Rafa has given a lengthy interview to Spanish newspaper AS, and he talks about his almost three years as the Newcastle manager.
After Rafa successfully got us promoted from the Championship in May 2017, the idea was to put together a team that could then challenge for the top ten in the Premier League.
But we have fought against relegation these last two seasons.
Rafa puts the reason for that down to a lack of investment in the playing squad, and he’s right about that.
The manager says he wants to stay in management for at least another 10 years.
But unless Mike Ashley changes his ways or the club is eventually sold to more ambitious owners Rafa could well choose to join a more ambitious club in the future.
That may even be this summer, but that would come as a real shock to Newcastle fans.
Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager
This is some of what Rafa has told AS when asked how long he wanted to stay in management:
“For another 10 years at least.” “And mostly in England, where you can work as a manager.”
“The main thing is to have energy and enthusiasm, and I have both.”
“I’m talking about an ambitious project for the future with the possibility, at the level that you are at, of competing and winning.”
“When you have won titles you want to carry on fighting for that goal.”
“I enjoy my job, my people take care of the technology very well and we want to get back to competing for titles if possible.”
“It depends mainly on those in the boardroom, on how those that make the decisions allow the professionals to do their job.”
“In that respect, every club is different.”
“All the teams that are successful have a stamp of identity or a way of doing things.”
“Almost without exception success comes from hard work, but sometimes luck plays its part or the skill of individual players makes the difference.”
“But when someone wins in three different countries, with different cultures and standpoints, it means that they’re doing something right.” (well done Rafa).
“I don’t want the fans or the players to waste any time thinking about that (my future).”
“The main thing is to make sure we stay up and then we’ll talk about projects.”
“After winning the Championship and getting promoted, the level of investment in the squad wasn’t what I had hoped it would be.”
“And that’s why we haven’t been able to close the gap on those teams above us.”
“We couldn’t keep the team up. But we took a risk, which was to stay and take Newcastle back up from the Championship.”
“And then to put together a competitive side to challenge for the top eight – that was the idea.”
“I’m concentrating on what’s ahead of me, not on what is in the past.”
Those are good and truthful comments from the Newcastle manager.
We’d like to see owner Mike Ashley turn up at our games and if the lads can keep winning, then our safety could be assured quickly.
We probably need only three more wins, and then we’ll be on 40 points.
Then Ashley must give Rafa what he wants and sign him to a new long-term contract and invest in the playing squad this summer.
That should do it.