With Newcastle almost certain to be relegated after failing to beat Aston Villa yesterday, there’s one thing that could significantly lessen the pain of another relegation – if we can keep Rafa Benitez.
We remember the last time we were relegated when pundits said we would plunge down the leagues just like Leeds United had done earlier in the decade.
And when you are relegated nobody is your friend and the club will be ridiculed and the fans too – but hey that’s the way things are.
People and clubs are kicked when they are down – we just have to take it and get on with it – life goes on even if Newcastle are relegated – or so they say.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
But when the Championship season started in early August back in 2009, oddly enough we were the favorites to be promoted and so it turned out.
Fans and pundits alike say we don’t have the characters in the team this time like Kevin Nolan, Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, Steven Harper and Joey Barton – but we do have some good young skillful players with excellent temperaments and attitudes.
Players like Jamaal Lascelles, Rob Elliot, Chancel Mbemba and others are good young professionals and will be good in the Championship for us – hopefully for just one season.
We will see a number of our top players leave the club this summer including Gini Wijnaldum – the invisible man in away games as he was again yesterday.
Gini has been a huge disappointment in the second half of this season for his lack of fight and guts but he is almost certain to be sold this summer along with others lie Moussa Sissoko, Siem de Jong, Manu Riviere, Florian Thauvin, Remy Cabella and Daryl Janmaat among others.
And no doubt we will have a decent team once the new season does start in three months time – and we should have also taken in some decent transfer money from selling players – which will help get us through the season financially with our significantly reduced revenues.
But the most important thing as far as we are concerned is the manager – and only the manager.
That has been shown the way John Carver (it was the players’ fault) and Steve McClaren (one step forward two steps back) struggled so much, but now that Rafa Benitez is on board the place has lightened up considerably and is much more positive and the players seem a lot happier too.
That’s even when it looks like the former Liverpool manager will not be able to save us, after all.
Newcastle are down and just about out at the moment as a Premier League club.
But the summer and next season could be a time of rebuilding and rejuvenation for the Newcastle club and the Newcastle team too, if Rafa stays with us for next season and starts to rebuild the club and the team this summer.
He has improved some of our players already, so it’s not like he would be starting from scratch and he will now know better the areas of the club that need work.
Maybe the £2M bonus he will not get for keeping us up, can be applied as a bonus if he can get us promoted straight back to the Premier League – that would be a good use of£2M.
Rafa has been very disciplined and has refused to talk about what will happen if he doesn’t save us from relegation – so it’s hard to read the tea leaves – because there aren’t any.
But let’s just point out very clearly that it will be another tragedy to go with relegation – a much worse tragedy in fact – if Rafa leaves us this summer.
We’re hoping for the best and that he stays – it’s the only thing that really matters now.