During a chat with Spanish journalist Guillem Balague , Rafa Benitez has admitted that his relationship with Mike Ashley ‘isn’t as bad as people think’, reiterating that he’s only fighting for ‘the best’ at Newcastle United – just as he has at every other club he’s managed.
The interview offers a short but insightful look into his current situation at Newcastle, painting a slightly more positive picture than some may have in their head when it comes to Benitez’s predicament and his relationship with the board.
The full interview is set to be released later this week, but this clip has been released on talkSPORT’s official Twitter page, showing an intriguing snippet of his chat with Spanish journalist and friend Guillem Balague:
"I'm fighting for the best for my club!"
— talkSPORT ? (@talkSPORT) May 22, 2018
“My relationship with the owners, normally isn’t as bad as people maybe think it is.
“Because I’m fighting for the best for my club. So I am not fighting for what is best for Rafa Benitez.
“Normally I never have a problem with my contract. It’s just because I want to improve, I want to improve the Academy, or I want to bring better players and be more competitive.The fans appreciate that.
“It has been the same in Napoli, Liverpool, here (at Newcastle), Valencia.
“Then for professionals, they have this vision, they can go one step back and say listen; it’s improving my team, it’s improving my club, it’s improving my business – and I think that people, professionally they realise, and then their perception.. it depends.
“Now the social network, it changed everything in one minute. So people can criticise you today and in two days time they are praising you.
“Now, if you realise that it’s like this, then you stay calm. You make decisions in a better way.
“So if you are too hurried to do something, you will make more mistakes.
“You have to stay calm.”
As stated by the man himself, his push for more and for better than he’s currently getting is no surprise really, with him doing exactly the same at previous clubs.
It’s an interesting read/listen and one that highlights Rafa’s calm and methodical approach to the current project and situation he finds himself in at NUFC – also suggesting that there’s no issue with his contract, just an eagerness from his part to see improvements at the club and a plan as to how these can come about.
After ‘positive talks’ between Benitez and Charnley were confirmed this week, resulting in news that he’ll stay for at least another season, maybe there’s hope yet that he and Ashley can work alongside each other? Or would it be naive to actually believe that?
Benitez certainly seems willing to make it work under his ownership – but is Ashley willing to back his man and ‘improve his business’?