It is one year today that Rafa Benitez arrived at St. James’ Park to sign on as we were struggling mightily with relegation and couldn’t quite believe Benitez was going to become the Newcastle manager
Steve McClaren had finally been fired only a couple of hours before Rafa arrived at St. James’ Park.
At the time the mood was terrific and most fans thought Rafa could achieve the miracle of keeping us up.
The two men who run Newcastle (hopefully)
Lee Charnley and Rafa Benitez
He couldn’t do that, but since this time last year he has transformed the club and transformed the team.
With 10 games left in the Championship we are at the top of the league and hopefully can celebrate his one year anniversary with a win at home to Fulham this afternoon – anything less than a win will be a disappointment.
One of the major things Rafa has achieved is that he has restored faith in the club of the loyal and dedicated Newcastle fans and the fans are now starting to trust the club, although owner Mike Ashley is still in charge.
The fans trust Rafa implicitly and want him to keep the free rein he has been given to continue his transformations of Newcastle United from top to bottom.
There has been some doubt of that last January but we hope and expect him to remain in his position in charge of all football matters at the club.
Rafa has compared Newcastle United to Liverpool FC and he sees similarities all over the place between the Scouser fans and the Geordie fans.
This is what he has said as reported in the Northern Echo today:
“Newcastle is more similar to Liverpool than anywhere else I have been,” “It is very similar in a lot of things.”
“The main similarity between Scousers and Geordies is that if they trust you, they will support you to the end. I can see and feel those similarities.”
“I am a professional and I want to do things properly. When I go for a job anywhere, I put passion into it. They appreciate that.”
“The Geordies, our fans, can see we decided to stay after relegation.” “It proves you try to do your best.”
“I was at Liverpool for six years and we won the Champions League in the first year and played in the final of the Carling Cup at this time, so the adoration was growing and growing.”
“After, we were in another final, so we had won four titles and three finals at Liverpool, and semi-finals or whatever, so that was massive.”
“It’s very similar here, so hopefully we can do well and we will have the same number of years and trophies.”
Maybe even more than the six years he had at Anfield?
Mike Ashley would do very well and become an extremely successful club owner in England if he leaves things alone and takes the advice of Rafa Benitez on all football matters.
Hopefully he still shares the views of the Newcastle fans everywhere.
If that’s the case all is well at Newcastle and we will see that this summer.
That’s the hope.