45-year-old Italian Fabio Pecchia was at Newcastle for three months when Rafa first arrives on 11th March 2016.
But Pecchia was only at the club for three months before going off to manager Italian side Hellas Verona for a couple of years, and this year he has joined Japanese club Avispa Fukuoka.
Pecchia keeps in touch with Rafa who is basically his mentor in football management.
Fabio still remembers the three months he spent at the club, but we were relegated, otherwise, we expect Newcastle to be in a better position in the Premier League than we are now.
Fabio Pecchia talking to Steven Taylor – March 2016
We would have been able to have kept Gini Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend, Daryl Janmaat, and Moussa Sissoko at the club and built on what we had then.
Pecchia has been interviewed in the Chronicle, and he doesn’t know whether Rafa will stay at the club beyond this summer:.
“We often speak to each other. Even before I left for Japan, I asked him for advice,”
“If he keeps Newcastle up again this season, he has pulled off a sporting miracle.”
“Now, the aim has to be to compete and move to a higher level. Bigger investments are needed.”
“I don’t know if he will stay.”
“He has a good connection with the club and he is loved by the fans, but he also wants to win things – and he knows how to do it.”
“When we arrived at Newcastle, in March, the situation was very difficult and our only goal was to try and save the team,”
“If we had got there a few weeks earlier, we could have done the business. This was the biggest disappointment.”
“I was only in Newcastle for three months, but from day one it felt like home. The atmosphere at St James’ Park overwhelms you.”
“For me, for any Italian, to see a game like that one against Spurs (5-1) defies all logic.”
“A relegated team and 50,000 people who cheer on their heroes and above all sing the name of Rafa.”
We hope Rafa will announce he will be staying in the next few weeks but he probably wants to see Newcastle well clear of the relegation zone before he does that.
What do you think?