We are trying to forget about that HMRC investigation and hope it will be on the back-burner and that it’s not as bad as it first appeared.
Certainly the way things at Newcastle have seemed to quickly return to normal is a very good sign for the club.
Rafa was simply terrific in his press conference yesterday and he was very open and talked of a few calls he had already had with owner Mike Ashley.
The big news is that Rafa will present a long and detailed blueprint (strategy) for what he wants to do to make Newcastle great again.
Rafa Benitez – the best thing for Newcastle for decades
That will obviously be about players coming and going but it will be a lot more compressive than that.
I will volunteer to review the charts for him before the meeting.
One big area of improvement for Rafa seems to be the Benton Training fields and we don’t know if he will recommend incremental improvements to the ground, or want to start the world-class £25M facilities Newcastle threatened to build back in November 2013.
If he wants a complete overhaul, they will need to find somewhere else for next season or at least the first part of next season to train.
We just hope the fans get to hear about some of the things that he tells Ashley – things that can be shared with the fans.
Here’s another great interview with Benitez in the Chronicle today on what he wants to do – it seems very comprehensive and complete.
But this is Rafa Benitez.
Here’s what Rafa has said as reported in the Chronicle:
“I had a conversation with Ashley and it was quite positive,”
“He was really pleased for the promotion of the team and, as like me and everyone, disappointed with the (HMRC) investigation.”
“But it is something that we cannot change so we need to be sure we do the right things regarding football, then we will be ready for the meeting.”
“It’s very simple: he’s the owner, so then it depends on him what we will do.” “I don’t have any problem with anyone being in the meeting but, who has to be there, is Mike and me.”
“He needs to know my ideas and I need to know what he is thinking and we have to talk about everything.”
“I am a professional, he’s a businessman and he knows his business, so it’s simple.”
“Because I have experience, obviously you always have a plan, so you need to listen to the plan and see where we are.”
“If we are here [gestures with his hands wide apart], fine; if we are here [gestures again, but having moved his hands closer together], then we have to see how close we can be.
“If you are there [gestures the best-case scenario with his hands practically clasped], then great.”
“We are already thinking pre-season. We know that you have to do things in advance.” “We are already talking about where and when we can play games.”
“I need to talk with Lee Charnley on these things.” “We have to decide together about these things.”
“All my life I have worked to a business plan. It is what you have to do.”
“The question is where we are, how much money, can we do it with money if we sell players, which players are good enough, which players we have to change, things like that which the manager normally knows.”
“Then you have to talk to the Managing Director every day.”
“It’s so simple. When you have a manager and a managing director and you have the football operation and business operation.”
“Then we have to communicate every day and have the same ideas.”
“For example, pre-season. We need to know what we want, and what the club will need. We need to agree what is fine for both.”
“That is the sort of conversation we will have.” “To be fair, I’ve had 15 Presidents or Chairmen, so it is not an issue for me,”
This is exactly what Newcastle have lacked in the past – a plan or blueprint of what they are trying to do and how to get there.
It starts off with where you want to end up – and we are confident Rafa will say he wants to win the Champions League with Newcastle – that’s the goal – that’s the vision.
Now the presentation will go through what needs to be done and how we can get there.
Since Ashley and Lee Charnley could not come up with a blueprint to save their lives, you have to think Rafa will get the backing of these men.
It may shock people but Lee and Mike will likely be right behind Rafa and his blueprint.
For them the questions will be how much money can the club give him – what other resources are available to Rafa.
But as we’ve said in the past we really do think they will back him with everything they have.
The atmosphere on the final day of the season will be absolutely electric – because the fans will realize we could be on our way back to greatness, with Rafa Benitez leading the way.
It’s also more than likely Rafa and his expanded team will be given a new long term contract as part of the blueprint – so he has time to fulfill his vision for Newcastle.
This is great for Newcastle United.
I’m so excited I may have to drink tea rather than coffee this morning.
Howay The Lads!!