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Too Many Of The Old Criticisms Still Exist Around Rafa Benitez

Since Rafa has arrived at Newcastle one of the surprises we have had is how warm a character he is.

We had heard all the reports from players like Steven Gerrard that he never told the Liverpool captain he had ever played well – even after he had a stormer.

But at Newcastle, he seems a warm upbeat personality comfortable in his own skin.

And from the 20 months he’s been at Newcastle the surprise to us has been how warm a man he is.

And how often have you seen him put an arm around a Newcastle player?

The correct answer is – a lot.

Rafa Benitez embraces Andros Townsend – – good game son

So it’ s a bit of a surprise that BT Sport pundit Owen has told Yahoo Sport that Rafa is still cold to his players:

“Benitez’s a master at setting at team up that will be tough to break down, and Mourinho has shown time and again down the years that he knows how to take a sting out of a game as well.”

“But you also hear a lot of stories that suggest the two men are also quite cold towards their players when they want to be.”

“I didn’t work with Benitez for long before I left Liverpool to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2004.”

“But speaking to friends like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, they would say that Rafa’s not the warmest of characters around his players.”

“Benitez gets the best out of teams, and he’s done well at Newcastle, but he doesn’t appear to be a manager who puts his arm around players and give them that kind of emotional support when they night need it.”

Michael Owen is simply reiterating things about Rafa that were published when he managed at Liverpool for six years and that ended a full seven years ago.

We all seem to mature as we get older and can change our ways and that’s what we think has happened to Rafa.

Maybe he has become a much better man manager since he left Liverpool but he still has that laser-like determination and ambition to succeed.

That will never change with Rafa Benitez as he tries to turn Newcastle United into a top team in Europe.

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What do you think?

Comment welcome.

39 comments so far

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #1

    Expat –

    Yeah I didn’t spell Amanda Staveley correctly so the guy I know who works in the ground is telling me porky pies ??

    What I passed on is what he told me.

    He works in the ticket office and has for 10 years. I have asked him if he finds out anything substantial let me know.

    So far he has just said what I relayed.

    He is adamant it will happen and it’s on track.

    100% 2 bidders

    One Chinese / one Amanda Staveley group who they aren’t sure were totally committed from the start but now appear to be

    Yes I heard all the stuff about Chinese government stuff so don’t understand the ins and outs of how it will work

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #2

    When it all comes out we will see if I was right (about who the two bidders)

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #3

    Jail from post #10 on the previous tread…you’ll also be told he wanted McCarthy at Everton for £25M and you’ll probably also be told that there were no way in h€ll Townsend was coming here when he had just left 6 months earlier because he wanted to play in the PL!

  • hibbit

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #4

    anybody know if SJP is in lock down or is it business as usual ?????????

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #5

    From what we gathered from reports and interviews it certainly looked like Rafa thought Townsend was coming here right up until deadline day. Nobody was ever going to pay 25M for Mcarthy.

  • Geordie-john

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #6

    Fancy ” SICK NOTE OWEN ” all of people come out and say Rafa is cold towards the players. It’s a good job he is not still here to see how wrong he is. Probably still wouldn’t see it as he spent more time on the sick than on the field for Newcastle. In fact it was that much I don’t think that he ever played against Liverpool for us. Total waste of space and money.

  • Geordie-john

    Nov 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #7

    Frank pingles come sock Comment 1,
    It’s definitely A.S. who is the front runner as the other one has too much red tape around it and I was told recently it’s gonna be announced within next 2 weeks who and when .

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #8

    Jail…I thought it was common knowledge to take what you read (my journos) with a pint of salt…

    Rafa said he was hoping players would come…but he never said who, that was the media guessing! I am not disputing Rafa might have wanted Townsend but that’s not the same as him wanting to come here…Rafa uses the media just like everyone else…like I said yesterday he’s no mug!

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #9
  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #10

    Could see a bid today. But more likely will be Weds next week!

  • Frank pingles come sock

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #11

    Geordie- John

    That’s good to hear and more than I have heard (don’t fancy complications leading to a failed takeover)

    Like I said I can’t see how the Chinese can do it considering the recent laws so it makes sense that Amanda (pcp) group have the advantage

    I want Ashley out more than anyone

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #12

    Shire…you fancy Wednesdays? 😉

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #13

    Given Rafas track record, how meticulous he is and his relationship with Townsend, don’t you think he spoke to him before sending Churnley in to negotiate.

  • ShirebrookToon

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #14


  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #15


    Jesper……. There are no fixed agendas within the confines of Rafa’s perceived thought process relating to his objectives and press statements relating to his choice of thoughts and the words that then exit his mouth be spite alterior motives of his undoubted manipulation of said given situation with regards to any relevant subject he might be pondering over, Surely you can see this.

  • jimmygscot

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM

    Comment #16

    Owen was just a money grabbing mercenary at SJP, i cannot stand listening to him on BT Sport.

  • NUFCadon

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #17

    It’s a shame Owen didn’t stay injury free with us. It would have been great for the club. He did have 2 full seasons playing for us give or take in the last two years he was with us. Still though 79 games and 30 goals over 4 season from your club record signing striker isn’t good

  • NUFCadon

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Speaking of club record signings, I wonder if there will be one in January

  • magscar

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #19

    Owen was more interested in getting fit for England than playng for us. Can’t imagine any NUFC fans care what he has to say and wonder why anyone else – would certainly not Liverpool or Man U either

  • AncientC

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #20

    Alex Ferguson dished out Owen’s comeuppance. What annoyed me the most about Owen moving to Man Utd, was that Owen moved for less money, it was would likely have been a pay as you play deal with a basic wage… Owen believing he was good enough to start for Man Utd. Without sounding bitter, Alex Ferguson just allowed to him to rot lol. I always wondered if Alex Ferguson didn’t engineer that all on purpose.

  • AncientC

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #21

    The best thing Owen ever did for Newcastle was get injured on international duty… the compensation bought Obafemi Martins. Yeah, thanks, Owen.

  • lesh

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #22

    Could it be that Rafa saw through Owen and just didn’t like him as a person?

  • Tsunki

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #23

    Just think how much we could do with a striker of any calibre these days!

    On the spelling controversy I suppose it’s only easy if you know it…. I saw one poster having trouble with his “scepticles”. 🙁 Wouldn’t wish that on anyone. 😀

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #24

    Just looking to see it’s worth coming out of hibernation, are we sold yet?

    Oh OK back to sleep!!

  • magpie6699

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #25

    Personally I’d much rather have a boss who tells it to you like it is, rather than one who’s all sweetness and light but then undermines you or stabs you in the back.

  • Tsunki

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Comment #26

    Or text your mate to tell you to not bother coming in any more.

  • toonincheek

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #27


    What was really funny was that the guy “having trouble
    with his scepticles” was complaining about the spelling
    of another poster!

  • sparky55

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:35 PM

    Comment #28

    Whether or not we get a record signing the most important thing in my book is to sort the No 9, 10, and 11 along with a decent 3.

    However 4 new players will upset everything too much…there’s good togetherness in the camp so all I’m wishing for is two outstanding players so we can start scoring goals. The one thing we have learnt over the last 3 months is we’re not great at keeping clean sheets and losing 1-0 all the time will only see us slide down the table.

    We have to start scoring goals so Rafa’s focus has to be a striker and a No 10…unless he decides to play Merino as 10 then we need a better holding mid than Hayden

  • Mindshaft

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #29

    Seems to be a lot of people on here in the know or have a mate of a mate

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:54 PM

    Comment #30

    I wish I’d been at the Man U game when he came on for ten minutes or so, I believe he got a bit of a hard time.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 17, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #31

    It makes you wonder what an experienced manager like Koeman was thinking signing all those players in one window, like he was thinking if I don’t spend it now I might not get it again.

  • jesperfuglsang - capt'n awesome of the lemon crew

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #32

    Betsy…could you post that in a picture? Come on do a picture 🙂

  • Billy Whitehursts V sign

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #33


    Great minds, just popped back in to make certain them internationals are actually over. Two weeks of my life wasted!
    Takeover still just a load of rumours I see.
    Probably get beat tomorrow (how great would a win be!) but hopefully we will be in the game for the majority.
    Rafa Bingo might be fun tomorrow, till then peeps.

  • Mister Tuff

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #34

    Cannot see us getting anything tomorrow – think they’ll have the firepower to score and we don’t.

    There is a report that Tosuns agent (his old man) was recently in the UK holding talks with NUFC. Whether it’s true or not – who knows.

  • Billy Whitehursts V sign

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #35

    Oh, one last thing, no guarantee the potential new owners will pile cash in. January may not be the best time to spend it if they do. This squad will probably have to do till the summer; thankfully they should be just about good enough?

  • Jib

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #36

    It’s going to be fascinating
    tomorrow – a face off of two
    of the best managers in Europe
    not just the PL who both have
    very similar footballing philosophies.
    If it was me I would set up for the draw
    but that can really backfire
    As I say fascinating
    In the North West now , ready for the
    game tomorrow which has the added
    benefit of missing the matchday crap on here

  • Optimistic Panda

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #37

    I’m going for us to nick a 1-0 win

  • Ron Knee

    Nov 17, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #38

    “… a face off of two of the best managers in Europe …”

    Yes, but one has a much better team.

  • Jib

    Nov 17, 2017 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #39

    Ron Knee
    Yes, but one has a much better team.

    That’s one of the reasons it’s fascinating


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