What we have found out from Rafa Benitez in the short two days since he sensationally became our manager is that the reports that he was interested in joining Newcastle over the last couple of years were in fact true.
We always thought that was ridiculous but we were wrong – very wrong.
We know that now because yesterday, when Rafa was talking about wanting to get back to England to coach so he could be closer to his family, he said Newcastle was always an option – a good option.
He is now a fairly brief three and a half hour drive away from his family (even less by helicopter) – much better than having to fly over from Italy or Spain.
A classic picture of Rafa Benitez and a young Newcastle fan
Rumored to be a future England striker
We just never thought a manager with the status of a Rafa Benitez would want to join Newcastle, but that´s what he´s done – and also when we are in serious trouble of being relegated.
Yes – he will get big bucks if he saves us, but it´s also a gutsy move by the Spaniard and it shows he has faith in Newcastle and especially in the fans.
When you as successful as Rafa is – the money is less of a driving force – and achievement is what you start to look for – and a challenge.
A challenge and achievement go together.
Rafa looks at Newcastle and sees the glory days of the past – and he´s bright and savvy enough to have talked to Alan Shearer and other people closely tied to Newcastle to get their thoughts..
Rafa now has a huge challenge ahead at Newcastle, maybe the biggest challenge of his career over the next 10 games and nine weeks.
He and his staff will work around the clock in their attempts to save Newcastle.
The 55 year-old talked yesterday of why he joined Newcastle and he makes some good points:
“If you think about this stadium, at the games, the atmosphere has always been fantastic for the local team (Newcastle), so that is part of the idea when you decide to go.”
“If you have fantastic fans behind the team pushing and helping you to achieve what you want to achieve.”
“You know that it’s a massive club and that it’s not doing like they can do, so your target, your idea, is to try and improve things and do things in a way that everybody will be proud of.”
“You have to be calm, you have to analyse things and you have to be sure that everybody is giving everything.” “We’ve been analyzing the stats, but what we want to do now is to change the mood and give them confidence.”
“If the offensive players are confident, they can score goals. If the team defending can defend as a unit and are compact, and if they know what they have to do, we can improve in defence, so that is the idea at the moment.”
“We need to give confidence to our players, to organize the team in the way we want to do things. It will be difficult, for sure, but the atmosphere of the fans, everyone in the city is helping, so hopefully we can do well.”
Rafa wants to save Newcastle, the fans want to save Newcastle – so we all somehow have to save Newcastle over the next nine weeks and ten games.
It´s going to be both exciting, nerve-racking (what again?) and dangerous, but it´s possible to survive and if we can do it then Rafa will stay and build Newcastle into a great club once again.
That´s what is at stake in this relegation fight – it´s massive.
Howay The Lads.