Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Emotional Benitez Loved by Fans for What He Does

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Emotional Benitez Loved by Fans for What He Does

Article excerpt

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer lee.ryder@ncjmedia.com @@lee_ryder

RAFA Benitez could have been at Anfield all night after Newcastle United's 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

The love for the Spaniard around the famous old stadium was there for all to see as he shook hands with fans, stewards, officials and local journalists who all have fond memories of his time in charge in front of the Kop.

He made time for each and every one of them, sometimes changing language to have one of a host of brief conversations.

Benitez just seems to make people feel better about life.

Even after the final whistle had sounded and Liverpool had dropped two big points, Benitez's name was still being chanted from all four sides of the ground.

Benitez managed to buy into Liverpool's identity during six years at the club, and now he is doing something similar with Newcastle.

It will be a travesty if the Magpies fail to secure his services for the next few years.

If they don't it could be the final insult for some members of the Toon Army who are now seeing what they expect from a team wearing the United jerseys.

At Liverpool they watched a team that started badly but then reacted to the words of the manager at halftime and battled, scrapped and sprinted in order to rectify the situation. A smiling Benitez left the Anfield Press room and walked past the trophy cabinet displaying five European Cups, one of which he delivered to the club.

Talk of Euro glory for Newcastle may seem far-fetched at this moment in time, but if the Magpies are going to have a chance of progressing in the years to come Benitez has to be given the tools he needs to do the job.

For now Benitez is focused on the job in hand, but nobody could blame him for being emotional as he walked out of Anfield last night.

He said: "It was emotional because the Liverpool fans were singing my name, and afterwards the Newcastle fans were singing my name, so I'm really pleased to have this reaction.

"The fans, the city, the club - I have a very good relationship with Liverpool, obviously my family is still living here. …

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