Terry McDermott, the 65 year-old former Liverpool and Newcastle player has been interviewed in the Mirror today and he says it’s so important that a club with the stature and history of Newcastle United keeps Rafa Benitez on board as the manager, so we can become a great team again.
The former Assistant manager to Kevin Keegan at Newcastle has talked about Rafa being a match made in heaven with Newcastle – a coach and a club that have magically come together over the last twelve months.
Terry McDermott – still lives in the north-east
This is what Terry told the Mirror today:
“It would have been a disaster if Newcastle had not kept Rafa last summer after they were relegated.”
“He’s a very, very shrewd man – you don’t win the Champions League at Liverpool, and reach another final two years later, if you don’t know your way round a football pitch
“Benitez is a very, very shrewd man – you don’t win the Champions League at Liverpool, and reach another final two years later, if you don’t know your way round a football pitch.”
“The Toon Army and Rafa is a match made in heaven.”
“If he had not stuck around, I’m not sure they would have been anywhere near going straight back up this year, certainly not as close as they are now.”
“He’s a winner and, please God, he stays at Newcastle. That’s absolutely imperative.”
“And, please God, if they do go up, Rafa will be given the money to establish them in the top half of the Premier League.”
“For a club of Newcastle’s size and history to have been relegated twice in seven years is astonishing, and it can’t be allowed to happen again.”
“Hopefully owner Mike Ashley will provide the funds to improve the squad and make sure they come back stronger.”
“But for now the most important thing is that Newcastle finish the job and do go up – because if they don’t do it this year, you do wonder if Rafa will stay.”
There are still some lingering doubts about what owner Mike Ashley wants to do and whether he will impinge on the broad control Rafa was given at the club last May to stay on board.
If he does that then Rafa is not one to mess around and he could leave – he’ll have plenty of offers – but we just don’t think that Mike Ashley is daft enough to do that.
But yes – we have also been wrong before.
What do you think?