Last season Newcastle did almost everything wrong in pulling off something that was very difficult for a club that spent £80M on new players – and that was to be relegated.
Not only that, but the side at times were atrocious and put in some of the worst displays seen for some time – think Manchester City away (6-1), Crystal Palace away (5-1) and Chelsea away (5-1).
The general consensus was that we were so bad – especially that porous defense of ours – that we probably deserved to take the drop.
Lee Charnley and Rafa Benitez – a good partnership
However, enough of all that bad news stuff.
Since Steve McClaren was finally fired in March – far too late to save us – Newcastle have done almost everything right.
Yes, we know that comes as a significant shock early on a Monday morning – but it also seems to be true.
One thing that was immediately apparent when Rafa surprisingly arrived on the scene in March, was that he had a good relationship with Managing Director Lee Charnley who did all the negotiating to get him to Newcastle.
Even when we were still relegated in May, Lee then negotiated for around two weeks (in communication with owner Mike Ashley) to offer Rafa Benitez all the assurances he needed to stay on at Newcastle in the second division of England on a three year deal.
Somehow, we persuaded Rafa to stay on and that literally shocked the football world – it certainly shocked most Newcastle fans.
We are already reaping the significant benefits of that – with record season ticket sales and a real sense of belief among Geordie fans everywhere.
The good news is that things seem to be working very well behind the scenes this summer as Rafa today has given us a peak into what goes on day-to-day with him, Lee Charnley and his terrific coaching staff.
“I like to have a very good relationship with the Secretary and the Managing Director.”
“I talk almost every day with Lee Charnley, and we discuss about what we want to do. I talk with the scouting department and I am in contact with them.”
“I talk with my staff and I am in contact with them. I like to share my opinions and receive the opinions of the others.”
“Then in the end we will have everything clear between me and Lee and the communication is good.”
“It’s not about being the boss,” “It’s just to make sure that we do what we want to do and we try the best for the club.”
“It is not about me saying: ‘No, I want to do this.’ And it’s not about Lee saying: ‘No, I want to do this.’
“Lee is sensible, I am sensible and we will do what we have to do to improve the squad.”
OK – well that even seems like a very well run organization and it really does seem that Rafa is enjoying things on Tyneside – after all it’s a massive opportunity for him too.
There’s just one thing we have to say about all this – keep it up!!
Howay The Lads!!