In a truly fascinating interview with the Mirror’s Simon Bird, Rafa Benitez has offered a brilliant insight into the 12-hour days he’s been putting in all season in a bid to secure Newcastle’s Premier League status.
We all know Rafa to be a meticulous manager and a coach who strives to get the best out of each and every player, but this really does offer a brilliant insight into his every day duties as manager of Newcastle United.
Speaking to the Mirror’s Simon Bird during our four-day training camp in Spain last week, here’s what he had to say about his typical day on Tyneside:
“I get in early in the morning – between 7.30am and 8.30am. Not just me, my staff. Sometimes I leave at 8pm. We train, we have lunch, we talk, we watch videos. Talking with players, talking with the staff.
“If we can enjoy it, we try to enjoy it.
“I have the big screen in the office so I like to stay there when I am preparing for games because it’s easier. If you go home, you have just a computer.
“My staff will see three of four games of whoever it is we are playing. Our analysts prepare the report. They give 90 minutes of clips and Antonio Gomez (coach) will reduce it to maybe 35-45 minutes.
“Then I reduce it to around 12-15 minutes to give the players exactly what they need to know about the opponents — you make sure they can see counter-attacks, set-pieces, goals.
“So for every 15-minute clip they watch, me and the staff have watched hours . We prepare clips for every player, for the defenders or the strikers. We are working every single day just to try to improve by one per cent.”
This not only shows how hard Benitez has been working to give us the best possible chance of staying up this season, but also highlights how much work goes on behind the scenes each and every week to prepare for our upcoming games.
As Benitez states himself, he is working every single day even if that’s to improve us by ‘one percent’ and it’s perhaps this attention to detail that could give us the edge over our Premier League rivals come judgement day in the middle of May.
Hats off to Rafa – a brilliant effort from a man and manager we are lucky to have.