Rafa Benitez didn’t take long to build up both the trust and adoration of the Newcastle fans.
He did that by coming in on March 11th last year and said all the right things and seemed to know just exactly what fans wanted – he seemed like a fan talking about what he wanted to do at the club.
His common sense and pragmatism were there for all to see, but he got off to a bad start and we had just one point from his first four games – a point at home to Sunderland that broke their six game winning streak.
Rafa Benitez – has United Newcastle across the board
Excuse the pun
But then after the embarrassment at Southampton he dropped Wijnaldum and some of our other stars and then in the last six games of the season we got 12 points, were unbeaten but still were relegated.
Once Rafa agreed to stay on as a world-class manager managing Newcastle in England’s second division that’s all fans need to know that Rafa was indeed dedicated to Newcastle United.
He has led Newcastle through hell and high water this season in a league that is much more difficult than we ever thought last summer – it’s a very tough league.
In fact Rafa has labeled it the toughest football league in the world.
Throughout the season he represented Newcastle and the Championship with such dignity and honesty – and enthusiasm.
And even though it looked impossible with three games to go, when we were a full 7 points behind Brighton & Hove Albion we still won the league with three impressive wins in this last three games.
His former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher was right when he said there’s one thing about Rafa you should know – he simply never gives up.
So Rafa has the trust of the fans – they just love the man who was born to manage a club like Newcastle United.
It was also clear that he liked working with Managing Director Lee Charnley and they have worked famously together over the last 14 months with Lee thinking quite sincerely that Rafa is quite simply the best manager in the world.
What Rafa seems to have done over the last few weeks is to gain the trust and respect of the owner Mike Ashley through his modest but hard-nosed and down to earth approach.
He knows lots and lots about the game of football and its different aspects – and Mike Ashley doesn’t.
So it seems Rafa has educated Mike on what goes on at top clubs and what everybody has to do to make Newcastle United into a great club again – a real powerhouse in Europe.
From the news today Mike Ashley seems to be backing Rafa full-bore this summer with every penny he can give his manager towards the transfer funds Rafa needs.
That includes every penny from players he can sell this summer.
It’s not quite nirvana at the club, but this may be as close to Newcastle being UNITED on all levels than we’ve seen in a long time.
But of course we can still screw things up, so that has to keep us on our toes.
But let’s at least admit that Rafa Benitez has now truly united the Newcastle club and everybody is behind him.
And that now seems to include the owner Mike Ashley.
In Rafa we trust – in Rafa we really trust.
🙂 🙂 🙂