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Benitez Watched Father Ted & Dad’s Army To Improve English

Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez, has revealed that he relied on various sitcoms and the music of ‘The Beatles’ when he first arrived in England in 2004.

According to BBC Sport, the 58-year-old Spaniard is a huge fan of English sitcoms and has even borrowed phrases from ‘Dads Army’ for his team talks after Newcastle failed to win any of their first 10 league games of the season.

“We have to stay calm, don’t panic – like Dad’s Army,” Benitez said.

“Don’t panic and carry on doing your job because it’s a long, long season,” he said. “I see a lot of sitcoms, which I enjoy. I love the ‘Don’t panic! Don’t panic!”

Sport, Football, UEFA Champions League Final, 25th May 2005, Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul, AC Milan 3 v Liverpool 3, ( Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties), Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (left) with manager Rafael Benitez celebrate with the trophy (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

After being part of the Real Madrid youth setup and managing Valencia, Benitez took over the managerial role in Liverpool in June 2004, becoming the first Spaniard to manage in the Premier League.

He quickly became a fan of the sitcoms that were popular in England at the time and used them as a method to improve his English.

“My English was poor when I first arrived – as it still is – but I used to listen to the Beatles to improve it,” he said. “I watched the sitcoms for that as well.”

“When I first came, I enjoyed watching Father Ted, Fawlty Towers – with the waiter who was supposed to be Spanish but sounded more Italian. Only Fools and Horses is a big favourite of mine.

“I used to watch My Family, Blackadder, and the Vicar of Dibley, I watched them all. They were great fun. They helped me relax and now I watch them all.”

Newcastle face a tough task when they welcome Fulham to St James’ Park today. Following that, a trip to Benitez’ old charges, Liverpool, awaits them on December 26 before they travel to Watford just three days later.

They currently lie in 14th in the Premier League table.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter