The Mirror is reporting today that Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez remains their number one choice if Slaven Bilic doesn’t start to turn things around at the Hammers soon.
Bilic has been under pressure most of the season after a poor start to his second season in charge in London and is under increasing pressure.
West Ham are 3rd bottom just above Sunderland (bottom again) and Hull City after yesterday’s games and before they play at Liverpool today.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager – going nowhere
In their last two games West Ham were hammered 5-1 at home at the London Stadium to Arsenal last week and 4-1 in the EFL Cup quarter-final tie at Manchester United, so they are leaking goals badly.
Last season under Bilic West Ham finished in 7th place on 62 points, but this season has seen a huge downturn in the results.
West Ham almost signed Benitez in the summer of last year and the news was that the contract had been agreed, before his home-town team and former club Real Madrid snapped him up.
Rafa lasted only about seven months in Madrid before being fired in early January and he was signed on at Newcastle in March.
Although he couldn’t save Newcastle from relegation, we are at the top of the Championship on 43 points from 20 games and hot favorites to be promoted.
Newcastle showed what a good team they are becoming when they beat a good Birmingham side 4-0 yesterday and that result was kind to the visitors to St. James’ Park.
Rafa is overhauling the club from top to bottom and Mike Ashley has given Rafa full control of all football matters at the club.
Over 52,000 were at the game yesterday – another sell-out – and it’s extremely unlikely that Rafa would be interested in leaving Newcastle if West Ham did make an official approach.
His goal at Newcastle is to win trophies and he’s made an excellent start to his management career winning 20 of the 34 games he’s been in charge of since mid-March.
Newcastle have won 14 of their 20 league games in the Championship with a goal difference of +25.
At the current rate and after a mini-slump of losing three games in all competitions – we are still on track to get 99 points and almost certain promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.