The Chronicle is reporting today that there were big moves going on at Newcastle’s Benton training grounds just weeks before Rafa Benitez was appointed, and that appointment shocked Newcastle fans, that we were able to get such a top coach to the club when we were in such dire straights.
In the disastrous Mike Ashley era, the Newcastle manager has never had much control and Alan Pardew moved heaven and earth to get a top five finish back in 2012.
But then we were fighting relegation six months later when Ashley failed to increase the size of the squad and we signed only one senior player – Vurnon Anita – that summer.
Rafa Benitez – will be given huge powers at Newcastle
The news today is that new manager Rafa Benitez will have an expanded role at the club and because of his immense experience and success in the game, Rafa will even take on some duties previously done by Managing Director Lee Charnley.
It seems that Rafa will have a say with the contracts, and if a player has a contract issue he must first discuss it with Rafa – and only then if it is not resolved will it go higher – to Charnley.
One change that Rafa already has made is to have the U-21 team work in another building and train on their own pitches so that Rafa can concentrate on training only with the first team players, the ones who can save us this season.
The other big change was negotiated before Rafa would accept the job in the first place – and that is he will have the final say on all transfers into and out of the club – and that is a huge change the club have already agreed to.
There was news that Chief Scout Graham Carr was unhappy with that shift in power and his own diminished control at the club.
But if that’s the case then Graham will leave us this summer and Rafa will no doubt bring in another Chief Scout, although Rafa seems keen to work with Carr.
But things are by no means certain at Newcastle at the moment – and all of this depends on Newcastle remaining a Premier League club.
It’s all hands to the pump to help Rafa, his coaches and the players to somehow save us from the perilous situation we are currently in with just eight games to play.
But the squad is currently disjointed due to poor buys and lack of clear planning in the transfer market.
We have no fit back left-back and possibly no fit right back if Daryl Janmaat doesn’t recover for the game at Norwich on Saturday.
And no recognized Premier League striker and too many central midfielders – two of which we bought in during January, but only one of them is being used.
If Rafa can save us from the mess we are in right now – then things are gong to be great.
If he cannot save us then not so good – in fact things at the club will be disastrous.
Here’s hoping for the former.