When Newcastle signed Rafa Benitez on March 11th two years ago, we somehow managed to persuade a world-class manager to join a club owned by Mike Ashley.
And fans were saying at the time even Mike Ashley cannot mess this one up.
And for the first nine months, Mike Ashley did everything right by allowing Rafa to do what he wanted to do in that summer transfer window when literally Rafa transformed the side.
It was successful too because we got promoted in the first season down below and Rafa had saved the owner millions and millions of pounds.
Rafa Benitez – backed by the Geordie Nation
But not before Mike Ashley had again been up to his antics of messing with the manager at Newcastle.
In January last year, Rafa wanted to sign Andros Townsend and possibly James McCarthy of Everton, but Mike Ashley refused to spend any money in that window.
Rafa expected Andros to arrive on the final day of that January window, but he didn’t and then in the summer Townsend’s price had shot up to £25M – too expensive for Newcastle.
Then last summer, after Rafa had saved Mike Ashley’s investment in the club what did the owner do?
He put Newcastle in danger once again by refusing to invest in the squad which is why we are fighting yet another relegation battle this season.
It makes no sense that we would spend so much energy in brilliantly returning immediately to the Premier League, only for Ashley to tie Rafa’s hands behind his back.
But that’s Mike Ashley, and we would like to think he will change – but he won’t.
And we’ll soon see if Rafa wants to stay at Newcastle even if Ashley is still the owner.
We hope the manager will stay because he has formed a special relationship with the fans and his players – and both believe in him implicitly.
The win against Manchester United was wholly unexpected, and a masterpiece of coaching and tactics from the Newcastle manager and he was even complimented by Jose Mourinho after the game.
But when you have a manager of Rafa’s experience and ability, then anything is possible as we had found out with the 5-1 defeat of Tottenham back in May 2016.
We can only hope (and pray) that Rafa will stay at Newcastle even if Mike Ashley is still the owner this summer, which seems likely.
And Rafa may shock us all and sign a new long-term contract that keeps him on Tyneside for a long time.
That’s the hope of Newcastle fans, and it’s possible.
The way Ashley should handle Rafa is to leave him alone and let him transform Newcastle United into a club that is worth at least twice what it’s worth today.
And Rafa can do that in a short two or three years if given the opportunity and financial backing.
That’s to Ashley’s advantage, and it’s also what new potential owners will be thinking about the current Newcastle United.
What do you think?