It was fairly obvious before the start of the Newcastle vs Crystal Palace game on April 30th last year that Rafa Benitez and Alan Pardew were friends and that was probably due to Alan having called the top Spanish manager a few times for guidance in his own management career.
When you are a top man like Rafa – it also happened a lot with Sir Alex Ferguson – other managers often call you just asking for help in certain situations.
It’s really a compliment for the manager they call and they are usually willing to help as much as they can.
Rafa Benitez meets Alan Pardew before the game against Palace last year
Alan is currently between jobs, although we are sure before the season starts he will link up with some club – maybe even in the Championship since there is a huge push by clubs down below to get promoted and into the mega money of the Premier League.
Those Championship jobs will likely come with a huge bonus attached should the cub be promoted to the Premier League.
Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion have already secured the two automatic promotion spots for this season after the two teams had been in the top two for many months and were quite obviously the best two sides in the Premier League.
And we even managed to do the double over Brighton, who are a very well run club from the top with an excellent manager.
And a very strange thing has happened in the eight days since we were promoted; we are actually getting some coverage in the National press.
The coverage is negative (that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise) with most pundits reporting (or should we say hoping) that Rafa Benitez will leave the club – which is not going to happen.
In fact last week on the Monday night and Tuesday morning after we had walloped Preston 4-1 at home to lock in our automatic promotion spot, Newcastle were the main headlines in both the Mirror and the Mail and most of the other top nationals too.
Well, would you believe it?
Back from the wilderness.
This is what the former Newcastle United manager said last night on the Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football show talking about Newcastle and also Sunderland:
“I think Newcastle will stay in the Premier League if they can keep Rafa Benitez.”
“They have got the home power, you just have got to add a few players to that squad and a couple of big stars.” “They should have enough.”
“As we know, all the teams in the Championship are gunning to reach the gold mine which is the Premier League, so there are four or five big clubs all poised with good teams going into next season,”
“David Moyes will have to sit down with the Chairman and discuss what the budget is.”
“Even though Sunderland will get the huge injection of parachute money, it doesn’t mean to say they’ll do it the right way.”
“Benitez has done things pretty much spot on at Newcastle; he took a big group of top-Championship players, some of whom were there already, and his squad have seen him through.”
“That would be a good route for David to go down if he can convince the Chairman that’s the right route.”
That’s a good and accurate assessment by Alan Pardew but we don’t see the strong characters (like Rafa) at Sunderland who can get the team together to fight for promotion – at least for next season we don;t.
They look like Aston Villa did last summer.
Sam Allardyce could do it but he’s not available as he seems to have saved Crystal Palace from relegation this season – Alan’s former club.
What do you think?