Sir Bobby Robson and Rafa Benitez have that gift that they were able to get the very best out of their players.
That’s one thing that made Sir Bobby one of the best football managers England ever produced.
The way he had Ipswich Town in the top six almost every year with hardly any money to spend showed that – like Rafa Benitez today – he was a great coach.
There’s a report in the Sunday Sun today that our former French winger Laurent Robert has explained how Sir Bobby got the very best out of him at Newcastle.
Laurent Robert – Sir Bobby was like a father-figure
It was back in 2003 on December 13 when we hammered Tottenham 4-0 at home and Laurent scored two great goals and had two assists – both for a certain Alan Shearer.
The attendance that day was 52,139 much like they are today – full houses – once again.
This is what Laurent Robert has told the Sunday Sun today:
“I remember the Tottenham game very well.” “I scored two great goals.”
“But ahead of this game I woke up and I felt very sick.”
“The doctor even came to my home to see me and give me medication and treatment.”
“Before the game I didn’t know whether I would be able to play or not.”
“But Bobby took me to one side and said: ‘Look Laurent, I know you aren’t feeling well but I really need you to play today you’re one of our best players.’”
“So I played in that game and scored the two great goals and made two crosses for Shearer.”
“It was a great day and I have some good memories of that.”
“Bobby was probably my best manager.” “He was like a father figure to me like a lot of the players.”
“In football you need to have confidence and you can only get that from your manager as he picks the team.”
“The gaffer spoke to me every time and instilled confidence in me.”
“For me he was the best manager of my career.”
Those were excellent days for Newcastle fans as Sir Bobby Robson had us in the Champions League and there were sell-out gates at St. James Park for every home game.
It’s like that today with Rafa Benitez and the Spaniard has similar characteristics to Bobby – with Kenedy this year saying that Rafa was like a father figure to him.
And both Sir Bobby and Rafa are passionate about football and will talk to you for hours and hours about the game – if you have time.
Bobby Robson was one of the people I tried to emulate in my career – in that he was always civil to people – something that seems to be in short supply these days.
People bashing each other on Twitter every day certainly doesn’t help things.
Sir Bobby Robson was a great man and a terrific manager.
One of the very best!