Rafa has just announced his team for the final game of the Championship season this afternoon at St. James’ Park against Barnsley.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 7, 2017
The two center-backs are Isaac Hayden and Chancel Mbemba – the first time they have been paired together this season and it looks like Clark is not fit as he’s not even on the bench.
Jack Colback comes back into the central midfield to partner Jonjo Shelvey and as we expected Ayoze Perez is in the number 10 role and Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic is up front as the lone striker.
Christian Atsu and Yoan Gouffran are the wingers – again as expected and Dwight Gayle is on the bench.
If we better the result Brighton get at Aston Villa this afternoon then we will go up as Champions, so let’s hope we can do that.
But it will be a monumental celebration after the game today – win, lose or draw – because Newcastle are now in the ascendancy with Rafa Benitez in charge and very exciting things ahead for Newcastle United fans.
Oh to be in the Bigg Market this Saturday night – fans can start to talk about winning the FA Cup and the Premier League and all that daft stuff – and get completely carried away – just like old times.
It’s a lot better than a year ago in early March when we looked absolutely and completely pathetic under the manager then – Steve McClaren – and then Rafa walked in the door.
Celebrations are in order for Newcastle fans everywhere tonight!
It’s also the most positive we’ve been about the club since Sir Bobby Robson was the Newcastle manager over thirteen years ago.
After the game it’s time to congratulate our players, coaching staff and the great Rafa Benitez with the Italian and Spanish media at St. James’ Park today to hopefully report on what a great job Rafa has done in a short 14 months for Newcatsle United Football Club.