, paying his family a million is a joke. This isn’t about hate, a ridiculous word in this context, it’s about opinions as to whether it takes us.
    If he comes, I’ll get behind him 100%, as I do all our players. I’d just sooner we spent our money elsewhere that’s all

    2
  • JackBall

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #44

    The doubt that many of us have about Abraham is the cumulative of the saga mentioned coupled with the fact that he will most likely be here for only one year, his first year in the top league. I am not absolutely opposed to loan deals. One could help us make a push to the upper mid table, while also allowing us to use limited funds to further secure our position. But is a 19 year old unproven striker that will more than likely return to Chelsea at the end of the season (if he is real good, he will leave, if not, do we still want him), the answer. Add to that (if true), the high wages, the loan fee and the signing on bonus to his family, and the extra money saved dwindles. As the reasonable ones point out, we really do not know the true story or Rafa’s intentions for this and the next transfer window, but we are killing time taking football on the blog and using the best information we have. With that, I say, if I was the manager, I would look elsewhere without fear that his agent will change his mind because I wrote that. Lastly, I must report that I still think Mitro has a huge upside and that Rafa is not finished with him yet.

    1
  • AncientC

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #45

    Our Toon, how is Abraham “untested and unproven.” Did he just take up professional football as a profession this summer?

    Abraham has not had a run in the PL yet, if that is what you mean – which goes to show that he may or may not work out. Clearly Benitez sees something in him, perhaps you should write a letter to Benitez outlining your concerns.

    I did not compare Abraham and Remy as players, I compared the situations when people on the blog were stating that Remy was not worth the bother. English comprehension is challenging at times, isn’t it.

    Remy was on 80k a week and cost £2 million when we signed him, but right now Remy is likely on over £100k a week, which is twice what Abraham earns, given inflation. Notice how Remy would earn more because he had scored goals after having a run in the PL.

    As I said to martoon, if you can find a proven PL striker willing to take 50k a week and a £1 million signing on fee, let us all know.

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  • AncientC

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #46

    “Andre Gray tore up the championship and he managed 9 goals last season, Gayle tore up the championship and he’s not managed more than 9 in any PL season.”

    Who said that Abraham was going to hit the ground running in the PL?

    Abraham is a slight risk, which is why he is so cheap.

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  • AncientC

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:39 PM

    Comment #47

    “He’s not our player and never will be”

    You don’t know that as a fact, Bobbybee.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #48

    You might not find a top striker for 55k a week, but Tammy ain’t a proven striker so you can’t really use that comparison. You could find any amount of wannabes happy to take that money though.
    All about opinions, nothing more.

    1
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #49

    Ancient, pretty much from what’s been said, yes. There’s no option to buy, which kinda gives you a clue!

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #50

    We’re having to repost to stay on the same thread.

    I for one am not against Abraham for his posturing and attitude, I’m just not convinced he’s as good as he thinks he is.

    If we are going to have development players then lets make sure we can have them long term, I’d rather see Armsrong, Heardman and (lets not forget about him) Toney get the chance to progress.

    Gayles goals per games in the EPL were I understand very good.

    1
  • AncientC

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #51

    Bobby, no option to buy does not mean that Abraham will not stay on at the club. That’s a very powerful ball you are gazing into.

    Abraham may find himself a good fit and enjoy Newcastle, if he signs that is. Chelsea may keep Costa, sign Morata, and goodness knows who else over the next 3 windows. The odds on Abraham being good enough for a Chelsea squad place are low – if you believe Abraham is good enough for the Chelsea squad, why are you worried about his 50k wages? You are aware this £1 million signing on fee story came from the Daily Mail, right?

    What happened to “wait and see”?

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  • Ron Knee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #52

    “Mourinho accused of tax fraud during Real Madrid stint” (BBC)

    0
  • AncientC

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #53

    Anyways, gotta run here. Have fun trashing Tammy Abraham and his family.

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #54

    When Lukaku was on loan at Everton, was there a buy-out clause? I don’t recall one from memory, which would tie in to the point Ancient is making about not knowing what will happen down the line.

    He could join on loan, do the business, love working under Rafa and having our fan base behind him and decide his future lies at NUFC. Perhaps.

    Then again…

    0
  • cyprus

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #55

    Rafa
    Now you’ll need to have a quiet chat with all the incumbent keepers as, if true, you’re looking for someone else!

    On Abraham, does he really want to come here? That’s an important little detail. He doesn’t seem exactly thrilled.

    That position is crucial I think. That together with an attacking MF and a top winger. 70 million right there.

    The rest of the positions, we’re ok.

    Rafa, you’re not reading my posts man 😉

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #56

    Cyrpus…I’m sure he posts on here. We just need to figure out which username!

    0
  • Pitmatic

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #57

    Huddersfield I think have either signed or are in the process of signing Mooy, and are now reported to be negotiating a deal to sign Brown. Both players would walk into our team. Loans can quite often lead to permanent deals, even when not agreed at the outset, so I’m not sure why so many people get down on them.

    By the way, why do I keep seeing Heardman listed as a prospect? Isn’t he about 21 or so, with no achievements whatsoever on his CV? He’ll be lucky to make it anywhere in the Football League, surely?

    0
  • JackBall

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #58

    Gayle – Goal every 93 minutes, assists 1073
    Mitro – Goal every 86.3, assist every 187
    Tammy Abraham – goal every 132, assists 1142

    Abraham looks, based on goals, assists and style to be more of a Gayle replacement – younger and maybe not as injury prone, but if we can’t keep him, do we need him.

    0
  • Bobbybee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #59

    Ancient, I don’t think he’s good enough for Chelsea mate. I ain’t said he is. Nobody has. If he was, they’d keep him. Let them pay him 55k a week for sitting on his backside, I don’t think we should. It’s my opinion mate, I’m entitled to it.
    His goals might look good on paper, but check them out. Scrappy, pinball football of the type you don’t get in the PL.
    Anyway, got to go out. I’ve said my bit and don’t intend repeating myself. Imo, he’s not worth 55k a week. That’s it. Can’t say much more. Seems I’m not alone.
    Like I say, if he comes, he’ll get my undivided support as a Toon player. They all so, like them or not.
    I’ve seen nothing from him that says to me he’s the real deal yet. Not one goal from outside the box. 16 within the six yard area. Credit for scoring them, but I’m not too impressed. If he comes, I hope he makes me eat those words and scores twenty plus. Obviously.

    1
  • hibbit

    Jun 20, 2017 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #60

    this would have been a cheaper option !!!!

    AMEOBI SIGNS ON

    Shola Ameobi has signed a new contract with Notts County.

    The former Newcastle striker signed for County midway through last season.

    He said: “I’ve been taken aback by the support of the fans, who have welcomed me into their club with open arms.”

    3
  • cyprus

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #61

    Ibiza
    I suspected as much 🙂
    I’d say he was you but you’ve been around a while.

    0
  • Ron Knee

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #62

    Come back, Shola. All is forgiven!

    0
  • Pitmatic

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Comment #63

    Go on Shola!!!!

    0
  • Ibizatoon

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #64

    Cyrpus…If Rafa came out with half of what I do, then the fans would be entitled to be extremely worried 🙂

    Maybe it’s G2?

    1
  • cyprus

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #65

    I only understand about half of what G2 says… Nope, he ain’t Rafa.

    0
  • hibbit

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #66

    cyprus
    that much

    0
  • martoon

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #67

    I’ve done a bit of Jibbing (Googling) about the details on other loan deals and nowhere have I seen where the player gets a signing on fee even when Wiltshere was loaned to Bournemouth. So it is the signing on fee (if true) that I find strange about the proposed Abraham loan.

    0
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Jun 20, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    Comment #68

    Well Rafa considered Heardman good enough to have on the retained list, so he must have something to offer. I’ve not seen him playing so couldn’t express an opinion about his quality’s but I’m sure Rafa has.

    2


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