Rafa is 58 today so a big Happy Birthday to the Newcastle manager.
He will be at home in the Wirral, Cheshire and will be able to celebrate it with his wide and two teenage daughters.
After our fourth win in a row in great style against Arsenal yesterday Rafa has again been asked about his future and whether he will stay at Newcastle when his contract runs out next year.
He has said there will be plenty of time for that discussion over the summer, but there are things that need to be done at the club for the manager to agree to sign a new long-term deal.
How much transfer money will he get from Mike Ashley this summer, and will there be people coming in soon to try to buy Newcastle from the owner – who says he wants to sell the club.
And the club is now safe from relegation so things are a lot less complicated than they were before Christmas.
Rafa Benitez and Arsene Wenger on touchline yesterday
Looks like Rafa is about to throw the ball at Arsene
So there are still many questions to be answered, but other clubs will have seen just how good Rafa has been this season and may come after him.
West Ham are one of those clubs.
This is what Rafa has said when asked if he would stay at Newcastle long-term – as reported in the Chronicle today
“We will see.”
“Obviously, it is too early because we have just finished but we have plenty of time to talk about ideas for the future,”
“As I have said before, if everything is right, it is a good opportunity but everything has to be right.”
“We started learning without too much experience for some players in the Premier League.”
“And little by little we were growing and, especially in this second part of the league, the team has grown in confidence.”
“We were so good in a lot of things that in the end, I think we deserve to be where we are.”
“Some people were dreaming that maybe we could be here, but they were not awake.”
“We were awake, we were believing from day one and we have achieved what we wanted.”
“We were not expecting to be in the top 10, but at the same time we were dreaming, but we were awake and thinking that we could do it.”
“If you see the way that the players were working for every single ball, and the fans and all the staff.”
“Everybody was pushing in the same direction and that is the key when you want to succeed in something.”
That was our first win against the Gunners following 10 successive defeats and our first win at home against them since back in 2005.
It will be interesting to see how many points we can get in our final 5 games – 9 points will put us on the 50 points mark for only the second time since Ashley bought the club 11 years ago.