The thing that’s on the minds of Newcastle fans right now is whether Rafa will agree to stay on at Newcastle even though Mike Ashley is still the owner.
And you cannot accuse Ashley of helping Rafa too much financially over the last three years, but the manager nonetheless has done a stellar job, and we could even finish around 10th again this season if we do well in our final seven games.
Rafa’s press conference yesterday was upbeat, and he even seemed to be indicating once the time arrived when Newcastle are safe from relegation – he is willing to work something out with Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley to stay at the club.
Phil Thomson – there’s something about Newcastle that Rafa must love
And Liverpool legend Phil Thompson thinks there is hope for Newcastle fans and on Sky Sports’ Debate program said the following:
“There’s something about that football club that he must actually love.”
“And listening to that (latest press conference), it’s a good thing for Newcastle fans as that’s the first time I’ve heard him talk and not cut anyone short by saying we haven’t discussed anything.”
“He is saying that they have been talking and for them it sounds good, it gives you a little bit of hope if you’re a Newcastle fan.”
“He’s not had any help from Mike Ashley at all and he’s had to sort of look around and get players on loan, it’s just incredible.”
“Because of the financial situation at Newcastle, what he has done there is absolutely phenomenal, quite unbelievable, he has squeezed the last drops out of this football club all the time.”
“This is Newcastle which is so demanding, and this guy Benitez is one of the best coaches in the world, not just Europe but in the world.”
“And people want him, for him to stay at Newcastle this long.”
“I think fair play to you Rafa.”
Rafa is getting a lot of credit for the great job he’s done at Newcastle – not because we are in the top six or anything like that – but he’s showing he really is a world-class coach and getting the very best out of the players he has.
It says something that players want to come to Newcastle to play for him.
And Rafa has built a good foundation at Newcastle over the last three years – and he now needs maybe three or four top (world) class players to make us into a much better side.
We hope Mike Ashley will help him do that – but Rafa certainly sounds like a man who seems like he wants to stay at Newcastle – even with Ashley still at the club.
We hope he does – and maybe it’s time to get those Rafa flags out again for the home game next Saturday against Crystal Palace – where a win could see us safe in the league.
And surely it has to be difficult for Rafa to walk away from the Geordie fans – who just love the man.