Rafa Benitez’ experience, decisiveness, initiative and vision were in full view for Newcastle fans during the summer.
First of all he made changes to the Newcastle training ground at Benton, which he deemed needs major improvements.
But for this season he made do with installing two new 4G pitches, upgrading the gymnasium with new and better equipment and redesigning the internal configuration of the players’ and coaches quarters at the actual Benton building.
That would be enough for this coming season.
Lee Charnley and Rafa Benitez
The two men running Newcastle United
Then he started on the squad and did something that should have been done a long time ago – got rid of the deadwood and brought in new, young and much hungrier players.
So off went players like Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor, Gabby Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux and others and in all 11 players permanently left the club including £30M Moussa Sissoko last night.
And the four players we were wondering about in the summer about whether they would stay – Andros Townsend, Gini Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko all did leave and we got a massive £75.5M for those four – really good business by Newcastle.
And Rafa decreased the Newcastle wage bill significantly by allowing 21 players to leave the club permanently or on loan this summer.
But it is the new arrivals that have most impressed the Newcastle fans.
Rafa has ensured we have at last two good players fighting for each position in the team and he has brought in hungry players with skill who want to be at Newcastle United and are proud to be playing for a world-class manager in Rafa Benitez.
It is a whole new and different feeling surrounding Newcastle now – one of competence and even excitement – and it’s due to one man – the manager at the top – Rafa Benitez.
He knows exactly what he needs to do to make Newcastle a great team and a great club again.
So it was a brilliant transfer window for Newcastle in many ways and credit principally goes to Rafa and Lee Charnley, with the two men seeming to form an excellent working relationship for the good of the club.
Rafa is a workaholic and Lee is a hard worker who gets things done quickly, when given direction on what to do.
He led the transfer signings all summer long and did extremely well after the calamities he presided over last season.
Things are looking up at Newcastle United but the proof of the pudding is still in the eating.
What does that mean?
It means we need to beat Derby County on September 10th away from home and then win our next game after that.
But we go into every game wanting to win and knowing we can win.
We know that’s true because Rafa will demand nothing less.
Here are the details of this transfer window – one of the best ever for Newcastle United, given where we stand at the moment.
|Matz Sels||£4.5M||KAA Gent|
|Dwight Gayle||£10M||Crystal Palace|
|Jesus Gamez||£1.5M||Atletico Madrid|
|Ciaran Clark||£5M||Aston Villa|
|Mohamed Diame||£4.5M||Hull City|
|Daryl Murphy||£3M||Ipswich Town|
|Christian Atsu||Loan - season||Chelsea|
|Transfer Fees In||£54.5M|
|Gabby Obertan||Released||Anzhi Makhachkala|
|Steven Taylor||Released||Portland Timbers|
|Fabricio Coloccini||Released||San Lorenzo|
|Andros Townsend||£13M||Crystal Palace|
|Papiss Cisse||£2.5M||Shandong Luneng|
|Florian Thauvin||Loan - season||Marseille|
|Siem de Jong||Loan - season||PSV|
|Kevin Mbabu||Loan - season||BSC Young Boys|
|Henri Saivet||Loan - season||St. Etienne|
|Tim Krul||Loan - season||Ajax|
|Gael Bigirimana||Free||Coventry City|
|Adam Armstrong||Loan - January||Barnsley|
|Emmanuel Riviere||Loan - season||CA Osasuna|
|Jamie Sterry||Loan - January||Coventry City|
|Haris Vuckic||Loan - January||Bradford City|
|Sammy Ameobi||Loan - January||Bolton Wanderers|
|Moussa Sissoko||£30M||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Transfer Fees Out||£85.5M|
Did I mention we made a profit of £31M and we know that will now be invested into the squad in January and next summer.