On the face of it we have now acquired the services of a top notch manager. Just a glance through his CV tells you what he’s capable of and likely to bring to the table. You have to give credit to the club in securing his services albeit rather late in the day.
In truth this should of been done last summer, rather than searching in the bargain bucket for a coach again. It’s a mystery why the club continually chased after Steve McClaren (asking him no less than three times to coach us) when other better options were out there.
But of course it’s actually pretty obvious why Newcastle courted McClaren really. Here was a man looking to rebuild his reputation in England and ultimately get back into top flight football via a Derby promotion. Sadly for Derby it didn’t come off and a great start to the season saw them fall well short and miss out on the promised land of the Premier League. At this point alarm bells should of gone off for the Newcastle hierarchy that this wasn’t the coach to guide us anywhere let alone Premier League safety. A good coach he may be (so all the ex-pro’s say) but not a manager. So after a sacking by Derby he finally said yes to Newcastle’s advances. Yet another desperate coach seeking some kind of redemption joins us, just as Pardew had previously.
Time and again that man in charge, Mike Ashley, believes he can do this football malarky on the cheap. Time and again his blueprint for the club comes back to bite him and still he never learns. So here he is paying off his latest mistake and his backroom staff but has he finally learned?
Our new manager (yes, manager not coach) is Rafa Benitez, and I think we are all still in shock that we’ve actually signed such a good manager. The big question though is, is this really a case of lessons being learned by Mr Ashley? Has he finally seen that for a good job you need a very good Manager who can manage on his own terms?
We have to assume that Benitez has been promised autonomy in most aspects of his job and that he has been assured of future funds being made available, else he likely wouldn’t of signed up no matter what the financial benefits on offer.
Given that all of that was promised, should we stay in the Premier League will we see these promises come to fruition? That’s the biggest question and worry for me. We have seen Rafa Benitez at logger heads with previous owners over funding for players previously, notably at Liverpool. If he isn’t permitted to bring in the players he wants this could cause real problems and and result in him walking away. If that scenario were to pan out will we see a return to the hired yes man type of coach?
It is very difficult to have any trust in an owner who has lost his way so many times in trying to get this ‘football thing’ right and as fans he can hardly blame us being a tad skeptical over his long term desires for the future of the club. In fairness he has dipped his hands in the clubs coffers and spent a huge amount by our standards this season. And now he has acquired a top coach to try and ensure our Premier League survival so we can hardly complain.
Yet, I don’t now about you but I’m still wary of his will to carry out his promises to Rafa Benitez and the long road to trust seems a long way off to me. Let’s hope that lessons have really been learned this time and we can go forward with real hope.