Rafa Benitez has indicated that Newcastle United may have possibly had some of the best managers around, in their recent history.
The United boss declaring ‘I have already felt that the best manager isn’t always the one who has won the most trophies.’
However, the reality is that Rafa was talking about the resources on offer to different clubs/managers and how well they do in relation to that.
The Newcastle Manager saying that ‘You can have a good team, win trophies and be an awful manager…’.
Nigel Clough has already said that Newcastle v Burton is the ‘Biggest mis-match in financial resources in English football’ and some would maybe argue that in relative terms, if Clough keeps Burton in the Championship then with the smallest budget in the division, his achievement would at least match Newcastle’s/Rafa’s if NUFC finish top.
However, Rafa Benitez says that even at the end of the season ‘people say it is because we have more money, it will still be a great achievement’.
You only have to look around the Championship and as Rafa says, ‘you see teams relegated and not all of them do well’. Leeds are typical of that and Aston Villa aren’t going up despite spending far more on new players than Newcastle in these past two transfer windows and an astronomical amount more than NUFC when it comes to net spending.
As for any criticism of money spent, or tactics, or playing style, predictably Rafa Benitez is unmoved, saying his only motivation is to try and win every game.
“Before games, everyone is right, everyone has an opinion, then afterwards we see who was right.
“I’m not motivated by criticism, that motivation is in trying to win every single game. As you get older, you realise you can’t do that but you try to be close.
“I don’t know whether we have received the credit we deserve because I’ve been on both sides of the fence, teams with money and teams with no money…people say ‘You have money’ but that does not matter – you just have to win.
“Every year you see teams relegated and not all of them do well, we just have to do our job and keep going, afterwards if people say it is because we have more money, it will still be a great achievement.
“Every Newcastle fan would be happy to be in this position if we had been offered it at the start – so we concentrate and make the most of it.
“I am learning every day and one thing that improves you as a manager is different experiences. If you are learning, having to adapt and modify things, it improves you.
“I have already felt that the best manager isn’t always the one who has won the most trophies.
“You can have a good team, win trophies and be an awful manager but sometimes you have a manager at another level in the middle of the table, he can’t win trophies but he is doing really well, a great job.
“You have to ask why someone is the best manager, as there may be five managers better than him who don’t have the tools to win trophies.”