Rafa Benitez was calm and collected during his Newcastle United press conference today and had his say regarding previous altercations with Sunday’s opposing manager Sam Allardyce.
Both Rafa Benitez and Sunderland boss Allardyce have been known to have a tempestuous relationship where football is concerned down the years in the Premier League.
The two have clashed on more than one occasion with Allardyce recently lashing out at Newcastle’s newly-appointed manager in his autobiography.
This extract taken from Allardyce’s book, expresses his opinion on his opposite number’s past achievements, proclaiming that his famous Liverpool Champions League win of 2005 had ‘nowt to do with’ the Spaniard himself.
Sam Allardyce’s reductive take on Rafa Benitez’s 2005 Champions League final triumph with Liverpool in The Sun today pic.twitter.com/6epiwfMJXw
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) 13 October 2015
But when faced with questions regarding the two managers’ coloured history and whether this would affect proceedings on Sunday, the ex-Real Madrid boss simply brushed them off:
“I am a professional, he is a professional. The main thing is the players on the pitch.
“I was away two and a half years [at Real Madrid and Napoli], so I did not have the chance to meet him again. I am concentrating on our players.”
With our perilous league position and horrendous streak of six defeats in a row against our local rivals, it’s of little surprise that Rafa Benitez only has his mind on one thing this weekend.