There’s a report in the Chronicle today that suggests Rafa Benitez may be thinking of staying at Newcastle in the longer term and even if we take the drop.
Rafa has a break clause in his three-year deal which lasts until June of 2019 and most fans think he will simply walk away if he cannot save us.
The reasoning behind that is he wouldn’t want to work in England’s second division after managing Real Madrid at the start of the season and it would be a comedown for the world-class coach.
Rafa Benitez – could he stay?
He would definitely suffer some bad press particularly in Spain – although it doesn’t look like Rafa cares much about bad press – he’s always been criticized as he made Valencia, Liverpool and Naples all very successful clubs.
The Chronicle reports he has been in contact with his former associate at Liverpool, Owen Brown, who was sent on scouting missions when he was at Anfield.
One explanation of that is that Rafa continues to try to save Newcastle and since there are still 18 points to play for – it’s almost certain that four wins – as difficult as that looks right now – would save us.
So it could be he is thinking positively and doing things as though Newcastle will be saved and who knows – he could even be right about that.
As well as contacting Owen Brown presumable about a potential Newcastle role for him – Rafa will apparently meet with local football associations in the coming days.
While we don’t think it’s going to happen what could be of interest to Rafa is to be offered the chance of rebuilding Newcastle from the bottom up.
How many top coaches ever get that chance at a club with the history, tradition, fan support and stadium of a club like Newcastle United?
Rafa could be offered the chance not only on the playing side but allowed to bring in his own scouting and other staff
Rafa could even recommend to Mike Ashley some good top football executives who could come in and run the club at the executive level – which is badly needed in the summer – whatever happens in the last six games.
And if he stays it would relieve the enormous pressure on owner Mike Ashley who would maybe even illustrate he really does want Newcastle to be successful.
Putting competent people in charge like Rafa could achieve that.
He must be given transfer funds which will be fairly limited for this summer – but he could be told he can spend money on any players he sells – such as Gini Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and Daryl Janmaat – maybe £40M from those three?
Players could stay or be attracted to Newcastle United because of the Rafa revolution about to start – so they may want to get on the train early.
If Newcastle or Rafa hint he could be staying, it could have a positive effect on the players and also of course the Newcastle fans and could even help our efforts to avoid relegation.
Something has to help in our relegation efforts!
So that’s the only way Rafa would stay on Tyneside and he does have a £4.5M a year salary and is close to his home in the Wirral in Cheshire.
He could even be managing a Premier League club that has a decent team as early as next summer,
There are those attractions for Rafa and if promised that he could even stay at the club.
Maybe he may even be feeling a little guilty about simply walking out on the club next month.
That’s especially true with the way the fans have given him and the players some fantastic support in what are very trying circumstances for our faithful fans
There’s also not much chance of him getting to manage a top Premier League club in the near future, so he could think making one at Newcastle is his best option and certainly exciting and challenging for him – given the workaholic he seems to be.
It could still be a match made in heaven, even if we are relegated.
What do you think?