“If you asked me to say the one word I heard most during training and games, it would be him shouting ‘compact’.
“After the first year of working with Rafa, we were like robots. By that I mean we knew exactly what he wanted us to do and when to do it.
“This came about through repetition on the training ground, the drills being done over and over again until he was satisfied.
“It demanded a high level of concentration and there was no laughing or joking. Newcastle’s players will have realised what is in store for them, given that he has cancelled all days off until the end of the season, whereas they could expect a midweek break under Steve McClaren.”