He might not know what is happening next month but Adam Armstrong does know that Rafa Benitez is a ‘tactical genius’.

On loan at Bolton Wanderers, the Geordie  centre-forward insists he is really enjoying his football there, despite playing out of position wide left.

Only one Championship goal but his loan manager Phil Parkinson has said a number of times what a great job Adam Armstrong is doing for the team.

Armstrong has been equally impressed and says that Parkinson ‘Has been really good for me’.

Not allowed to buy players in the summer, Bolton have done remarkably well as they heavily rely on free transfers such as Sammy Ameobi and loan deals such as Adam Armstrong, to try and keep the afloat.

After promotion, the writing looked on the wall as the first 11 matches brought nine defeats and two draws.

However, they are now above the relegation zone on goal difference after a run of nine games where the only defeat was away at likely champions Wolves.

Still only 20, Adam Armstrong says he isn’t sure what will be happening when his loan ends in January, though you can’t imagine Rafa Benitez will see it the right time to pitch the Geordie striker into a Newcastle team/squad fighting relegation.

After 20 goals as an 18 year old in League One for Coventry, six for Barnsley in the Championship as a 19 year old was a disappointment, though he only started 21 matches.

Time is still on his side but interesting to see what Rafa Benitez does with him in the second half of the season.

Adam Armstrong talking to The Bolton News:

“I’m enjoying my football at the moment.

“I have already seen an improvement in my game but I’m taking it each match as it comes. You can’t think too far ahead in football because it changes in an instant.

“Nobody knows what the future holds or what might happen in January but all I can do is keep kicking on, working hard and giving my all for Bolton.

“Personally I think I’m doing okay, I am getting the games and I’m just working hard to help the team.

“It was great to get that first league goal under my belt a couple of weeks ago against Norwich too. I had felt that was coming for a while, even with me playing on the left. It’s not what I am used to but it has been working well in recent weeks.

“Rafa is a brilliant manager who has worked with some of the best players in the world.

“He’s just got a presence when he is stood in front of you, you can’t help but be taken in by.

Rafa Benitez is a tactical genius and I see a lot of him in the gaffer (Phil Parkinson) here.

“There really isn’t too much of a difference in terms of their management styles and, having worked under him for a few months now, I’m loving it.

“He has been really good for me and I knew from the first day we met he’d be brilliant to work with and he’s really taken me under his wing.

“He loves to give younger players a chance and he’s proven that with players like myself and Jedi (Antonee Robinson) – he is a player I’ve known for a few years and I feel like we have got a really good relationship down the left.”

  • Leazes Ender

    Rafa has had three windows to get the squad into this position, the excuse was he had to build for the Championship….

    It was said at the time he should have built for the Premiership….. we now have a Championship squad struggling with the Premiership. and fans praying for a takeover which is more and more unlikely as more the nonsense takes hold of rationality and the fevered brains of the fake news spreaders.

    What is Rafa doing? Is he being strung along and actually knows it, and in turn stringing the fans along.

    All aboard the Ashley phantom charabanc for a continued ride to nowhere in particular…. making a pitstop in the purgatory land of nod.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      10 yrs and counting

    • Arty Hume

      Yes we are a championship squad, but its Mash who is to blame not Rafa. Rafa asked for numerous players since he has been here but was told what he could buy, I believe he sucked this up to a degree ( and showed his disgust recently ) and is hoping for new owners can give him what he needs to save our club. If NUFC is not sold soon we are in trouble.

      • Leazes Ender

        Is that disgust genuine…. five million a year can compromise a lot of truth….. it feels like he’s riding in tandem with the owner not challenging him.

    • hetonmag

      C’mon Leazes do you really think Rafa would string the fans along, he’s in a battle with the fat lad whoever wins will determine which direction this club ends up.

      • Leazes Ender


  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    He`s a tactical Genius when he has players of quality who can actually deliver.
    with the squad he has now he is but a mere Mortal.

    • Leazes Ender

      … a mere bus driver.

  • ghostrider

    Tactical genius eh?
    Let’s take a massive draw on the Havana cigar and blow all of the smoke right up Rafa’s aris like the players seem to be doing from time to time…except the one’s that he’s cold shouldered.

    I’ll, tell you what Rafa Benitez is. He’s a tactical squad killer because the game isn’t a game of chess, it’s a game of football with the emphasis on a few details.

    1. To score more goals than the opposition.

    2. To stop the opposition scoring more goals than you.

    3. To entertain the paying public that take a portion of their lives physically supporting the entire club both morally and monetary.

    We’re going nowhere under Rafa Benitez.
    Rafa Benitez is all about Rafa Benitez and anyone that questions Rafa Benitez will pay the price from the one and only, Rafa Benitez.

    If anyone believes he is at this club because he loves the fans and the city and the set up and is not here because he negotiated a massive 5 million a year pay day, then fair enough but just remember, the chirpy singing the praises of the fans and the city and the club would soon disappear if he was asked to take a pay cut or isn’t given a kings ransom to waste on bad buys with the odd gem wedged in between.

    This tactical genius cannot even change a game.
    This tactical genius who pays so much attention to detail has us playing like a bunch of no hopers just dragged together and the only real time we ever look like a 90 minute team of potential si when we play very similar set ups of teams that are equally as disorganised overall.

    Build from the back and be well drilled?
    Well drilled or well lucky in the often overrun backline?
    Well drilled or hardly tested backline against equally toothless teams?

    There’s more to football than having a big binder full of tactics and not even employing them when the plan is not working

    Rafa Benitez is a manager that is overpaid and totally underperforming, just like the squad that is 90% his.

    I just hope we get taken over and the new owners send Rafa packing and bring us in a manager that can produce some great football with the money to effect it.
    Keep Rafa and we’ll get precious little of that, no matter how much money he’s given.
    Most of our players are going backwards under Rafa and there’s more talent in the squad than just championship so called horse for course buys.

    We have a manager that makes excuses for his own misgiving’s.

    Am I being harsh?
    Maybe a little bit but I’d like to see him gone, sooner rather than later.

    • 1957

      I’ve never thought he was a tactical genius, even in the Championship he was a one trick pony whose tactics were dreary, soul destroying and made winning an average league harder than it should have been. His attempts to change from his favoured formation and some of his team selections have been embarrassing this season. He never accepts responsibility for poor results…it’s always someone else’s fault.

      Years ago he may have been at the top of his profession, he’s not now. He recognised the way to keep supporters off his back is by tapping into and cultivating the understandable animosity toward the owner.

      I’ve said before if I was a new owner I wouldn’t trust him to spend my money on transfers, he could go for me.

    • joe mac

      not being harsh……just stupid….fetch back the properly clued up managers we,ve had eh!…..pardew…mclaren….or carver!….you choose..ffs!

  • 1957

    Armstrong is a young boy who is hoping he can come back and get some games. There’s a few experienced players who didn’t see him as a great tactician, probably the most famous being Makek Hamsik who slaughtered his tactics and said he would have left Napoli if Benitez stayed.

    • hetonmag

      Makes you wonder how he’s won the trophies he has in his career according to the tripe you and the idiot below has spewed out, personally I couldn’t give a stuff about the person you mention maybe one day he might have the brains to be a manager.

      • 1957

        Hamsik is a top European player whose form dropped when the tactical genius played him out of position to suit the team and improved after Benitez left.
        Seeing what he is doing at NUFC I do wonder how he won trophies, I suppose he was lucky that Liverpool had a decent team when he took over, as far as I know only 2 of his signings played in Istanbul.

        You idolize him if you want, I think he is a busted flush, we’ll have to agree to disagree.