BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson knows all about Newcastle United, having been a coach at the club during Kevin Keegan’s first spell in charge at the club.
So it’s not a shock to Mark that world-class manager Rafa Benitez has decided to stay on at Newcastle, even through Newcastle are now a second division side, following our self-inflicted relegation.
Mark Lawrenson – I’m not shocked
This is what Mark has said on Radio 5 Live:
“I’m not amazed, I’m not shocked.”
“Don’t understate the part that his wife and daughters have played as well. They have always kept the family home from when he managed at Liverpool.”
“And I know they love where they live, so they will be able to see a lot more of him now.”
“Newcastle, Liverpool, Valencia – teams with a massive support – very, very loyal to the team, loyal to the manager – if they think they are any good.”
“Mike Ashley is very much maligned, but he’s always putting his hand in his pocket, but the problem has been there’s just been too many managers.”
“There has never really been a manager there who can sit there and think he can build as they go along, I think that will be Rafa.”
“He is a control freak but in the nicest possible way. So I can imagine he has got everything he wanted.”
“I would put a lot of money on Newcastle to get automatic promotion.”
“He is ruthless. He might not come across that way but he is.” “He knows players, he knows how to get the best out of players. I think he will get them organized defensively, which you need to do in this 46 game league.”
As well as building a good strong squad that is bigger than it’s been in the past under Ashley, our first goal is to get straight back into the Premier League at the first attempt.
But this summer should really be exciting for fans, as Rafa does a little wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, as the manager is now completely in charge of all scouting and all transfer business at the club.