The 55-year-old former Newcastle manager Steve McClaren is trying to come in from the cold again after his disastrous eight months in charge of the Magpies, when basically he was the primary person responsible for our relegation taking only 24 points from 28 games in charge and he was left in the job far too long by Lee Charnley.
By getting Rafa Benitez to commit to Newcastle for the next three years, things are not all gloom and doom on Tyneside and in fact fans are upbeat that Benitez can build a good side, but it all has to start in England’ s second division.
That’s the way it is.
Even Steve McClaren couldn’t watch
We all just have to get on with it and there will be much better times ahead for Newcastle under Rafa.
This is what McClaren told Sky Sports News yesterday:
“Management is tough wherever you are and Newcastle is probably one of the toughest places but Newcastle is a great club and can be great again.”
“It’s got magnificent facilities, a magnificent stadium, 52,000 great fans.”
“And the business side of the club is second to none – what Mike Ashley has done over the last six or seven years, he’s really got Newcastle on a firm footing.”
“So that financially they’re making profit after profit each year.”
“I think the side which needs developing, and I think with the announcement of Rafa taking over, the football side needs to be taken care of.”
“It needs changing, it needs dictating.” “Rafa has gone in there and has got total control – over the media, over the staff and over recruitment.”
“Those are the three most important areas that you need in a football club, especially as a manager.”
“Newcastle basically have gone down because of what happened on the field.” “They have allowed Rafa total control of the football side.”
“This club now needs to go forward and get out of the Championship.”
It’s to Steve McClaren’s credit he is not bitter about what happened at Newcastle, but his claims that he should have been given more time will not wash with most Newcastle fans.
Steve was given too much time when the team was always in the bottom four of the Premier League during his short disastrous reign at Newcastle.
And as far as the facilities go, Rafa is not too satisfied with the Benton training grounds and is having changes made this summer to the internal design of the buildings, to give players more opportunity to rest and to talk together to build team spirit.
He has improved the gymnasium with better more modern equipment and has had 4G artificial pitches installed for the first team’s indoor facility and at the Youth Academy – upgrades from the older less forgiving 3G pitches that were there when he arrived.
That hopefully will help cut down on all the injuries we get every single year.
It seems a short-term move for next season and will be all ready a week on Tuesday when the players return for preseason.
We’re sure Rafa will then push for the world-class facilities at Benton Newcastle talked about in November of 2013 – maybe for next summer – and he has already given his input on the changes he wants to those plans.
If Mike Ashley keeps out of the way and let’s Rafa get on with things, we will have a team on the field as good as our financial results – and we can now even expect to win a trophy under Rafa Benitez.
And for some of us older fans – the sooner that happens the better.