Today is one of those days when time is not working in my favor. Let's immediately kick the ball.
Back in June I asked the question if Grant Hanley would be Rafa's first signing. Hanley is a powerful figure who would give us a much needed physical presence. CHN family member goldenwave91 postulated Hanley's benefit akin to Leicester's Robert Huth. I would say a poor man's Huth, but goldenwave91 surely noticed a correlation that might help us appreciate the upside. I like that this article focuses on tweet feedback. Makes the conversation more entertaining. I'm on record as seeing this move as another victory for Benitez.
This is a great opinion piece that highlights what Hanley brings to the dressing room. Coloccini was not a leader in spite of get the captain's band. Maybe he was, but not the kind Newcastle needed. As the piece also details, Hanley has the Championship experience Rafa has often reminded us would be a required quality. If the signing of Hanley and Atletico's Jesus Gamez comes to reality the back line will definitely see a change of attitude. A bonus to this piece is how Hanley and Scott Dann's partnership afforded Grant the trust of his coach.
If you follow the great NUFC fan Twitter accounts you will see #inRafaWeTrust often. I often catch myself looking at candidates, and so far the signings, and only seeing the positive. I actually want a signing to turn me sour. Maybe that is all the past pain creeping back in, but I know it is more fan than objectivity. Yet when I see quotes from players regarding what drew them to Newcastle I'm reminded of why the hope we found at season's end was so palpable.
Newcastle United aiming to improve atmosphere for Huddersfield Town visit - Huddersfield Daily Examiner
This is what really sucks about relegation. I want to, on a regular basis, see how the fans respond to the boys on the field. My hope is that with Rafa at the helm we'll at least get above standard press coverage.
Get yourself up to speed with what our opposition are doing.