Jamie Carragher: “Motivation? That’s not Rafa’s biggest strength”

Rafa Benitez Newcastle

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]amie Carragher believes that Rafa Benitez will bring silverware to Newcastle United, if he saves them from relegation this season, who is having only 10 matches to secure their next season in Premier League.

Carragher played under Benitez and won Champions League for Liverpool. After the humiliating results from recent matches, Newcastle appointed Benitez to save their Premier League position next year.

Former Liverpool player Carragher said with the Sky Sports: I think for Newcastle, it’s a fantastic appointment to get a manager of that calibre,”

“I think over the last decade, you’d have to go back to Bobby Robson [to find someone] who has won that many honours.

“These next 10 games – if he can get through those, then over the next three years he could be the man that stops that rot of trophies. He’s won so many trophies in his career.

“The fans shouldn’t be concerned, not at all. For any Newcastle fan, forget the next three years, focus on the next 10 games.

“If you’re a fan and Newcastle went down, you wouldn’t want Rafa, you’d want someone that has experience in that league and has success in that league. Rafa won’t want to be there.

“It works perfectly for both parties; if he keeps them up, it’ll be a great appointment over the next three or four years and hopefully he can get Newcastle back up the table. I think the next 10 games are all that matters for everyone involved.”

He added: “I can’t remember ever seeing Rafa at this end of the table,”
“That’s why I’m interested in seeing how he goes about it. That’s why I’m interested in seeing how he manages, how he prepares his players.

“Motivation? That’s not Rafa’s biggest strength. He will look at how they suffer tactically. Rafa was probably the best I had with setting up a back four. There’s probably going to be a lot of repetition and he won’t apologise for that.

“Those players will work hard – whoever they’re playing, it will be a difficult game for them. It won’t be the open expansive style the fans want, for now he will be focusing on trying to make Newcastle difficult to beat.”


Rafa Benitez questions Mourinho’s sportsmanship

Rafa Benitez


New Napoli boss and former Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez take a hidden swipe at Jose Mourinho and his must win no matter what approach to the game.

During the “Special Ones” first stint in charge at the bridge Mourinho, and Benitez when in charge of Liverpool never saw eye-to-eye with Benítez suggesting that Mourinho’s lack of humility was to blame when discussing his coaching style compared to the Portuguese managers.

Despite a troubled six months at Chelsea with the fans against him the Spaniard still managed to finish third in the league, and to win the Europa League for Chelsea.

Benitez when speaking to the Spanish sports daily AS said: “I don’t know what Mourinho does. I know what I do: I always want to win, without crossing the line of sportsmanship. It’s true that I get on better with some coaches than others and I align myself with those that don’t value winning at any cost.”

Benitez who moved up through the ranks of Real Madrid both playing for and later coaching their reserve team said that it was his time there that helped him to learn the value of sportsmanship.

“I joined Madrid’s academy when I was 13 and learned everything there. I received a sporting education from Madrid and I was taught to show respect and dignity towards the opponents whether we won or lost.”

Now having a fresh start ahead of him at Napoli Benitez thinks that Carlo Ancelotti is the perfect man to try and heal the rift that Mourinho left in his wake saying when talking about the Italian: “I know him well from Milan because of the finals in Athens and Istanbul and we had a very good relationship when we were both in the Premier League. I think it’s the correct choice because he will be a conciliator in the dressing room and inside the club. I think the club will appreciate that change.”

To a Chelsea fan Mourinho has always been the manager that they wanted to have at Stamford Bridge yet it remains to be seen how long the “Special One” can go before the love affair between himself and Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich will last.

The bookies are giving odds of 7/2 that Mourinho will leave Chelsea before the end of the season, what do you think?