If somebody had said that Newcastle would still not have signed Rafa Benitez before the very last game of the season at Fulham, there would be almost panic with our fans.
Well, he still hasn’t signed along the dotted line, but the manager is also acting very professionally by insisting Newcastle is his first choice and he wants to stay on Tyneside.
In fact, he has said if things were right at the club (they aren’t at the moment) he could sign a really long term deal.
The 59-year-old has said he would like to manage until he’s at least 70 and if we had the appropriate people running the club they would be trying to sign him to a 10-year deal.
The best we can do it seems is to sign him up for the next three years.
Mike Ashley – standing in front of St. James’ Park?
Rafa has never broken a contract in his football career, and he’s unlikely to start now.
His relationship with the fans on Tyneside is unbelievable, and he often has said Newcastle have a great staff and he enjoys his day-to-day work at Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez has done a fabulous job for Newcastle, but Mike Ashley doesn’t seem very interested in rewarding him for that.
It’s really difficult to know what’s going on behind the scenes, but things have to be sorted out soon – Rafa has only a certain amount of patience dealing with the incompetent Newcastle hierarchy.
Rafa would simply love it if they listened more to him about what needs to be done at the club with his massive experience and his down to earth character.
Rafa is a workaholic and extremely intelligent – he has almost single-handedly lifted Newcastle back to the Premier League and kept us up for two seasons.
Now is the time to do what’s obvious to most people – give him control where he wants it and allow him to build a top-class Newcastle side.
The fact that Mike Ashley doesn’t want to do that seems both strange and disturbing.
But that’s Mike Ashley for you.
Maybe Rafa had some good news at his press conference tomorrow afternoon for our final game of the season at Fulham?
The fans have been very patient – to their great credit.