Newcastle United fans have been a bit crazy lately about Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez. Some have even started with a “Rafa Out?” slogan. To be honest, these people have to be Sunderland fans to suggest such a thing. And my response to these fans is quite simple. You can get out.
Rafa Benitez may be at fault for the tactics used, however, he is not at fault for the reason those tactics have to be used. While I understand parking the bus against the best attacking teams in the league sucks, we have been pretty dang good on the counterattack. The matches we have played haven’t been atrocities by Newcastle United standards. We actually could easily have walked away with five or six points from these matches.
Rafa Benitez is not at fault for the club’s failure to materialize wins early on in the season. A tough schedule, and a terrible transfer window are. The club has not lost everything yet, but some fans sure are acting like it. The club is only three matches in, and while it’s frustrating to the see the club struggling at this stage, all is not lost.
I hate doom and gloom. And I’m not advocating blindly following Rafa Benitez into the sunset. I wrote an article criticizing Rafa for his park the bus mentality against Chelsea, and the fact that he had made some early mistakes with his substitution practices. We have to criticize Rafa for what we see as mistakes on his part. But we cannot say that Rafa is the reason the club is in what seems to be a dire situation.
That fault belongs all to Mike Ashley. Never forget that. Mike Ashley failed this club, not Rafa. And the minute we start thinking that Rafa is part of the problem is the minute that Mike Ashley wipes the blame from his hands and onto someone else.