Ciaran Clark has been in great form for us this season and he has turned out to have been a fabulous buy at only £5M from Aston Villa, another club who were relegated along with Newcastle and Norwich last year.
But while things were chaotic at Villa after they finished rock bottom of the league, Ciaran was surprised to find how positive things were at Newcastle, not only at the club but with the fans too and the general mood in the city.
Ciaran has been a major player for Newcastle, who have 21 wins in their 30 league matches so far and we currently sit top of the Championship before tonight’s full schedule of games in the league.
Ciaran Clark – he just scored against Brentford!
This is what Ciaran has told the Star about when he first arrived on Tyneside:
“From the moment I arrived, it didn’t feel like a club that had just gone down.”
“I sensed a feel-good factor which you don’t normally associate with a club that’s just suffered relegation.
“The vibe was so positive and even on the streets, there was excitement and positivity among the fans.”
It’s very easy to explain why the positivity was there and it takes just two words – Rafa Benitez – maybe even one word – Rafa.
Newcastle fans were simply delighted (make that ecstatic) when the Spanish manager decided to stay on at the club and last summer’s transfer window was one of the most successful we can remember.
Rafa brought in 12 new players – one on loan – and he sold four of our high wage earners who wanted to leave and made a profit of £31M in the process.
As we said, it was one of the best transfer windows for Newcastle that we can remember.
Now we are hoping we have another good one this summer, when hopefully we are back in the Premier League again.