Rafa Benitez is certainly putting the hours in and Wednesday night saw him make a surprise appearance at the latest Newcastle United fans forum.
The last fans forum was held in February 2016 and a scheduled one in May was cancelled by the club with no reason given to the volunteer members.
However, after the usual business of the fans forum meeting last night, Rafa Benitez was then presented to the supporters involved, with a number of the forum members happy afterwards to relate how impressed they were with the manager who we are all hoping can rectify so many mistakes of recent years.
Rafa spent around an hour with the Newcastle United fans forum, discussing the club and answering questions, although the Rafa Benitez part of last night’s meeting was said to be informal and won’t form part of the minutes when they are published.
One forum member who attended was Taylor Payne (one half of the Taylor and Besty Twitter experience) and he was gushing in his assessment of meeting the main man..:
‘Rafa turned up at the Fans Forum for the last hour and spoke, a lot, and answered questions. He was honest, funny, engaging and refreshing.
‘One of the most surreal hours of my life that. Brilliant. Didn’t think I could like the bloke any more but it turns out I could.
‘At one point Rafa was discussing a certain situation and he just turned to me and goes “What would you do?”
‘I think my reply was “ah cheers Rafa, no pressure eh?” Then mumbled a bit, then went, “I’ll be honest, I’m a bit out of me depth”
Obviously results on the pitch are all that count in the final summary but Rafa Benitez giving up his time to attend a meeting like this, can only be one small positive cog in helping to bring about the kind of club where those results are more easily achieved.
Worth pointing out of course that Steve McClaren also made time to do the same thing when he was ‘in charge’, though little doubt that when the fans forum members are comparing and contrasting, who they will identify as the more impressive and charismatic.