With the reports that Rafa Benitez is in the hot seat at Newcastle United following a string of matches without gaining a single point, one may believe that Rafa may be gone before he refuses to sign a new contract. After all, most managers in this position would see themselves under fire from fans and from upper club management following performances like these. And a question for you guys is:
Should Rafa really be treated any different?
Short answer is no. He shouldn’t be. All managers should be held to a winning standard, although some just can’t get those results, and others don’t have to the tools to achieve the results needed for survival. It’s the circle of life in the Premier League.
HOWEVER, Benitez is one of those managers who hasn’t been given the tools needed win, nor has he seen any funds previously promised by club owner Mike Ashley. Not to mention, Rafa is seen as a hero by fans of the club, and his departure would spark more than mere outrage. I’m talking riots, people.
But there are multiple reasons as to why the sacking of Rafa Benitez would be the most infamous act in all of Newcastle United’s history. I have here for you a well-written list.
Rafa Benitez is critical to the sale of the Newcastle
I believe I’ve mentioned this before, but among the expectations of potential buyer Amanda Staveley was the retention of Rafa Benitez. If Rafa were to leave the club under any circumstances, Amanda Staveley had little to no interest in purchasing the club. The Spaniard adds value to the club.
The Chronicle reported this about all three of Staveley’s offers: “All three of PCP’s bids for Newcastle also contained provisos that Rafa Benitez remain at the helm too, which helps explain why the Magpies manager’s position was never under threat even when United lost eight of nine matches between October and December.”
Of course any manager should be held accountable for their losses. A lot of decisions made the Toon manager have cost the club greatly, but there are many reasons as to why this current club isn’t performing up to the level expected.
This may all be a front from Mike Ashley to make it seem like he truly cares about the results of the club as he attempts to get more involved. While Newcastle were locked in a relegation battle early last season, Rafa managed a top ten finish with a subpar team. Is there any reason to suggest there won’t be a similar turnaround?
Which brings me to my next point:
Rafa managed a stellar comeback last year
That’s right. The myth, the man, the legend, Rafa Benitez had managed an amazing turnaround last season which saw the club end the season in tenth place. While I had better expectations of the club going into this season, it’s become apparent that tenth shouldn’t even be a benchmark in our minds. Survival is the one and only thing we should be concerned about.
But I’m not concerned at all.
Why fire a manager who has the ability to change the fortunes of a season with one outstanding win? Yeah, we just lost to Brighton and Hove Albion in a match taht once again had questionable decisions made by Rafa, but remember:
He’s the club’s best chance at greatness
Whether it be this season, or the next, Rafa Benitez is crucial to Newcastle United’s future. He wasn’t just brought in to serve as a middle-man for Mike Ashley’s next yes-man of a manager. Rafa was brought in to change the club itself, to change the club as a whole. He isn’t here on vacation, he’s here to make Newcastle United what it once was and should be.
Benitez represents an ideal that we as fans all share. While Newcastle fans may be prepared to hand Rafa a blank check, that’s not the case here. Rafa truly is a proven manager, with a track record of winning trophies. To say his best days were at Liverpool is missing the fact that every club he has managed since has not lived up to his expectations upper management wise.
We’ve seen what Rafa can do with a squad that is certainly subpar. Many managers can’t even succeed with sufficient backing let alone little to no backing at all. If his performance last season doesn’t serve as a reminder as to just who he is, let me put it this way.
He’s RAFA FN BENITEZ. Show some respect.
The idea that Rafa Benitez’s job could be under threat is a joke. Do I think that Ashley may be prepared to do what is necessary in his eyes? Yes. And I think that Ashley may be weighing his options. But not because Rafa is about to get sacked, but because Rafa is about to leave a situation that he can no longer make the best of.
We need to be careful with what we’re hearing and reading. We need to look deeper into the facts. If we’re going to take Ashley’s word that the club is no longer for sale right now until the season comes to an end, then we take his word that Rafa’s job is not under any sort of threat.