Rafa Benitez is a world-class coach because he gets the very best out of the players at his disposal.
That’s almost the definition of top-level coaching, and while Rafa has hardly been supported financially, he’s had three decent seasons at Newcastle’s helm as manager.
If we can get two wins in our last three games, we’ll be on 46 points, and that’s two more points than last season.
That would be some level of success for the club, but it’s nowhere near where Rafa or the fans want the club to be.
That may not be the case with owner Mike Ashley – and that’s been the big problem over the last twelve years – his complete lack of ambition for Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez – he needs help from Ashley
Here’s what Rafa has said in an interview with talkSPORT today:
“I am a coach coming from the academy system.”
“When I was at Real Madrid, two members of my staff (Perez and Antia) were my players when they were 16 years old,”
“You can improve players, you can coach them, but you have a limit. We know that we have a limit.”
“If you are in Formula One, you go, and the other one is faster than you; OK, in the bends maybe you can do well – but, after, they will pass you.”
“We have to decide that. I can do this because I like to coach players – I am a PE teacher – and I like to improve players.”
“But, at the same time, you know that Hazard can make the difference on his own.”
“You need help to be sure that you can compete where this club needs to be, and deserves to be.”
“For me, that is to be seventh, or close to seventh. At the moment, that would be the ideal situation.”
Rafa is finding out – if he didn’t know already – that his ambition for Newcastle far surpasses that of Mike Ashley.
The chasm between the men’s two visions for the club may be too wide to breach.
But once again we have no idea what Mike Ashley really thinks – since he hardly ever says anything in public.
That leaves a vacuum in communications and a distinct level of uncertainty – and that’s been causing problems over the last four weeks.
Ashley needs to get back from his Easter vacation and sort things out at Newcastle United.
Doing that this week would be perfect