If media reports are to be believed, we seem to be on the point of appointing Rafael Benitez as manager of Newcastle United Football Club.
It is difficult not to be encouraged by this development but speaking only for myself, I have a cautious optimism because there are a number of obstacles to be cleared before I think we can hail this as a potential turning point on the nine shambolic years of Mike Ashley’s running of our club.
Number one is Rafa Benitez has to be appointed as the “manager” of our club. The tried and failed experiment of Head Coach doesn’t work and is a job that only appeals to the desperate out there who quickly discover it is dysfunctional.
Number two is Rafa Benitez has to be given full control of transfers and team selection. Whichever players come and go has to be Benitez’s call. He will know what is required in terms of character, team dynamics and he’ll also know the style of football he wants to play. It seems obvious but it hasn’t been at United for nine years.
Number three is Rafa Benitez has to have a decent transfer kitty in the summer no matter what division we are in.
Number four is Rafa Benitez will require an experienced, well-respected and competent Chief Executive to work alongside him. Mike Ashley will have to appoint someone who fits that bill. It is likely not to be Lee Charnley, who it is noted has been side-lined in the courting of Benitez as manager. Charnley should go, he is clearly not up to the job.
Number five is Rafa Benitez has to be allowed to appoint his own backroom staff and as quickly as possible.
Number six is Rafa Benitez has to be allowed to decide upon the future of Graeme Carr and that might mean a re-shaping of his role or his dismissal.
Number seven is Rafa Benitez must be allowed to undertake a full root and branch review of the whole club from the first team downwards and involve every aspect of the club’s sporting operation. His recommendations to Ashley should be implemented in full.
Let’s all be honest. We never imagined in a million years given the state and reputation of our club under Mike Ashley that we would be able to attract a manager of the calibre of Rafa Benitez. It’s my opinion that Benitez would fit into the blue chip category Sir Bobby Robson spoke of in his time at United.
Benitez is a major football figure and he will provide the club with instant credibility. His reputation will open doors for the club. Players will be attracted to him.
If Benitez is appointed on anything like the terms above, this could represent a new era at United and Ashley could have at last awoken to what is required at our club.
Obviously, if he is appointed, his first job is to keep us in the Premier League. I am sure Newcastle United supporters will rally around him and give him 100% support in that mission.
No match tomorrow but plenty of Newcastle United related reading in the pages of true faith (Issue 124) for you. And a fair bit more to be honest as well. true faith is Newcastle United’s number one fanzine and has been established since 1999. It is also the most widely read independent supporters’ led publication in the UK. It is avavilable in digital format and it is absolutely FREE. It is readable on any device you care to mention and lots of you take it on smart-phones, i-pads and tablets. The latter is my preference. We all hope you enjoy it.
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