Rafa Benitez showed again yesterday that he is one of the best managers in the world as he put together a game plan that got us our fourth win in a row after we overpowered Arsenal 2-1.
There have been calls from Arsenal fans after yesterday’s defeat at St. James’ Park to replace Wenger with Rafa Benitez, but we think that’s very unlikely to happen.
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has showered praise on Rafa, but he thinks Arsenal need a manager who will play more sexy and entertaining football than Rafa does.
Rafa Benitez on the touchline yesterday
The Gunners can still qualify for the Champions League next season by winning the Europa League, but they will have to play a lot better than they did yesterday to achieve that.
And there will be a review of their season and Arsene Wenger by the powers that be this summer.
Here’s what Paul Merson has said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show today:
“I like Benitez – he is one of the top managers.”
“I just think Arsenal fans want to see entertaining football, and I know this might sound a bit silly, but they want to see teams who go out to win football matches.”
“Benitez sort of sets his teams up – even at Liverpool – not to get beaten, and you go from there.”
“Arsenal fans are staying away at the moment because it’s not entertaining enough, and I think they will need someone with a little bit more flair.”
“They need someone with longevity – someone who will get a four or five-year contract and stay there – because you don’t want a Manchester United situation.”
“That’s where they change the manager many times quickly after Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Arsenal fans are staying away at the moment because the results are not good enough – not because they are not playing entertaining football.
Newcastle play some good football, and our two goals yesterday were a joy to watch – I know because I’ve watched them many many times.
But you cannot be too greedy – do you want a team that will win or a team that plays sexy football?
The two are not necessarily compatible although Pep Guardiola gets very close to that with his world-class (and very expensive) players and Arsenal did in previous years..
We are over the moon to have Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
Now we have to him signed up on a 10-year deal and get some new owners in – who will support the manager and attend our games.
Then we will be on our way.