Rafa Benitez’ first priority since taking the job at Newcastle last Friday is to get our players organized, instill in them more confidence and have them playing well as a team as quickly as possible.
Given only three days with the players before Monday night’s game at Leicester the team looked good – and we were a little unlucky not to pick up a point with a fine second half display.
It’s accepted that Newcastle have been poorly managed at the higher levels for some time now – and when Rafa came in on Friday he asked the staff at the club while he was at Benton – how come the Manchester City game had not been rearranged?
A very good question.
Rafa Benitez – sorting out Newcastle – very quickly
Especially since it was going to be a really important game for us in the run-in, as we try to avoid another humiliating relegation.
Yesterday the club announced this on their web-site:
Newcastle United’s Barclays Premier League clash with Manchester City will take place on Tuesday, 19th April, kicking off at 7.45pm.
The Magpies had been due to take on the reigning champions at St. James’ Park on Sunday, 28th February, but the game was postponed after City reached – and subsequently won – the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool, which took place at Wembley on the same day.
Now Manuel Pellegrini will bring his team to Tyneside in April after the new date was confirmed, with the game set to be screened live on Sky Sports.
Ticket details for this fixture will be announced in due course.
Why it hadn’t been rearranged before Rafa arrived we don’t know, because we have known since Manchester City beat Hull City 4-1 on December 1st in the quarter-finals that our game on February 28th would need to be rearranged.
Yes – Manchester City are still in the Champions League and they reached the quarter-finals by beating Dynamo Kiev 3-1 on aggregate with a 0-0 home draw last night, but there’s no excuse for not having it rearranged by March 11th, when Rafa arrived at the club.
Benitez had Newcastle rearrange that game within four days of his arrival.
That’s a small but good example of how Rafa will get this club sorted out very quickly, if we can avoid a relegation in May and he therefore stays with us.
He doesn’t dither around – he gets things done- he’s decisive.