Steven Gerrard was Rafa Benitez’ star man as the pair lifted the Champions League.

Before Newcastle faced Brighton on Sunday afternoon, the former Liverpool player talked about his former boss.

Gerrard talking about Rafa’s attention to detail in training: ‘Rafa Benitez always focuses on small details, he is a very organised coach. He makes sure everyone is well drilled’.

Just how intense Benitez is, is summed up when Steven Gerrard says ‘The whole week before a game, the messages would be coming out of your ears’.

Steven Gerrard talking to Radio 5 Live:

“Rafa Benitez always focuses on small details, he is a very organised coach.

“He makes sure everyone is well drilled. He focuses most on team shape in training.

“He makes sure every player knows exactly what’s expected of them.

“At Liverpool he made sure all the basics were done correctly.

“The whole week before a game, the messages would be coming out of your ears.

“Sometimes I mention the word cold about Rafa Benitez and people take it the wrong way.

“He’s very different in styles to Brendan Rodgers or Gerard Houllier, who talk a lot to players away from the game. Rafa Benitez is just a different style.

“With me, he’d try to provoke me to get a reaction going into big games.

“Rafa Benitez would take me off when I scored twice so I’d be fired up next time.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Brighton 1 Newcastle 0

Goals:

Brighton: Hemed 51

Possession was Brighton 49% Newcastle 51%

Total shots were  Brighton 7 Newcastle 17

Shots on target were Brighton 3 Newcastle 5

Corners were  Brighton 2 Newcastle 8

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba (Gamez 83), Ritchie, Hayden (Shelvey 68), Merino, Atsu, Perez, Joselu (Gayle 71)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Manquillo, Murphy, Diame

Crowd: 30,468 (approx 2,500 Newcastle)

(To read the player ratings from Brighton 1 Newcastle 0 go here)

(Go HERE to read instant Newcastle fan/writer reaction to the defeat at Brighton)

(Read Chris Hughton’s post-match reaction HERE)

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  • Soldier

    the best midfield player of his generation

  • Kneebotherm8

    Rafa likes positional options ,so he is able to motivate players and even Gerrard wouldn’t have felt his place was guaranteed,which is as it should be. Sissoko,Wijnaldum and others spring to mind in our unfortunate recent past,as polar opposites of the way Rafa operates.

  • Steve Pearce

    Thank you Stevie – you are a gentleman and are sorely missed!

  • Jimblag23

    Recently Rafa said Gerrard was the best player he’s ever had.
    A journalist told Stevie and you could see how much that meant to him.
    It’s quite funny seeing him like a child desperate for their parents approval.