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Jamie Carragher explains the strengths and ‘weaknesses’ of Rafa Benitez for Newcastle

5 years ago

Jamie Carragher has given Newcastle fans an idea of what to expect with new boss Rafa Benitez.

Having played under the Spaniard for six years, Carragher is well placed to talk about the new appointment.

The former Liverpool defender says Benitez is probably the best he’s ever worked with, in terms of organising an effective back four…

Well he has certainly come to the right place then, with Newcastle having had arguably the most consistently bad defence in the Premier League since promotion in 2010.

In terms of tactics, Jamie Carragher once again says that Benitez will be very strong on that area and should help improve Newcastle in that way.

However, in terms of ‘weaknesses’, or at least not a strength, Carragher says that motivating players isn’t high on Rafa Benitez’ CV.

I think we can all see how this could be a potential problem after so many half-hearted efforts this season by Newcastle United but there again, if players need to be actually ‘motivated’ to do their best then what use are they in any case?

The hope must be that a major lift in the standard of management, organisation and tactics by Rafa Benitez, compared to McClaren, will see so much more produced by the players as a team – rather than a ramshackle set of individuals.

Jamie Carragher talking to Sky Sports:

“I think for Newcastle it’s a fantastic appointment to get a manager of that calibre, I think over the last decade you’d have to go back to Bobby Robson… who has won that many honours.

“These next 10 games, if he can get through those then over the next three years he could be the man that stops that rot of trophies. He has won so many trophies in his career.

“The fans shouldn’t be concerned, not at all. For any Newcastle fan –  forget the next three years, focus on the next 10 games.

“If you are a fan and Newcastle went down you wouldn’t want Rafa, you’d want someone that has experience in that league and has success in that league. Rafa won’t want to be there.

“It works perfectly for both parties; if he keeps them up it’ll be a great appointment over the next three or four years and hopefully he can get Newcastle back up the table  I think the next 10 games are all that matters for everyone involved.”

“I can’t remember ever seeing Rafa at this end of the table and that is why I’m interested in seeing how he goes about it. That’s why I’m interested in seeing how he manages, how he prepares his players.

“Motivation? That’s not Rafa’s biggest strength. He will look at how they suffer tactically.

“Rafa was probably the best I had with setting up a back four. There’s probably going to be a lot of repetition and he won’t apologise for that.

“Those players will work hard, whoever they’re playing it will be a difficult game for them. It won’t be the open expansive style the fans want, for now he will be focusing on trying to make Newcastle difficult to beat.”


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