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

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Rafa Benitez Is Calling Newcastle’s Bluff – They May Blink

8:38 am, Sunday, May 15th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 12 Comments

After watching Rafa Benitez’ press conference yesterday, there is no doubt Rafa wants to stay at Newcastle but he wants assurances on certain things – things that will allow him to be successful at Newcastle.

We have seen clearly with this relegation, that everything has been set up for managers (head coaches) to fail on Tyneside – they were bit players in the organization – only meant to coach the side that was put in place by the likes of Lee Charnley and Graham Carr.

That has never worked and failed dramatically over the last two years when we hired two mediocre coaches in John Carver and Steve McClaren after Alan Pardew left.

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Rafa Benitez shares the ambitions of Newcastle’s fans
But they may not be the ambitions of those who run the club

We had to get a world-class coach in – Rafa Benitez – to try to save us with just 10 games to go, but it was too late and even he couldn’t turn around the losing mentality at the club in the short nine weeks he’s been here.

What the fans, staff and even the Board at Newcastle have seen in those short nine weeks is what it’s like to have somebody of Rafa’s ability at the club.

The players play a lot better, they are a lot happier, they work harder on the pitch and the whole place has taken a lift.

But we still failed to avoid relegation.

The Newcastle fans already adore the man – because he’s a fanatic and workaholic with a brilliant football mind who will talk to anybody about football for hours – if you have the time.

He can make Newcastle great again – and he wants to do that.

Asked if he was ready for the poor and much smaller grounds and distant remote places in the Championship – he simply shrugged that off by saying he wanted to coach football – that’s all.

And that put a stop to those who said he was too big and famous a coach to go down a division with Newcastle – like Alan Shearer as one example.

Rafa seems very willing to do that, but wants real  assurances from the club on certain issues before he will fully commit.

We cannot let this man walk away – he’s like a God sent from heaven.

He is the perfect manager to bring Newcastle back to greatness.

That’s if those incompetents running the club want that – rather than just wanting to stay in the Premier League at any cost – and  we have even failed to do that twice in Ashley’s disastrous nine year reign at the club..

There are still some doubts about the ambitions at Newcastle.

Rafa simply wants to find that out in the next week or two and if he thinks it is not there he will walk away and nobody will blame him.

He will join another club with ambitions that match his – and make them great.

He’s a winner and he wants to join a club who can match his sky-high ambitions.

This is some of what Rafa said yesterday:

“If I stay it is because I want to win, not because I want to stay here in the Championship for 10 years,” 

“That is not my target; my target if I stay is one year in the Championship and five in the Premier League.”

“If I decide to stay it is because I have confidence we can get the job done, for sure.”

“Like I say before, what I want is like the fans – a strong team capable to promote quickly and to compete at the maximum level.”

Yesterday he rather brilliantly aligned himself with the fans – what they want is what he wants – a strong team that can compete at the maximum level – make that the Champions League.

The fans are a huge positive for the club and they always have been and they share Rafa’s ambitions completely.

It’s those lot running the club who don’t even know what it’s like to win anything, who now seem to be hesitating when they have the chance of securing a world-class coach at the club for least three years at least.

Boldness and ambition is needed at Newcastle right now and it may not be there.

If they mess this one up there will be hell to pay with the Newcastle fans.

Comments welcome.

The Chronicle have an open letter to Rafa and a petition for the fans to sign – here’s where you can read the letter and sign the petition. – there’s 25,000 signed so far.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Premier League

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Laurent Robert 32 // May 15, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Whereas the other two lower league managers were yes men and saying anything to stay in a job where they know they should be nowhere near, it’s great to see ‘sense’ from a proper manager like Rafa. Laying it out logically to what is needed and what can be improved.

    He will be nobody’s fool, so if there’s any underhanded change of agreements, he’ll be off. The morons running the club have a chance to be guided by someone of Rafa’s pedigree.

    He’s playing it cautious in the press, he has to, as he needs to retain his edge in negotiations, but it certainly seems very positive if his ‘demands’ or development wishes can be met.

    I said this yesterday at home, but if Rafa does stay with us in the Championship, see us through promotion and then win something, he will be as big as any other legend of the club. Bearing in mind the circumstances he took us over in and his achievement C.V. It is a very unlikely story, and it would propel his heroic status even further.

    Ladies and gentlemen, a proper manager.

    I’ll be singing his name all game today, and I cannot wait.

  • 2 Laurent Robert 32 // May 15, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Ed, you forgot to include Pinocchio in your list of mediocre managers after Hughton left. He is sinking like a stone as usual, without all the apologist excuses of when at this club.

    Rafa is a proper manager and I cannot wait to sing his name today ALL GAME.

    I remember going to the Celtic away pre-season game when I think it was when Gullit first joined. Nearly all of the second half (/game) was a continuation of Ruud Gullit’s Black and white army, quite literally for the vast majority of the time. My hands were red raw from clapping and ny voice shot to bits.

  • 3 geordiemark // May 15, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    I honestly cant see rafa staying, charnley and carr are way out of there depths here, they are not on the same wavelength as rafa, what I think that needs to be done really now is Ashley to sell up and go and take the monkie men with him that’s the only way the club will ever get any dignity back, we need an owner who has ambitions for the club we don’t need to spend huge amounts of money in the transfer market we need players who will fight tooth and nail for our club the way we support our club to many players are just money grabbing mercenaries that’s all I can call them, look at all the very over rated players at the club sissoko I wouldn’t put in an under 12 junior team the majority of these players have let the club down and the fans they should hold there head in shame for what they have done to our once proud club, until Ashley sells up I will never return to st james park its as simple as that

  • 4 magpie6699 // May 15, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    I see Sunderland’s clever fans (an oxymoron) have hired a plane to fly over the ground today with a banner saying “Auf Widersehen Prem”. I suppose it’s too much to expect Mackems to show any class, isn’t it?

  • 5 geordiemark // May 15, 2016 at 9:03 AM


    yeah so ive read but yes were relegated but not with the least amount of points ever in premire league history 🙂 we all know how many points them lot had

  • 6 SA Toon // May 15, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    Laurent Robert 32 Look out for Bobby Bee at the ground. He’s going to be shouting the place silly as well. Make some noise gents, make some big noise! # Rafa must stay

  • 7 hibbitt // May 15, 2016 at 9:05 AM


    even if rafa gets what he wants you wont go to games good for you but you could miss a hell of a ride
    take the high ground it your loss

    Rafa’s the Gaffer

  • 8 hibbitt // May 15, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    the way i read the situation rafa can work with charnley
    it’s all about the power carr has and rafa wants that power

    so looking forward to the game today such an odd feeling one i’ve never felt before relegated yet looking forward to the game
    kk was the last man to get 100% from the crowd rafa will today

    good luck toon army go get your man RAFA

  • 9 geordiemark // May 15, 2016 at 9:15 AM


    I just don’t fall for anymore crap that the board sprouts out, they will do to rafa what they have done to everyone else

  • 10 SA Toon // May 15, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Geordiemark I agree that Charnley and Carr couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag if their lives depended on it, but I’m not so sure about Ashley. He’s a strange bird. For years he’s showed us a toffee, but I think he’s one of those guys who doesn’t like to lose. If (and I know it’s a big if) he has decided to do what he said in his open letter, I think he may just press on and do whatever it takes to get it done. I’m not saying he’s a white hat, but a stubborn, arrogant man who always wants to get his way. If I’m right, then his bank balance needs to stay, Charnley and Carr need to be put back in their boxes, and Rafa must be given the keys to the palace. Time will tell, but it all starts today. Our part in this saga is to make sure management are under no illusions – if you don’t give Rafa what he needs to convince him to stay, then we are done with you! #Rafa must stay

  • 11 hibbitt // May 15, 2016 at 9:18 AM


    i think you underestimate Rafa it will be on his terms or not at all

  • 12 geordiemark // May 15, 2016 at 9:23 AM


    I don’t underestimate rafa at all though, how many times has our club lied to not only managers but also the fans and everybody else to get what they want and then to turn the tables on them look at the situation keegan was under that’s a disgrace even Houghton was used and abused, anyone can say what they want its up to them but in my eyes Ashley has to go

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