Welcome to our new daily segment that we hope will edify you as both a human being, and Newcastle fan. Our goal is to gather a handful of links to Magpie news stories that you would otherwise have to find on your own. You're welcome. This will include, but is not limited to, transfer news, management (or mis-management) decisions, team strategy, player fitness and match reports. Also included will be links to articles we simply think are interesting and informative. We care far too much about you, the reader, to be single minded in purpose.
Again, you're welcome.
With that out of the way...pretty much a quiet Wednesday for the most part, right? Oh wait, I think I saw something about Rafa Benitez making a decision. It appears some folks heard the same thing. Due to the significance of Wednesday's results there will be a few more links than usual.
Why "Reap the Wild Wyn"? We felt this ongoing piece should include the name of an historic Newcastle United player.
I am giving top billing to Craig Hope over at The Daily Mail. You will see some elements to Rafa's signing in all links, but it was Craig who told us to not give up on the dream so his words will be top of the list. Hope gives us a timeline, news on the status of chief scout Graham Carr, whether we have to sell big name players and this gem of a quote from Rafa:
"I would like to build something. I would like to be close to Sir Bobby, that would be fantastic."
The Chronicle's Mick Quinn channels his inner fan to write this great piece on why we should be optimistic for the future of this club.
"For the first time in recent memory, Newcastle fans can be optimistic about the start of the next season, and excited for what the future will hold."
Imagine the days when you were a child, writing your Christmas list to Santa Claus. If you were like me the list was long, and you probably only got only a few your big ticket items. Well congratulations! It has been a long time coming but Santa has paid back all Newcastle fans, with interest. Jump on over to NBC Sports and read what Kyle Bonn has to report.
Jamie Rainbow over at World Soccer pours some sour on the sweetness that is Rafa remaining with the club. He lists four players that he thinks Newcastle are expected to sell. I hope he is wrong on at least one of them. How dare you contradict Craig!!!
Well, Jamie, The Daily Mirror's Simon Bird disagrees with you.
Bird also framed this Newcastle victory by recalling a moment in Benitez's coaching history that highlights the very reason Newcastle fans worked show hard to show him how much he was wanted. As Bird writes, it was those very fans who showed such passion in spite of a disappointing season that made Benitez "want to win for them".
I feel obligated to share another article that highlights just how important a role the fans played. When the fans were writing letters to Benitez I cynically tweeted how pointless that was. My apologies. The Guardian's Louise Taylor highlights components to Rafa staying that many others also reported, however it is her reporting on the "love" shown to Rafa which makes this piece worth reading.
Taylor also put together a list of areas Rafa should give priority to if Newcastle is to win immediate promotion back to the Premier League. There are obvious items such as player signing/retention and academy improvement. One specific suggestion that caught my eye had to do with Newcastle's Benton training grounds.
According to The Chronicle's Chris Waugh, clubs in China, Turkey and Spain had an interested in courting the Spaniard away from Tyneside. When asked why he decided to stay Rafa responded,
"I had some offers, [for] big money, but I am happy here because I can see a project and a future, a big club, fantastic fans, a lot of support and my family."
Waugh's piece is full of great Rafa quotes you will want to keep for future reference.
As fans of Newcastle United our perspective is one of love for the club. Any well educated person seeks out perspectives different from their own. The Daily Mirror's Jon Moody was kind enough to collect tweets ranging from comically critical to cathartically joyous.
The folks over at Men's Journal have some tips on how to maintain what I consider the greatest part of my very existence. With all due respect to them I'm not trimming anything.
Remember when we lost to Sheffield Wednesday and thought it epitomized the embarrassment that is life under Ashley?