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

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Howay The Lads!!



Why Saving Newcastle Is Benitez’ Most Difficult Challenge Ever

9:38 am, Friday, April 22nd, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 5 Comments

Just a fantastic question and answer session in the Chronicle earlier this week with Sky Sports Spanish correspondent Guillem Balague provided Newcastle fans with an insight on Rafa Benitez the man – that single-minded no-nonsense  manager who seems to be born to become the Newcastle manager.

But that dream could all end next month if Newcastle cannot escape relegation, with the 56 year-old likely to want to leave and look for another club or even become the National manager of Spain.

Rafa benitez arrives at st. james'

The great Rafa Benitez – Newcastle United manager

But if he is given everything he wants at Newcastle to fix the club from top to bottom he could even stay, but that’s still a long shot.

It’s going to be very important for Newcastle fans to support the team and support Rafa for the next four games so that we stay up and everything will be completely fantastic this summer – and that will be a big change.

A possible secondary benefit of the fans’ support is to fully convince Rafa that Newcastle United are like a second Liverpool for the Spaniard – and he should stay even if the disaster scenario happens and we are relegated.

Guillem Balague hints this could be Rafa’s most difficult challenge in management ever:

“It was a very, very difficult job – changing the dynamic is always very difficult.” 

“Once you are falling down a mountain, it is almost impossible to stop it.”

“It feels like he is changing the mindset and that there has been a different approach from some players that had either given up or didn’t seem to be playing for the previous manager.”

“So that straightaway is a success.”

“Then you have to have a little bit of luck, you have to have refereeing decisions helping you – or at least not affecting you like against Manchester City.”

“All in all he has had the sort of impact I expected in, what is in my opinion, one of the hardest jobs in football.”

“Winning a league – apart from in the case of Leicester, which could be the exception to the rule – is always a pressure because you are at a club that can.”

“But to stop a team going down I think that is harder than winning a title.”

When Rafa arrived at Newcastle we were tumbling down the mountain full force – and it’s a pity the incompetent Board didn’t realize that and replace the woeful Steve McClaren earlier this year, once Rafa became available and the word on the grapevine (so to speak) was he was interested in the Newcastle job if it became available.

The Liverpool fans just love the man and he will get a warm and terrific reception at Anfield on Saturday, when he leads the Newcastle side out for what is another vital game for us.

Let’s hope Rafa enjoys it – and gets at least a point for us from the game.

Howay the Lads!!

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ibizatoon // Apr 22, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    Perhaps Guillem would give Mike a call and let him know that beating the drop is harder than winning a title.

    The poor bloke thinks he’s done a bad job with NUFC and just wants to win something before he can leave. I’d say, given this information, he’s done better than winning us a title, in previous seasons anyway. Not sure on this one yet. But still.

    Cheers Mike. See you later. Thanks for the memories x

  • 2 VanToonMan // Apr 22, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    We absolutely NEED Arsenal to beat Sunderland on Saturday and we NEED to get at least a point at Anfield.

    Even though I thought we would lose on Tuesday – I really wish Wijnaldum had put away that chance at the end – we would be on 31 points which would make a massive difference.

    Arsenal, Chelsea Stoke need to do us favours against Sunderland

  • 3 lesh // Apr 22, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Ibiza

    Yup, accentuate the positives and hope that our beloved owner sees survival against the odds as a major achievement and either changes his perception that football’s more than just making money!

  • 4 barkel // Apr 22, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    football is more than making money!? since when? are you sure? but what about our financial results???

    what we really need VanToonMan is 4wins and for the other two to drop points in all of their last 4/5 games

  • 5 lesh // Apr 22, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    Ibiza

    Come to think about it, you’re up and about bright and early. Or is it that you’re late getting back home after a night in the clubs




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