The Chronicle is reporting today there was a get together between local journalists and Rafa Benitez at the Benton Training grounds earlier this week.
They report the difference in the mood (and even inside the newly renovated inside of the building) couldn’t have been more different from the same meeting with Steve McClaren a year ago.
Of course there’s nothing quite like wins to create an upbeat mood at any football club and after 13 games played in all competitions we have nine wins – so that’s not bad.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
Of course we have Rafa Benitez running everything football related at Newcastle – and that cannot be bad.
It’s also the first time he’s had such a wide scope of responsibilities at any club and he seems be relishing the opportunity to build Newcastle into a great club again with a top team on the pitch.
The Chronicle is also reporting that Rafa had a meeting with Managing Director Lee Charnley on Wednesday, but that was only one of the regular meeting between the two that take place fairly regularly.
One subject on the agenda was recruitment in January, although they are also planning what to do in the next three transfer windows.
That sounds good.
This season is already different from the previous ones since Mike Ashley became the owner in the summer of 2007.
For one thing we have very few injuries – although Daryl Murphy returned from the Ireland squad after being inured maybe on the first day of training earlier this week.
Rolando Aarons has been out with a broken foot and Jesus Gamez has been nursing an Achilles tendon problem.
And it didn’t seem to take Rafa long to make an impact on what has been a long-standing injury problem at the club.
He has done a number of things to try to improve the injury record including having a bigger squad with the rotation of players and hehas the club upgrade to 4G artificial training pitches.
Two new medical staff were hired in the summer to concentrate on the recovery from injuries and put procedures in place to try to prevent them in the first place.
Rafa has asked everybody associated with the club to get behind the team and that seems to have worked and it includes the players and staff, the media and of course the fans – and anybody else who may have some association with Newcastle United.
It seems to be working.
And if the team can keep improving as Rafa keeps stressing is necessary to be successful this season, then things could look really good for Newcastle come May.
Let’s hope that all happens.