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Rafa Talks About How To Improve Newcastle Team – Ashley Should Take Note

Rafa Benitez in today’s press conference seemed upbeat, and as usual, he answered the questions he was given thoughtfully.

He talked about how there are basically two ways to improve the team – one is by buying players – like most of the top clubs these days do.

As Rafa says, if they are weak in one position they bring in a player for £50M and that will usually solve the problem.

And the second way is by coaching – taking the players you have and making them into better players and using the team formations which best suits the abilities the players have.

That’s almost the definition of coaching.

Rafa did that brilliantly last season, and with the seven new players, we have from last year at this time, Rafa has a decent chance of making those players (much) better by the end of this season.

Rafa reminds us a lot of Sir Bobby Robson, and like Bobby, he’s the consummate coach who loves improving his players during a season.

This is some of what Rafa said during his press conference.

“We have to concentrate on improving the team as much as we can.”

“The new signings are closer to starting now because they are fitter.”

“We are talking about one of the top sides. They have a good manager – I know Sarri well from his experience in Italy.”

“The main factor for us is the attitude of the players – their work rate, their mentality.”

“You have to try to win, and try to win using the brain – not just the heart.”

Rafa may be leaving Newcastle next summer, but you would never think of it from this press conference.

He talked about the fans and how smart they are.

As far as their frustration goes, he sympathized with them but said as soon as they enter the stadium they must be positive and support the side.

The fans did that so well last season, and it was one reason we managed to go through a very tough nine-game spell with just one point and why we were able to pull away earlier this year with a string of good results.

Rafa wants the same again this season, and we’ll see how we do by next May.

We are hoping at some time before the end of the season that Rafa will indeed sign a new deal even if Mike Ashley is still at the club.

Rafa seems to have good relationships at Newcastle and maybe even with Mike Ashley.

In fact, he has said it may surprise people, but his relationship with the owner is quite a good one.

This is what he told his friend Guillem Balague in a lengthy interview back in June:

“My relationship with the owners normally isn’t as bad as people maybe think it is because I am fighting for the best for my club. I’m not fighting for what’s best for Rafa Benitez.”

“Normally I never have a problem with my contract because it’s more or less; it’s just I want to improve the facilities, I want to improve the academy, I want to bring in better players and be more competitive like that.”

“The fans appreciate that; it’s been the same in Napoli, Liverpool, here, Valencia – they appreciate that.”

“Then for professionals (like an owner), if they have this vision, they can go one step back and say: “It’s improving my team; it’s improving my club; it’s improving my business.?”

Hopefully, the penny will finally drop for Ashley sometime soon; that Rafa is striving to make Newcastle United into a great club that in the future will be a lot more expensive on the open market than we are now.

That means the owner can make big money by selling Newcastle sometime in the future.

But only if Ashley starts supporting Rafa and keeps him at the club.

And one last point, Rafa loves the passion of the Newcastle fans and their undying passion for their club.

So it could be difficult for a man as passionate about football as Rafa Benitez, to walk away from the club next June.

We hope that’s true.

We’ll know soon enough.

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Comments welcome.

4 comments so far

  • Jib

    Aug 24, 2018 at 5:29 PM

    Comment #1

    You see that’s the nature of blogs
    Post a positive article and no hits.
    Feed the whingers and it’s hit after hit.

  • Mag52

    Aug 24, 2018 at 5:30 PM

    Comment #2

    It’s ironic that the better Rafa does with his coaching the less money will Ashley make available to him in transfer windows, and no matter how good a coach he is, for real success a club needs a few players with god given talent, and that takes money to acquire them.

  • posada

    Aug 24, 2018 at 5:45 PM

    Comment #3


    Aug 24, 2018 at 4:37 PM
    Comment #46

    Online guy
    Ashley – read a feasibility study
    commissioned by SJH in the 1990’s viz –
    expansion of the Gallowgate end not possible
    because of the metro tunnel – as soon as he
    read this he sold the Strawberry Lane car park for £6M
    to Marrico Asset Management property developers
    from Doncaster in 2008.

    It is they who have the permission to do a £60M development
    of the site

    It’s the anti Ashley campaigners getting people hot under the collar
    over red herrings like this – that weakens their stance

    Interesting. I’ve always thought the Strawberry Car Park was too far away from the pitch to be used for stadium extension.
    SJH does believe the ground can be increased to 60K.
    There is more space at the back of the east stand than folks think. How close they would allow you to get to the listed Leazes terrace would be up to the planners.

  • Toon&oot

    Aug 25, 2018 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #4

    What I get from that is he gets on with Ashley apart from when hes asking for ££££. Don’t think the penny will ever drop with the FCB because wont let go, not for players or academy improvements.


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