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!!

Benitez Could Build Crack Newcastle Side In Championship

1:48 pm, Sunday, April 17th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 38 Comments

Rafa Benitez was attracted to Newcastle United because he knew of the passion in the City for football and he knew all about the terrific fan base on Tyneside and even talked when he arrived of how before his Liverpool side used to play Newcastle, the players talked about that sleeping giant Newcastle United.

That’s what attracted Rafa to the club last month, but he also put a release clause in his contract that could be exercised at the end of the season – and many believed that was an escape route for him if he couldn’t save Newcastle from relegation.

It would hardly look good if a man who was hired as the Real Madrid manager last June to start the very next season as a Championship club manager in England.

rafa benitez arrives at st james pk

Rafa Benitez – will he stay if we are relegated?

We are still hoping – especially with the great 3-0 win yesterday against Swansea – that Rafa can save us and then he will be at the club for three years (at least – give him an eight year deal like they gave Pardew) and we can all look forward to much more success than we’ve had over the last nine years with Mike Ashley.

In fact we could even win a Cup under Rafa Benitez.

The disaster scenario for Newcastle fans since last month has been that not only would we be relegated but that Rafa would also leave us in that event.

But there are a number of stories coming out from the local papers that Rafa really likes it at Newcastle and today there’s a report that Rafa is telling friends he is falling in love with the City and the fans.

If we make an assumption – that could mean he could even stay on at Newcastle if we are relegated next month.

If we are relegated and Rafa stays and is then allowed to build his own team in the summer and be in charge of all transfers – he wouldn’t stay if he didn’t get that assurance – then this summer Rafa could bring players in he wants and move some players out he doesn’t want.

He could build a strong team in the summer that could challenge for the Championship.

The hoped for scenario would be we get promoted straight back up from the second division next May and then in the following season we at least finish in the top eight.

There are at least two cases we know of where famous managers built up good sides in the second division and then were almost instantly successful in England’s top league.

One was our very own Kevin Keegan who won the second division in 1992-1993 with 96 points and then we finished 3rd top of the Premier league in 1994 and then 6th, 2nd and 2nd in the three subsequent seasons.

And way back in 1961-1962 the great Bill Shankly – one of our favorite managers of all time – got Liverpool promoted from the second division with 62 points and in the following seasons in the old first division Liverpool finished 8th, 1st, 7th and 1st in the following four seasons.

That was the basics of teams for Liverpool that have since won five European Cups.  a host of first division titles and cups galore.

Bill retired in 1974 and Bill Paisley – his  assistant manager – took over and had even more success.

Note that players in the Liverpool promotion side of 1962 included Roger Hunt, Ron Yeats, Gordon Milne, Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Melia, Chris Lawler, Tommy Lawrence and Ian St. John.

These were some legendary players at Liverpool.

So there are precedents to good teams being built in the second division and doing very well immediately after promotion.

Maybe somebody should let Rafa know that?


As we said earlier,  we are hoping and praying we can still survive in the Premier League this season – but if not and we are still able to keep Rafa – then the future could still be bright.

And it’s possible because of the Newcastle fans and the City – that’s what attracted and could keep Rafa as Newcastle manager – whatever happens next month.

So let’s have a sell-out crowd there on Tuesday night and that will help at least two important things – our chances of winning the game and surviving – and also keeping Rafa Benitez at the club whatever happens.

And to end  this article, Rafa didn’t join Newcastle because of owner Mike Ashley or the efficient and visionary running of the club by Lee Charnley.

It’s because of the fans – pure and simple.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Fans · Financials · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Premier League

38 responses so far ↓

  • 1 catchy in norway // Apr 17, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    He saying the right things, and yesterday he did the right thing,

    He must keep the back 4 the same. now we have a CB who can score and is a Presence.

  • 2 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    have a read

  • 3 Bambams // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    SDJ for Wini for me.

    Bring Mitro on a bit earlier if we are still in the game.

    I would take a point all day now.

    Need West Ham to win or draw here, they have had a couple of chances.

    Need Arsenal hungry for the mackems

  • 4 hibbitt // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:05 PM


    did you enjoy the game from the posh seats ???

  • 5 ilovetoon8788 // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    im kinda impressed with Townsend deliveries from corners. how many goals have we scored from his corners recently?

  • 6 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:09 PM

    beer monkey
    canny players to be compared to in that article,if he gets anywhere near them players in ability,he’ll be better then anything we have here at the minute.

  • 7 Novocastrian66 // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Watching Celtic V Rangers. Both sides are garbage, however Rangers have scored a wonder goal. Tavernier isn’t anywhere near Premier League class on this showing.

  • 8 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:19 PM


    yeah he is a well known talent shame it took till an injury for him to get a chance

    mclaren should have played him earlier in the season

  • 9 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    beer monkey
    someone said the same the same yesterday…my response was possibly mcwally was lacking a bit of back bone as he knew if the lad made mistakes,he(mcwally) would get the blame so took the easy option to play older players as they would take the responsibilty/blame for any wrong doing.

  • 10 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    or maybe lascelles just was’nt fit or strong enough as he does look a lot leaner and fitter then earlier this season.

  • 11 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:29 PM


    i thought that yesterday at the start of the season he looked like a man mountain

    none of our managers have ever given any of our youth ago, they would much rather stick with an out of form player

  • 12 Spoof // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Lascellas is a far better defender than Colo and he is always going to be a threat when we have a set play, but as we know, Rafa does like experience, but surely he can’t drop Lascellas for that numpty can he, or can he !

  • 13 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:36 PM

    beer monkey
    it would’nt surprise me now lascelles is getting a bit limelight that colo suddenly becomes fit coz if lascelles has one or two games decent games he may not get back in and tbh if the defence is better he should’nt.

  • 14 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    what have these teams in common?

    and these have in common
    Man Utd
    West Ham

    and these teams have in common

    and these have in common

    clue is in the question.

  • 15 beermonkey // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:42 PM


    i think a decent display on tues will be enough not to bring colo back in

    although i not sure there is alot or anything wrong with colo he was there in all his training gear when rafa first took over and

    not sure laschelles is capt matatial yet just cos he has been a bit out spoken
    shelvey isnt a capt either
    sor me what ever div we are in next season we have to bring in a natural leader

  • 16 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    don’t think that was a red card for Vardy

  • 17 Spoof // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    None of them are Man City !

  • 18 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    you have to wonder,i remember mbiwa and williamson being partnered together when colo got injured a few year ago,they kept 3 clean sheets,which they had struggled to do all season with colo, then he was put straight back into the side and mbiwa dropped and he never looked the same player again and left soon after,granted that was pardew…but can have a negative effect.

  • 19 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    you’ve got the clue Spoof

  • 20 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:54 PM

    the first group have beaten Man C at home this season, the second group drew their home matches with City, the third group lost at home to Man City and the last group haven’t played Man C at home yet.

  • 21 Novocastrian66 // Apr 17, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    I wonder which group we will end up in?

  • 22 Spoof // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:02 PM


    Colo is now slower and weaker and offers nothing for us, with Lascellas alongside Mbemba we have height, power, pace and an added bonus of a goal or two from set play’s, it should be a no brainer but as we have seen with Mitro with two assists against Swansea,two goals against Norwich and one against thread lot, he is still second choice to the experienced but ineffective Cisse, it would be a travesty but not a surprise.

  • 23 damma99 // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Leicester fans doing my head in with then stupid clacking things. Hope they get beat.

  • 24 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    damma99 do you hope Newcastle beat Man C please?

  • 25 jane // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    think 2-2 is a fair result. ref has decided this.

  • 26 Jib // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    RefereeJon Moss – ex schoolteacher born in Sunderland – no wonder he’s shyte.
    Spoiled a perfectly good match trying to be the big “I am” !

  • 27 toonking // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    In recent weeks i’ve watched newcastle and followed on by watching leicester city’s match. Each and every newcastle match has saw defeats but each and every leicester city match has been victory. I decide i”ve had enough of newcastle this season meaning I skip that match and what happens we win swansea. I still watch leicester city and what happens they get very luck escaping with a last second pen awarding them a draw.

    is it just a superstition or could acting like a norwich and scum fan actully save the team I really support. Continue to avoid the newcastle matches and use a norwich or scum as my first match they lose and newcastle get closer to safety.

  • 28 Jail for Ashley // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    I did mate, was great to leave the ground with a smike on your face. We tried our best to throw it away mind for a spell. I prefer the Gallowgate mind as I like a sing song. The tickets are in the Sports bar, the Milburn Sports bar, didn’t realise it existed it’s a small section that runs across the back of the Platinum club.

  • 29 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    maybe rafa has had a rethink,he said last week he would change a few things, so maybe instead of just relying on age and experience he’s giving youth and hard work a chance,mind you probably just be the fact we have a few injuries.

  • 30 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 3:59 PM

    whats the arsenal v palce score going to be then?……i’ll go 4-1 arsenal.

  • 31 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    palace even!

  • 32 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Could the Premiership championship and relegation from hinge on our last game of the season…..
    Spuds need to beat us to win the premiership
    TOON need to win to stay up

    and guess what – a draw – Leicester win the league
    and we are relegated.


  • 33 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:07 PM

    it could end up that way but with all the twist and turns i think most issues will be sorted before then.

  • 34 Charlie in the Gallowgate // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:16 PM

    goes that far – will be edge of the seat squeeky backside game

  • 35 Pitmatic // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    The key to this week’s two games could simply be keeping the score down. It’s quite possible that Norwich, Sunderland and Newcastle all go into the final game on 34 points, and that goal difference decides the final outcome. We’ll have to outpoint Sunderland to stay up, but could yet pip Norwich on GD after yesterday’s turnaround. So if we do lose both games, losing them by the odd goal might not be the worst thing in the world.

    That said, Klopp named a very young side today at Bournemouth. With Liverpool playing Everton in midweek, then the Europa semi a week later, you’d have to expect him to do something similar against us, so there may be a chance to take something from the game. City seem to have moved up a gear; just showing up and competing would represent a result for me.

  • 36 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    aye ya not wrong!

  • 37 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    if we were hoping for help off arsenal i think we are out of luck…they are not to good today…loads of the ball without threatening to much.

  • 38 SPRINGY // Apr 17, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    if they play like this against norwich and the mackems they might get points.

previous post: Newcastle 3 Swansea 0 – Full Match Report

next post: Rafa Starting To Get The Best Out Of This Great Player