Newcastle winger Andros Townsend would hardly have thought that his manager in March would be Rafa Benitez, who started the season as the Real Madrid manager and is simply a world-class manager.
Rafa has had considerable success in his 23 years as a football manager starting with coaching the Real Madrid B team back in 1993.
But that for Andros is the (very) crazy world of Newcastle United and Lee Charnley finally sacked Steve McClaren after protecting him for far too long.
We had just suffered three defeats in a row, following the good 1-0 home win against West Brom that was then followed by the 5-1 disgrace at Chelsea.
Andros Townsend in action at Leicester City
Steve McClaren was hired by Charnley after being sacked by second division Derby County – a far cry from being sacked by Real Madrid when you are second top of the Spanish League behind Barcelona.
Charnley after hiring McClaren hailed him as the perfect head coach for Newcastle United.
Yeah – right!
Andros Townsend thinks Rafa Benitez has a good chance of saving Newcastle this season and certainly Rafa has wasted no time in trying to improve the Newcastle team and getting his ideas over to them – he is man in a hurry on Tyneside.
This is what Andros has said in The Mirror today about Rafa being surprisingly brought in as the new Newcastle manager:
“Yes it was a surprise to the players as well. I think until you are here no one realizes what a big club Newcastle is. When you attract a manager who was at Real Madrid nine weeks ago, that just shows it.”
“I am excited to work with a manager who has coached the best, won everything in the game, managed huge games. I hope this is going to be a successful partnership.”
“He has won everything the game has to offer. If we can just survive this season then the future will be bright.”
“The next nine games are so important for the club, the team, the fans, the players.”
“We know what is expected of us and what we need to do. We have a manager here who has the know how, and we have to pick up points and climb the table.”
“I was disappointed. Initially when he got sacked I was injured too, and I felt like I’d let him down a bit.”
“We all got a text last Friday. We were all expecting it. I have been in the game long enough to see managers come and go.”
“We knew the drill, knew the new manager would come and get his points across to us in training sessions as soon as he could.”
“Every manager has their own ideas. You could see against Leicester on Monday night the way he wanted us and this week has been the same.”
“The preparation, you keep the same. It is when you step out of the tunnel and hear the crowd when you get the goose bumps.”
“It gives you a 10% boost. The crowd will play a massive part. Hopefully we can get the right result for them.”
There’s no doubt the Newcastle players have all been lifted by Rafa’s surprise arrival, but now the lads have to start to get the job done on the field.
That starts with going all out for the 3 points tomorrow against fellow strugglers Sunderland at home in the white-hot derby.
If we can win that game the mood on Tyneside will be sky-high – and it’s been a long time since that has happened – far too long.
If we do survive this season then hopefully Mike Ashley will have his own clear-out at Newcastle of those people on the non-playing side of things who have also massively under-performed at the club.
Howay The Lads!!