Even though Rafael Benitez could not save the Magpies from the dreaded drop into Championship football, this week, the Spanish manager (against his family’s wishes to escape from Tyne-side) has decided to stay on as Newcastle United manager.
The former Liverpool manager had signed a 3-year contract with Newcastle United with a clause to opt out should the team get relegated. So this comes as a pleasant surprise for Newcastle United supporters who may have thought the Spaniard would, like anyone with common sense, have run for the hills after their team got demoted, their stock in footballing terms had been diminished, and they had to subject themselves to watching the Geordie Shore on prime tv every weekday.
“I am extremely pleased to be staying at Newcastle United,” Benítez said in a statement on the NUFC.com
“The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my decision to stay, as was my relationship with [the managing director] Lee Charnley and all the staff. This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United.”
Rafael Benitez isn’t a Championship manager he is a Champions League manager (okay, Europa League) and when I heard he was joining Newcastle first thing I thought to myself was, how is he going to hear anybody at St James Park with their thick Geordie accents?? and then I thought, what in G’s name is he thinking?!
Only time will tell if the Rafael Benitez and Mike Ashely relationship will last. The owner has given written guarantees regarding the budget and issues including recruitment. This means Benitez will have control over most football matters around the club.
Article by: Thabang Kgeledi @Chiz_Zoboblog
My favourite manager of all time (no, not Ernst Middendorp, he is my 2nd favourite) Rafael Benitez visits Anfield this afternoon (I am not kidding when I say he’s my favourite by the way). In his stint with Liverpool from 2004-2010, the Spaniard, had been one of the club’s most successful managers in the last two decades.
He comes back to Liverpool, a club he apparently has close to his heart (‘apparently’ because a couple of the players he managed said he had no heart to begin with), needing an all important three points to keep his Newcastle side’s chances of escaping relegation alive.
Even though Rafa was a bit distant. Especially to Steven Gerrard who had this to say about Benitez in his autobiography [which I haven’t read yet because I’m waiting for the asking price on Amazon.com to drop] “Any conversation with Benitez is football, football, football,” and “I’m not sure he’s interested in players as people,” But, being cold to his players and fans does not mean he isn’t a Liverpool legend.
Now, he is at Newcastle.
In their last two games, the Magpies have improved immensely under the tactical nous of Benitez. At least the players are listening to his instructions which always a good thing.
We have Rafa in the black and white corner and we have Jürgen Klopp in the red corner.
Jürgen Klopp is the new charming, charismatic, and clinically insane Liverpool manager. They have been comparisons to Liverpool’s recent Europa League quarterfinal comeback win against Klopp’s former side, Borussia Dortmund [click here if you have been living under a rock for past four weeks and you missed it] and Liverpool’s 2005 UEFA Champions League triumph in Istanbul against a Kaka lead AC Milan side.
Let me think about this one..?
It’s a tough one… [scratching my head]
AC Milan or Borussia Dortmund?
Pre-Ballon Dór Kaka or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang never in his life Ballon Dór?
Carlo Ancelotti (3-time Champions League and a bunch of other things Winner) or Thomas Tuchel (0-time nothing winner)?
Final of the UEFA Champions League or Quarterfinal of the UEFA Europa League?? (I had to double question mark that one.)
I’ll let you decide which one was the bigger achievement.
Liverpool has been in, excuse the pun, red hot form lately. Brushing aside weaker teams as they should.
If the Newcastle players have any respect for Rafa they will play their best for him.
Not only because they need the three points but to prove a point. Newcastle is one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League and shouldn’t be in the position they are right now. If they can give Rafael Benitez the opportunity to coach them again next season, in the Premier League of course, they will finish top half I can guarantee that.
Article by: Thabang Kgeledi @Chiz_ZoBoSportz
The new Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has blown some life in the Magpies lungs.
When Sergio Aguero scored a clearly offside goal in the 15th minute, most of us were thinking Newcastle was going to have one of those relegation-type nights. But the Toon Army rallied and 15 minutes later pulled a goal back through Vurnon Anita.
‘I did not see the replay but everybody says it was offside,’ Rafael Benitez said.
‘It was a pity. The reaction of the team was so good. We showed belief and fight. We have to be optimistic in the rest of our games.
‘I was pleased with the reaction but my concern now is we cannot change these things when they happen.
Newcastle United actually looks like a decent team when they are well coached. This is something that former boss Steve McClaren clearly had a hard time achieving.
With his goal, that should have been ruled out, Kun Aguero scored his 100th Premier League goal in only 147 appearances a feat only bettered by Newcastle United legend Alan Sherrer.
Alan Sherrer achieved his 100th goal in 124 appearances. Sherrer, who is now a pundit (then again, who isn’t nowadays) had this to say about the chances of his beloved Newcastle.
“Certainly on Tuesday’s evidence, and on Saturday’s, there’s now a togetherness,”
“The fans appreciate now that the players are giving everything. They’ve given themselves an opportunity – three points on Saturday and a point tonight which is not a disaster.
“It’s taken him a while to understand his players but he’s left big players out. Aleksandar Mitrovic is out, Jonjo Shelvey is out. They’re out for a reason – they’ve not given enough to the team.
“He’s changed it and he deserves credit for that. The atmosphere stood out.”
Article by: Thabang Kgeledi @Chiz_ZoBoSportz