Get your daily update and weekly newsletter by signing up today!


George Caulkin unveils second half of exclusive Times interview with Rafa Benitez – Options and money

3 years ago

On Monday, George Caulkin of The Times gave us all a brilliant insight into Rafa Benitez and his reasons for leaving Newcastle United.

In the exclusive interview for The Times, Rafa explained how Mike Ashley made it impossible for him to continue at St James Park.

The departing  manager sadly confirming so many things that we had for so long assumed/suspected, from lack of ambition on the pitch and in the transfer market, to a refusal to allow essential investment in the infrastructure of the club, such as the state of the art training complex that the NUFC owner promised back in 2013.

Tuesday lunchtime has seen George Caulkin reveal that there is a second part of the Rafa Benitez interview, with more brilliant insight into the Spaniard and why he has made these decisions this summer.

In the interview, Rafa Benitez says that he is really excited about the project because he has the job of overseeing everything from the top to the very bottom on the football side of things. Something he was desperate to do at Newcastle, only for Mike Ashley to refuse proper investment in the academy and elsewhere inside the club.

Speaking of which, Dalian Yifang are also spending around £230m on a new training complex and academy which is due to open in December.

Meanwhile at Newcastle United, Rafa yesterday related how instead of the promised new training ground, the only investment from Mike Ashley was for some paint for the walls of the existing outdated facilities.

Rafa Benitez is also happy to admit: “At the same time, you cannot be lying; it’s good money.”

However, for Rafa it is all about enjoying the challenge of management and keeping his coaching team together.

The now ex-Newcastle boss admitting that alternative jobs in Europe he would have been interested in weren’t there.

Whatever happens in China, you get the impression that it won’t be too long in the future before we see Rafa Benitez a lot closer to home once again.

George Caulkin has now revealed the second part of his exclusive interview for The Times with Rafa Benitez a few short extracts below:

Rafa Benítez knows what people will say and he can understand it…“I cannot deny it is a big financial offer,” the Spaniard admits.

“After Newcastle, it makes no sense to be fighting again at the bottom of the table. I don’t think you can find a team in the the bottom ten bigger than Newcastle in terms of potential and structure and everything. Why do I have to wait for that when I have a chance to build something?

“You have to consider the situation. It’s not about saying ‘I’ll stay in England and wait and dream about the right club at the right time’. I’m just really pleased and really excited that someone was really keen to get me, to give me the opportunity to develop a project and at the same time, with a really good economic proposal. You want to do something, build something, leave something behind. At the same time, you cannot be lying; it’s good money.”

“I said no in the past, but we don’t have many good options around and this is an opportunity. 

Benítez wants and needs to work; it is how he is wired. 

“I like to train, to coach. I did the same with my daughter’s team at her school. I can’t just be sitting and waiting. My wife would just tell me to go away, anyway. It’s better if I get a job and if it’s a good job with a good project and good money then I’m happy with that.”

To read this full interview at The Times go here, there is a free initial sign up which will allow you to read it.


If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]

Have your say

© 2022 The Mag. All Rights Reserved. Design & Build by Mediaworks