The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Rafa And Newcastle – A Match Made In Heaven

11:59 am, Friday, March 25th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 12 Comments

It’s not surprising that when Rafa is ever seen in public in Newcastle he will be mobbed by Newcastle fans who literally see him as the new messiah at Newcastle.

We have to admit we have been very pleasantly surprised at how charismatic and warm Rafa is – and his love of football seems to shine through and is simply infectious – he’s in the right job alright.

And Newcastle United – that sleeping giant of a football club that has been comatose for a few years – seems to be a perfect match for Rafa who seems genuinely delighted to be at the club.

But he will only stay if he can save Newcastle and he’s made it clear he cannot do miracles – although what was that back in 2005 in Istanbul?



Rafa Benitez – I don’t do miracles

Rafa was asked about the welcome he has retrieved from the fans since he arrived a short two weeks ago:

“I can’t walk around too much but on Wednesday the fans were good with me.” “Normally I am in my hotel and they come and they say: ‘Oh here’s Rafa, good luck.’”

“And after dinner then in the restaurant they were asking for pictures, and outside three or four people said: ‘Great reaction in the second half against Sunderland, and it was impossible to stay up before but now it isn’t.’”

“I don’t want to disrespect Steve’s McClaren’s team because he was doing a good job,  but the fans they have this hope, this belief, that now you can change things.”

“I cannot do miracles, but I want to work hard; I want to make sure that everybody is working hard because that is the only way that we can do it.”

When Jermaine Jenas left us for Spurs back in 2005 he talked about it being like a goldfish bowl, but we suspect a person who loves football as much as Rafa only sees that as a huge advantage to managing Newcastle.

As we’ve said before we are very like the Liverpool fans – the only small difference between the two clubs is  The Reds have won 32 trophies (11 League One titles, 6 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 1 Champions League, 3 UEFA Cups and 3 UEFA Super Cups) since 1970 and we have won nothing.

That’s the only difference.


Just let’s assume Rafa can save us and stays at the club and then in a couple of years were are challenging for a top four place – he’ll be like a God on Tyneside.

Alan Shearer told him as much before he agreed to join us a couple of weeks ago.

The fans already love him – simply because he may be able to save us from relegation and the 55 year-old Spaniard seems to have instantly taken to Newcastle and is working his socks off for the club.

So it will be just terrific if he can keep us up and Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez are a match made in heaven.

But on the other hand it will be an absolute tragedy if he cannot save us and he leaves us in the summer.

Not sure what happens to Newcastle then – but it will not be good.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Jail earlier –
    Last season we had a final day escape. Yet we went for Macca as coach, at best an improvement on what had gone before; 28 PL games later and in the bottom three he’s sacked.

    Macca had substantial transfer backing by Ashley but like Pardew before him was hamstrung by Carr selecting those players coming in. Under Ashley’s edict, Carr’s transfer blueprint has focused on the resale value of players bought . Quite often at the expense of the player needs expressed by the manager/ coach. We’ve needed CB’s, FB and ST for seasons . Instead we have constantly post window ended up with an unbalanced squad.

    For seasons we’ve had a surplus of third rate midfielders and an unbalanced squad lacking any real depth. Or should the players take some of the blame having failed to perform under 3 – managers/ coach? In any event there has been little if any signs of progress and building a squad. Just contrast what Pochettino has achieved at Spurs in less than half the time and financial outlay.

    Benítez came in with ten games to play and effectively having to win a four team league at the bottom. Jail’s, constant complaint has been that the club would be happy to finish one place above relegation and he’s not being wise after the event in so many of the implications of the years of Ashley ownership . This season though PL survival would be viewed as a major achievement given the mess we were in pre Benitez.

    Benitez is the most exciting appointment since SBR and his presence has brought a warm glow to the region. As well as the general air of excitement there is the realisation that he wouldn’t have taken the job without securing a change to the transfer policy and a guarantee of a continuation of Ashley financial backing. The root and branch review of NUFC is long overdue but the priority is winning games and performing away from SJP.

  • 2 Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Can we please stop worshipping Benitez like he’s some kind of God?

    It is the players who need our support and encouragement the most, not Benitez.

    If we survive this season it is going to take a whole team effort, not just a good coach

  • 3 jimmysmith // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Yeah, Ed’s completely head over heels. Pull yourself together man!

  • 4 toon kk // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    People need to get real, Rafa may be a excellent manager but our squad lacks quality, he’s not a magician.
    We’ll still be relegated let’s be realistic.

  • 5 Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:32 PM

    Derek- So you discount the need for strong and inspirational leadership to create a winning culture? If we are to survive the team need to raise the level of performance and Benitez Instill a winning mindset. The only question is does he have enough time- it would have helped had he come in after the Chelsea game.

    The players have been there all season and at best been mediocre despite receiving toon army 100% backing. You only need to see the influence of inspirational leadership to consider Man U post SAF.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Ian Toon,
    Stop talking in riddles. Wise after the event???

  • 7 Derek // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:47 PM

    Ian Toon,

    No I definitely do not discount the need for strong and inspirational leadership. That’s not what I said that so I don’t know why you are making that assumption.

    I said we need a whole team effort. That means good leadership, tactics, instructions AND most importantly players who will listen to these instructions, work together and achieve results.

    It is Rafa’s words that the players need confidence, and if all the fans are cheering Rafa this, Rafa that, it is not going to help their morale as much as cheering for the whole team.

  • 8 Ian Toon // Mar 25, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Jail- Wise after the event is an idiom. I was saying you had determined the likely outcome without being “wise after the event” -you’re a prophet.

  • 9 lesh // Mar 25, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Where and when has Rafa said he’ll only stay if he saves us from relegation?

  • 10 Moonraker15 // Mar 25, 2016 at 6:52 PM

    The teams we are up against, Sunderland and Norwich are crap as well so we have a chance. Like I said before Sundeand have won 1 in 10 and Norwich 1 in 12. I believe we will remain unbeaten from now in and stay up.

  • 11 Moonraker15 // Mar 25, 2016 at 6:57 PM

    This blog is full of neggars. Ffs before Rafa we’d have lost again to the Mackems after going 1 down but we rallied and in the end deserved a point. The manager believes we can do it so we have to trust him !

  • 12 Moonraker15 // Mar 25, 2016 at 7:01 PM

    Do you think we had any chance of survival under McClaren?

previous post: Benitez Doubts This Player Will Be Fit For Norwich

next post: Rafa Explains Why Newcastle Fans So Crucial In Survival Bid