Newcastle Fans In Shock – They Can’t Believe It – It’s Fantastic


It is hardly surprising that Newcastle fans today are still in some kind of shock, that we have managed to get Rafa Benitez to stay on at Newcastle, even though we are a second division side, but that should only be for one season.

In early March, things looked really bad when the squad had gone off on a week’s holiday in the south of Spain.

Head coach Steve McClaren had promised everybody who would listen to him, that he would sort things out with the team following the humiliating 5-1 defeat at Chelsea.

Jamie Carragher

Jamie Carragher – fantastic for Newcastle

Not only did our players not seem to try in that game, but they also didn’t know what they should be doing on the pitch, so confused and humiliating was that display – one of the worst of any team in the Premier League last season.

But still Steve kept his job and at any other club he would have been fired the next day.

Then after 18 days of preparation,  the next match was at Stoke City and Steve went all out for a 0-0 draw, but  was unsuccessful and we lost 1-0.

After the game Steve still insisted we were unlucky not to get a draw.

Yeah – right.

And then we were taken apart at home by newly promoted Bournemouth 3-1 on the following Saturday and that was it on Steve McClaren.

After six days in came Rafa Benitez, but Rafa had left his white horse in Liverpool.

So even Rafa couldn’t save us after McClaren had been given far too much time to turn things around, which he always said was just around the corner.

Rafa had us winning three games and drawing three in those last six games for 12 points, which turned out to be one third of our points total for the season in the last six games.

But we were still relegated.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher knows all about Rafa, having played for him for the full six years while Rafa was at Liverpool.

Jamie had a great game for the Reds in that famous win in the Champions League final in 2005 against AC Milan in Istanbul.

Jamie has hit the nail on the head in talking on talkSPORT today, and he points out it’s just fantastic for Newcastle that Rafa has stayed – and the fans still cannot believe it:

“It is fantastic for Newcastle United.”

“It shows the quality of the managers in the Premier League now, that someone with Rafa’s expertise and trophies won is having to go to the Championship now to get a job.”

“He could have a got a job anywhere I suppose but in terms of England now and the money in the Premier League, what he is thinking is one year in the Championship – and hopefully I can build Newcastle up to be a team competing for Champions League places.”

“I think they are all still in shock – that Rafa actually took the job on the back of Real Madrid, but he is there and I am sure he will got a great job.”

Let’s hope Jamie is right on that, the last time we qualified for the Champions League was in season 2003-2004, Sir Bobby Robson’s very last season at the club .

Comments welcome.



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85 comments so far

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 26, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #1

    Just missed the bus there so repost.

    So do we judge Rafa on ten games, just wondering!!

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #2

    Essex…I don’t ever want to hear a manager use that phrase again.

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  • Tsunki

    May 26, 2016 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #3

    Didn’t take long for the Fat man’s chums to resurface after their considered appointment of the saviour Benitez. Don’t get me wrong I’m chuffed that sense or desperation has at last furnished us with a worthy footballing brain. But the sudden rush to plant Ashley and even his incompetent buffoon yes-man on pedestals is unseemly and unwarranted. Let them go through their trial period before crediting them with an epiphany. This is one hopeful month in a decade of dismal failure. Let’s have some perspective.

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  • Tsunki

    May 26, 2016 at 1:53 PM

    Comment #5

    …and I forgot to add, let’s also try and keep some of our dignity. Their are plenty in the football watching world who love to see the club and it’s fans falter under mishap after mishap if shambling stupidity. By suddenly gushing about our wonderful owner and his administrators in stupidity, we could be aligning ourselves with a future crash. Let it all play out a bit, be sceptical. Let them prove by their ongoing actions what they are up to.

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  • Tsunki

    May 26, 2016 at 1:56 PM

    Comment #6

    What a git that former charge of Rafas is. The quality of managers in the PL is so good Benitez is only able to get a job in the championship? What a git.

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  • Goldmbemba

    May 26, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #7

    Think back to the last time we were in the championship – who were the key players?

    Nolan, Ameobi, Lovenkrands, Caroll.

    No ‘superstars’ by common definition, but what this tells me is that we need a certain type of player in the championship. Someone who is:

    – passionate about NUFC
    – prepared to be physical
    – a vocal presence on the pitch

    I agree that we need players who are prepared to get stuck in in a tough division. Im not sure about these spanish players that we’ve been linked with. Not sure about Agger, cant remember seeing much of him. But as a former Rafa boy he could see it as an interesting project. We must be a step up from Brondby for goodness sake.

    I’d be after the best championship players, to supplement what we have, which should largely be good enough to bounce back up as it is.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 2:06 PM

    Comment #8

    Let’s not get carried away dreaming of CL footie, we’re now in the Championship and have to get promoted first. Then can we perhaps let our imagination run wild. Personally I struggle to contain those dreams now that Raffa is here. It will be interesting to see who his first signings will be.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #9

    Who are The Championships best players? anybody?

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  • Goldmbemba

    May 26, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #10

    JP

    https://www.thepfa.com/thepfa/pfaawards/championship-team-of-the-year

    Of those that didnt get promoted, there are:

    McCormack
    Judge
    Bannan
    Salter
    Ayala
    Dawson

    Dont recongnise half of them though :/

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  • Toonfan8

    May 26, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #11

    we should go for Redmond, Mc Cormack and Agger….it should be enough

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  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #12

    How many of those mentioned have failed in the PL? I can’t see Rafa looking for stopgaps whilst thinking ahead for the following season. He’s building towards a squad capable of challenging the top six the following season, not just escaping the Championship. The best team will win the league, regardless of whether it has Championship hardened players in it or not.

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  • clinath@ed

    May 26, 2016 at 2:20 PM

    Comment #13

    Tsunki,
    That patronising paragraph annoyed me too.

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  • clinath@ed

    May 26, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #14

    Bobbybee, it’s about getting the blend right. Enough to get us out of this league, but not too many that are not good enough next season

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  • Jib

    May 26, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #15

    Alvaro Arbeloa isn’t travelling with the Real Madrid squad to Milan.
    With Rafa in charge I’m starting to get the most ridiculous fantasies.
    😀

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  • clinath@ed

    May 26, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #16

    We probably have the best players/squad in this league but, as Bobbybee says, do we have the best team?
    That’s Rafa’s job.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #17

    Bobby…How do you ascertain who is the best team in the league? Surely a part of that is if you have players for that league?

    Battling was a missing trait for much of our season. IMO, that would just get highlighted further in the Championhip.

    I do note however, that under Rafa, the fight and battle was there, especially in those last 6 games.

    I trust Rafa to make the right call, but am in no way simply expecting the current crop to suddenly not have the same traits we’ve seen in them for quite a while now. Some experience of the league surely has to be beneficial.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #18

    It’s even more annoying when you say it in that horrible, grating scouse accent of his! 😉

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  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    May 26, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #19

    Tsunki

    I agree that Ashley doesn’t deserve to be in our good books all of a sudden. Ashley has already showed us that when he gets desperate he is prepared to do the right thing. Rafa was definately forced upon him and in my opinion Rafa was signed with Ashley’s best interests, not the fans. Whether Rafa knows that I’m not sure but if us being relegated didn’t affect Ashley that much we wouldn’t be heralding him now for the signing of Benitez.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #21

    goldmbemba – hmmm interesting. I would add Will Hughes and Lewis Cook to that list. But tbh don’t know much about the Championship. There’s some quality players hidden in there no doubt, which have the added bonus of being used to the physicality of the English leagues.

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  • Goldmbemba

    May 26, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    Comment #22

    Id love to know what mclaren is thinking right about now. With the wrath of all those geordies on his head for bringing their club down.

    Imagine if he gets a championship job next season… fireworks when they meet

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  • YoungMagpieFromBurnley

    May 26, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #23

    Gold

    Apparently Steve applied for the Rotherham job and they rejected him.

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  • Back Door Man

    May 26, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #24

    Jib – thanks for those links re planning applications. The decision dates for various approvals seem to have passed … perhaps they’ve been deferred.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #25

    Goldmemba,
    Probably doesn’t give a fcuk with all that money he’s made from being sacked around Europe.

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  • Back Door Man

    May 26, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #26

    Wayayman – many here were calling him Manuel when he first came and well into the ‘last ten game period’ … yep, probably stereotyping him. 

    I chose to continue calling him that out an appreciation for the position he’s in, namely – the good, well-loved fella struggling against an ogre of a boss. 

    I’ll consider  your plea after deciding what to do about your glib and oily poke about Jim Davidson being my cultural inspiration.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 26, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #27

    Does anyone want a multiple failed manager to sit with their head in their hands week in week out then grin like a drug testeding monkey after the game.

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #28

    JFA- lolol Thank God we got rid of that fool! ‘give me 10 games’ he said.. we game much more than 10 and look where it took us. Though I will even thank him if we keep building a fortress under Benitez and rise to the EPL with him in charge.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:38 PM

    Comment #29

    The difference between the players under macca and the same lot under Rafa was chalk and cheese. They got stuck in and played for each other, showing – annoyingly – what we’d been missing. I don’t go with this ‘special’ league that only suits certain players. It’s a weaker league, containing players not generally deemed good enough for the PL. Those that are, get bought up. There is nothing special about it. The team that finished the season off, under Rafa’s guidance, would win the Championship imo. Build a strong team, one that can seemlessly step back up the following season. Let Rafa pick his players and get on with the job. The Championship will probably become PL2 sometime in the future and thete’s a damn good reason for that.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Comment #30

    Jib…Further to your post on the last thread.

    When did they sell the land to the metro? Was it the freehold or just the lease? From what I’ve understood, it has only ever been the lease, as the freehold belonged to the council?

    From what I understand they sold the lease to a joint venture company with MGM to build the super casino. As a joint venture. When that fell on it’s backside, the club re-paid the £5m fee and regained the lease.

    Then in 2007, new plans were being put in place for a redevelopment, but then Ashley purchased the club.

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  • Ron Knee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Comment #31

    Bobby

    The present team can’t handle pressure. They hammered Spurs when the result for NUFC didn’t matter.

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  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 26, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #32

    Will Hughes.

    Tsunki
    I was just thinking about the sudden beatification of Rafa and would be happy if he did lead us into the promised land.

    But after being a fanatical supporter for over sixty years I’ve seen too many false prophets to completely lose my genetical paranoia so everyone please forgive me if I express a hint of doubt.

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  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #33

    Ron…Whereas, when the pressure was on, we could only draw against Aston Villa.

    Bobby…There certainly were improvements and the Championship is clearly an inferior league, however, I still stand by the idea that some PL players wont be suited to it. Whether it’s motivational or physical issues I’m not sure.

    I do expect us to do well, of course. I just wouldn’t be against getting in one or two faces for this reason.

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  • manxpie

    May 26, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Comment #34

    http://youtu.be/dN53RAvHEDc

    average haha Mccarthy is bonkers I was thinking more like this guy^

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  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #35

    Ibiza, i agree 100% we should buy new players, i just don’t see the point in buying from a league we’ve dropped into. If these players were good enough, they’d already be in the PL. There are some good young players to look at, but 29 yr olds? 30 yr olds? I might be wrong, but I can’t see Rafa going for many like that. A bit of experience is one thing we can use, but not necessarily from lower leagues – that’s where you go for up and coming players, not experience. I can see the point in Agga, but he’s not plying his trade in the Championship is he? I think he might go for players he knows and trusts, but i simply can’t see him filling the squad with what is basically an inferior product. He’s thinking big, not average.

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  • Jib

    May 26, 2016 at 2:56 PM

    Comment #36

    Ibiza
    You seem to be much more au fait with the situation.
    In an effort to cut through the Gordion knot of mis-information and obfuscation the simple view would seem to be that the council think that NUFC have enough of a footprint in that part of the city and are unwilling to cede or relinquish one more square foot.
    Asley would have benn better advised to keep the land as a car park and forestall any sort of building thus keeping the vista at the end of St James’ Boulevard

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  • toon kk

    May 26, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #37

    Great Rafa is staying, it may not guarantee promotion but it certainly gives us a far better chance. I’m sure he’ll attract quality players, he’ll probably want more experience in the squad.

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  • loonie-toon

    May 26, 2016 at 2:57 PM

    Comment #38

    My mate younger brother plays for derby is quite a tidy player last game a seen him play was them against Man U in one of the cups the season just gone he came threw Man U academy sir Alex chose tom cleverly over him he was also youngest ever Captin for Barnsley he’s called Jacob butterfield

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  • Ron Knee

    May 26, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #39

    Ibiza

    Benitez apparently likes players with some strength of character. I think that immediately lets out some of our ‘stars’!

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  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #40

    Ron, they did canny well against liverpool and city too. As time progressed under Rafa, you could see the difference. Sadly he wasn’t given enough time, but the difference was there for all to see. This lot under macca would struggle, but the longer they came under Rafa’s influence, the better they looked.

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