Marcelino is almost a pantomime villain in Newcastle’s history and he is the center-back who was brought into the club by Ruud Gullit in 1999 for £5.8M from Real Mallorca, shortly before Ruud was fired and the big central defender played only 17 times for the club over a period of four years.
During that time scans on the injured areas were occasionally declared to be inconclusive and one of the most serious of his injuries was a snapped finger tendon, which prevented him playing for two months.
Why he couldn’t have had the finger taped in a splint and played we have no idea, but he picked up huge wages while spending his time in the treatment room at Newcastle, when the great Sir Bobby Robson was the manager and we were doing very well.
Marcelino on one of the few times he played for Newcastle
Anyway, fans will remember who Marcelino (Marcelino Elena Sierra) is and he is now a TV pundit in Spain.
The 44-year-old was at the King Power Stadium on Monday night and he’s made some good and interesting comments on Rafa Benitez.
This is some of what he has said about Benitez joining Newcastle United:
“Rafa has a very big reputation,” “He’s been at top clubs and won trophies at top clubs.” “There are not many managers of his level who will be keen on working for a club in a relegation position.”
“You have to be realistic about that.” “I think Newcastle is a top club, but they are struggling at this moment and not every manager would have the courage to take charge of a team that is fighting relegation.”
“He’s shown with this decision that he feel capable of bringing Newcastle safety.” “If he believes that, I have to believe in him.”
“It makes no sense that someone like him gets himself into something that will cause him problems.” “From that point of view, I think Newcastle has signed the best manager possible if they wanted to sack the existing one.”
“Managers don’t want to damage their reputation with relegation,” said Marcelino. “He’s coming from managing Real Madrid.”
“If he comes to Newcastle, it’s because he believes he can save the season and do a very good job here in the Premier League. That tells me a lot about him.”
“I believe that with him Newcastle will be safe at the end of the season.”
Benitez and his three coaches are reported to be getting at least a £2M bonus if they can save Newcastle so there’s huge potential financial reward in May in him taking the job at Newcastle, but we do think he has shown tremendous courage in coming to Tyneside.
It shows a real belief in himself and in Newcastle United and we are just hoping he can save the club this season.
If he can we are sure Newcastle will be on track and Rafa will have us become a top team in short order.
Rafa had also reportedly talked about his Newcastle hiring being a long term project during the rather lengthy negotiations with Lee Charnley to get him on Tyneside.
If we can survive this season we expect Rafa to have Newcastle challenging for a top six position next season and he will know what happened to Leicester City too, after they were bottom of the league at this time last year 7 points from safety.
Newcastle are currently 2 points from safety when you consider our terrible goal difference, so we don’t know which way it will go in these final 9 games, although Newcastle fans thinks Rafa can save us.