true faith : “MISTER” RAFA BENITEZ

by • March 11, 2016 • NewsComments (24)3076

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 Benitez2Coach 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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24 Responses to true faith : “MISTER” RAFA BENITEZ

  1. Scott says:

    Spot on assessment, agree with all of the above.

    If it is to be believed that Charnley has been sidelined in the discussions with Benitez then I still hold him responsible for the disgraceful treatment of mclaren this week. He might not be up to the job but he seems like a decent enough bloke and the way the club has behaved is pretty disgraceful really. The man is a human being trying to do the best he can at the end of the day.

    Benitez would be terrific for Newcastle but Charnley has to go after this fiasco

  2. colin mccabe says:

    As Scott said, excellent assessment. Pleas egos let this be true and let the man have full control

    In terms of the treatment of McClaren it really is a joke and it just reflects badly on the club. Are they hoping he’ll just get so fed up that he’ll just resign so they don’t have to pay him!?!?

    • Anton says:

      Yep. McLaren’s treatment is appalling. Ashley must be aiming to build himself a nice track record of constructive dismissals. Great guy and a great businessman indeed.

      My personal hope is Ashley is getting Benitez in order to make the club more sale-able: blue-chip manager, 52k in a modern stadium come rain or shine and (after a bit of a summer clear out) a “purged” squad you can start building on. NUFC could become a fantastic purchase.

  3. mikey says:

    Not in the bag yet.

    Fingers crossed.

    (and fuck me its been 9 years under this bastard???)

  4. Rob says:

    I think there’s very little chance of Benitez staying after relegation.
    It’s my view that we’re pretty much down already, so the disappointing thing is that clearly we could have appointed him at the other times when McClaren could (should) have been sacked. Belated ‘ambition’ engendered only by desperation.

    • rich says:

      I agree Rob, if this is the dawn of a new era then we must stay up. In the space of a few days i have gone from we must go down to we must stay up, because we could now be on the cusp of something good. History suggests that the club flourishes when properly managed. Mind history also suggests we shouldn’t get carried away……..

      • colin mccabe says:

        Haha it’s great how it just turns isn’t it, I for one am fuckin buzzing with this appointment!!!

      • Rob says:

        It’s the hope that kills you.
        Just looking at the pictures from the first training session – he still has to work with the same characterless players that helped to get us into this mess. That said, hopefully the arrival of a proper manager will suddenly get good performances from Coloccini, Janmaat, Tiote, Wijnaldum, Sissoko et al, as there are players there that should be doing much better than they are.

  5. Darras Steve says:

    Fully agree with Scott and Colin.
    If it is Benitez coming in then he will, in theory, have the credibility in football circles that recent managers of the club never had and never will have. I have been no fan of McCLaren from the start and he was lucky to get the gig in the first place, but the Club, not him, are to blame for that. Courting a failed Championship manager to run one of the ‘biggest’ clubs in the land was a recipe for failure from day one.
    Despite all of that he has been treated appallingly by Penfold et al this week and at the end of the day the man can only be human. Put yourself in his shoes, however fortunate they may be, he still should have had the courtesy of a face to face dismissal as opposed to the rumoured sacking by mobile. just goes to show how classly and spineless Charnley is when he has neither the courage or decency to see the man in person.
    Good luck to Rafa if it is him and the first thing he needs is a bit brush to get rid of the heartless tossers on the playing payroll. The fuckers should be hanging their heads in shame for the effort, or entire lack of it, they have shown the Club this season.

  6. Peter Ward says:

    Spot on Michael but for how long have we been saying this? It appears Benitez has got what he’s demanded so far. His back room team are already in so Ashley has shown he can act decisively and change direction if facing disaster. The only thing that matters now is to avoid relegation and this change is very late in the day. If we do (fingers crossed) what happens then? The old saying goes ‘leopards never change their spots’ so a degree of caution and ‘wait and see’ is called for.

  7. Peter Shearer says:

    Well that is indeed a surprise. Maybe Ashley has admitted he has got it all wrong, and in that respect it does look hopeful. But based on the last 9 years, we probably need to be prepared for something else soon. However, let us judge things as they develop. I don’t think anyone can be surprised that we are cautious!

  8. mikey says:

    We absolutely MUST stay up now.

    We’ll not get a manager of Benitez’ Calibre for donkey’s years if we don’t.

    We can do our part as well. Turn St James’ park into a fortress!

  9. Pat Hughes says:

    That was a pleasant surprise, to coin an old phrase, and I’m thrilled he’s ours – a proper manager and we’re heading towards being a football club again. Didn’t see that coming! What is up with Ashley, he doesn’t usually give us what we want. He’s either setting us up for a sale as suggested above, he wants us for the long term as advertising, he wants the TV money badly or he’s developed a liking for football. Who knows. Rafa’s got his work cut out to keep us up and it’s down to the players now to do what they’re told. Exciting times ahead mind – looking forward to it.

  10. Bob says:

    I think of all the names mentioned this was the only one capable of an instant reaction for players and fans. Like him or not his CV has to have respect which the likes of Moyes and Pearson would not have. That was essential in view of the short time left. Surely most of the players will react to this immediately and, if they stay up, will need to impress him if they wish to stay. Not sure where that leaves Sissoko.

    As for Charnley, yes he should go. The treatment of McClaren this week has been poor but he hasn’t helped himself and should have gone months ago. If he wanted to leave with dignity he could have resigned. He did have a parting shot though in his statement saying he would have kept them up and they should stay up. I don’t think he was right on that first part but hopefully is on second.

  11. Jill C says:

    Liverpool fan here. I just wanted to wish you guys luck. In appointing Rafa, you have a brilliant manager who will works his socks off to get Newcastle staying into the Premiership, and building for the future. This guy is one of the most underrated managers. I would have him back at Liverpool in a heartbeat (if Kloop ever left). He is someone who really understands a football club, but more than that he understands the connection between the fans and their club. He did brilliant things for us, and what I urge is to give the man time, and your loyalty and he will reward that.

    Good luck for the rest of the season (except when you play us).

  12. Ed says:

    Is it really so hard for a football club to make a decent managerial appointment in the summer, when the time is right?
    I go back to the 1978/9 season, and since then only Charlton, Allardyce and McClaren were planned successions between seasons – two of those were rotten ( and I can’t remember what I thought about Jack at the time!)
    That’s 37 years of knee-jerk appointments (yes, even SBR and KK) or poor choices, and often both at once.
    The timing of this is so desperate that Benitez could have demanded the moon on a stick and still got the job.
    We might still go down, but at least we might also stay up now!

  13. Robbie M says:

    it’s a great appointment, but my only fear is he is stuck with a poor squad of players. I think it will be a miracle if he can turn us around given our defensive options. As others have said, I agree I wasn’t that arsed if we went down, but now staying up would provide an opportunity for something more than we’ve endured for the last 9 years!! Good Luck Rafa.

  14. Mikey says:

    So at last we may see signs of stability if Rafa keeps us up, bit shabby on how mclaren was treated , which is par for the course for this mob , however he was truly out of his depth and desperate for any chance to get managing after being sacked from Derby , and so begins a rollercoaster ride till the end of the season for us, HWTL, dare I say…in Rafa we trust..

  15. Simon Sharp says:

    Benitez is the first proven winner we’ve had associated with the club since Keegan left. Not sure what assurances the club have given Rafa going forward or what strings needed to be pulled to get him here but his record speaks for itself. He can coach and he can get the best from the players if they’ll let him. That for me is the big “if”. The players should feel ashamed at the way they let McClaren down (oblivious though they probably are to such consideration). If they won’t pull their fingers out for a coach who is, has his record shows, a winner then when will they. Looking at the half arsed rubbish that Winaldum, Sissoko and others have produced now there are no excuses. If we go down, Benitez’ reputation won’t be harmed. But that of the players might well be.

  16. Joe Hawkins says:

    I’m not excited about this appointment because it is too little too late imo !
    Nothing against Rafa because this would have been a good appointment a couple of months back but now this situation has been left to fester for far too long.
    I doubt whether James Last could get a tune out of our gang of misfits and mercenaries and they are not up for the fight one iota !

    Lee Charnley was photographed with Rafa yesterday and he had this stupid grin on his face like the cat who had got the cream.
    I feel sorry for Steve McLaren in a way because that idiot has a lot to do with his job being made an impossible task.
    That ugly little git should have been shown the door yesterday for me to think that real change was possible because he is one of the biggest instigators of why the club is where it is !

  17. Marc Corby says:

    How can it be ‘too little too late’ when it’s still in our hands and we have appointed a better manager that has given everyone a massive lift without kicking a ball?

    I’m a hell of a lot more confident we have a good chance of stopping up now, that’s for sure.

    • Joe Hawkins says:

      Easily !
      You only have to look at our squad and the way they have performed this season.
      All it will take is defeat at Leicester followed by another disastrous Derby game and it is out of the window for me.

      This week is probably one of the most important in the clubs history with failure in both games then next Monday morning is going to look bleak to say the least.
      Do you honestly trust our squad of misfits to come up with the goods this week ?
      Yes it could happen but surely the odds have to be against it !

  18. Robbo says:

    Assuming Penfold actually had anything to do with Benitez’s appointment yesterday, his desperation to hang onto his non-job has forced him into uncharted waters by securing a manager with genuine credibility, instead of some desperate has-been Championship reject. His faliure to act before Christmas, when Benitez would have had the January window to plug those gaping holes in the squad only highlights his spineless incompetence.
    However, even if Benitez fails to keep us up, he could still put himself back in the frame for another Premier League job next season, as we know his family are still in Liverpool and England is where he wants to be, so it’s a no-lose for him. Unfortunately Charnley has done himself no harm either by pulling this one off. We can only hope Cashley doesn’t see it like that and sticks him and his mate Carr on the next Metro to the airport.
    At least my visions of Alan Curbishley spluttering up the A1 in an Austin Allegro weren’t realised! HWTL

  19. Bob says:

    Surely Ashley can’t be in any way pleased with Charnley, firstly because of the mess we’re in on top of the compo for McClaren has his mates plus the huge wedge for Rafa, and the amendment to the management structure/plan.

    fair play to Rafa for taking on the challenge, I can’t imagine many top managers putting themselves in this position and taking this risk even though they could point to the “only 10 games”scenario.