Newcastle full back Jesus Gamez has told Radio Marca that he believes manager Rafa Benitez’s ability to instil tactical discipline among a group of young players contributed hugely to the club’s successful season in the Championship.
Gamez has had to settle for a place on the bench for the most this season, having also struggled with a series of injuries, but the 32 year old was still able to see how Rafa was able to develop a team capable of an instant return to the top flight after so many personnel changes at the start of the season. The defender said to the radio station (translated by Sport Witness):
“Benitez has made a difference in tactics and discipline in a young team like this.”
The Spaniard moved on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid in the summer, but has managed to play just seven games in all competitions with both Vurnon Anita and DeAndre Yedlin ahead of him in the pecking order at St James’ Park.
His lack of game time has been a surprise considering his experience at the top level playing for Atletico and Malaga for a number of years. Both Yedlin and Anita no doubt have age on the side, and just as importantly, possess pace which Gamez lacks. The right back may be offloaded in the summer as Benitez looks to revamp his squad once again for the Premier League.