Alan Shearer never though it would happen.
That a manager with Rafa Benitez’ resume would want to manage a club in the second division in England – especially since he was manager of Real Madrid at the beginning of the season – the eventual Champions League winners for a record 11th time.
Many top managers may have felt that the Championship was beneath them and would have walked away from Newcastle – but not Rafa.
And as we soon find out some of our players may think it’s beneath them to play in England’s second division – but Rafa has set the example by staying.
Rafa Benitez – determined
And that’s just one reason why the Newcastle fans have so quickly taken to the man who had Newcastle playing as a top six side in the final six games when we got 12 points and three wins – and trashed Spurs 5-1 at home in the final game and even scored our last three goals when we were down to 10 men – just to show off a bit.
If we had averaged 2 points a game throughout the season we would have finished second top of the Premier League last season.
Make no mistake about it – Benitez deserves enormous credit for taking on this challenge – to get us out of one of the toughest leagues in terms of the number of games played and the sheer effort required throughout the season.
Rafa and those at Newcastle working with him are determined that our stay down below is another short one – much like what happened back in 2009 when we were in disarray at this same stage of the summer after just being relegated.
Things are much more stable this time around with everybody associated with Newcastle – including the fans – now all pulling in the same direction.
It will take that level of support to get us out of the Championship next May.
But we can do it and then move on to stage two of Rafa’s plan to make Newcastle United a great club again.
Sounds good to us.