Sunderland director makes embarrassing comments about Rafa Benitez & NUFC – Unbelievable

Sunderland executive director Charlie Methven has had a pop at Rafa Benitez’s ‘negative’ tactics, criticising his move to put ’11 men behind the ball at home’ when discussing the ‘fearless’ of the new ownership on Wearside.

Just when things are starting to look up for Sunderland, you’d think they’d focus on themselves and keep their heads down – but no. Methven somehow feels he’s now in a position to question Rafa Benitez after a few wins in the third tier of English football.

When discussing his decision to appoint Jack Ross – a manager known for his attacking football – the Sunderland Director couldn’t resist having a dig at the ‘negative’ Rafa Benitez:

“All three of us (Methven, Donald and Juan Sartori) believe that fearlessly ‘going for it’ – in life, in business, and sport – begets precisely the positivity and desire required to be a winner.

“Conversely, whether it be a previous SAFC manager declaring in August that his team were relegation candidates, or the manager of a neighbouring club putting 11 men behind the ball at home and conceding 80 per cent possession, if a leader’s body language is negative then the battle is already lost.

“Falling short of a stretching target is disappointing, but forgivable. Not even stretching yourself in the first place is the prelude to failure.”

This really is petty and desperate attempt to endear himself to the Sunderland fans.

I’m sure Rafa Benitez – a Champions League winning manager in the Premier League – will be devastated to hear this criticism from a director of a League One club.



Fancy knocking the work of a world class manager like Rafa and talking about what’s required to be a winner when your team is two divisions below his. The mind boggles.

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

3 thoughts on “Sunderland director makes embarrassing comments about Rafa Benitez & NUFC – Unbelievable

  1. If you all take your head out of rafa’s arse for 5 minutes you’ll realise the words he said are right regardless of who said them from where. If it was shearer said the same on motd you’d be all nodding in agreement. A negative leader leads a negative team.

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  2. I’m not sure at which point “defensive” became the same as “negative” but our defensive set-up has kept our goal difference down to -3 against 3 of the top 5 teams, losing to each of them by only 1 goal.
    Personally I think that’s impressive, all things considered.

    Methven is entitled to his opinion just as we are , and fair play if he’s doing it to try to give his team (and fans) a confidence boost, but I hope Ross can figure out that sometimes the best option is to just park the bus, stem the flow and have the players going back into the dressing room thinking they did a good job, rather than licking their wounds after a 5-0 hammering.

    If you think about it he maybe has a point – there probably isn’t the necessity to park the bus in the old 3rd division. It’s not as if you are coming up against the likes of Man City and Chelsea down there on a regular basis.

    Either way – despite his ranting, I doubt that we’ll see his man Ross in the Prem in the near future.

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  3. Couldn’t agree more with the bloke. The way jonjo kicked off against Man City last season then we all sat behind the ball for the next 80 mins was embarrassing and it looks like it’s continuing this season. If Rafa is the so called world class manager you think he is then why is he so negative in every game? Why can Watford beat spurs at home get we park the bus and lose. Wake up mate. If you think Rafa is doing a good job then your well mistaken. We are a laughing stock and every team know all they have to do is put a couple of passes together and the mightyless toon will panic

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