During his latest piece for The Chronicle, Lee Ryder insists that ‘Rafa Benitez IS above criticism‘ – a statement that has provoked a VERY mixed reaction from several Newcastle fans on social media.
Don’t get me wrong, I am 100% behind Benitez. He’s the best thing that’s happened to us since Sir Bobby, he’s done wonders for us over the past two years and I think anyone suggesting we could do better (or any other realistic replacement could do better) needs to take a long, hard look at themselves – but that does not mean he’s ‘above criticism’.
I think what Lee may be trying to say here is that we would be foolish to suggest he’s not the man for the job. I totally get that given the complete and utter mess we’d be in without him, but suggesting we should not question any of his mistakes is not right.
Rafa Benitez is a world class manager and, with that, I often tell myself ‘Rafa knows best’ whenever I may doubt one of his calls, however he’s not flawless. No one expects him to be, so surely it’s part and parcel of football to suggest what he could and should have done differently at times.
For example, was he wrong to leave Rondon on the bench when we were crying out for some extra fire power up top against Arsenal? Was he wrong to play Hayden – a player who clearly wants out and showed total indiscipline in his last outing? Probably.
Some say that the likes of Pardew, McClaren and Allardyce would have been absolutely slated if they made some of calls Rafa has made at times this season, but they don’t demand the same level of respect and trust Benitez has rightfully earned.
If Lee’s piece is targeting those ringing up BBC Radio Newcastle or ranting on Twitter to say why Rafa needs to go then I totally see what he’s getting at, but to suggest that he is now ‘above criticism’ on all levels is something I struggle with.
Click here to read his piece in full.
Do you agree with him? It’s fair to say quite a few NUFC don’t..
No-one should be 'above criticism'. Rafa is a world-class manager but he isn't flawless. He, like any manager, has made decisions that are questionable – and as supporters we have every right to hold him to account them.
— KTDT (@KTD89) September 20, 2018