In Rafa we trust – a fan’s view of Benitez’s NUFC tenure so far

So the laughable couple of years since Chris Houghton’s delightful Championship run are behind us. Two ‘top flight’ managers who have as much silverware between them as I do (note to Mike Ashley – take a chance on me) and a zillion terrible board decisions later and where are we? Exactly where Chris picked us up, reeling from the anguish of relegation but hungry to succeed and get back into top flight football. As a devout fan I was fearing the next managerial choice, after Pardew and McLaren I was half expecting Noel Edmonds to take the helm!
Enter Mr Benitez. Top flight manager with an extensive collection of trophies and titles. Why does he want to join us? Publicity stunt? Mike Ashley has a bet on with him? It didn’t seem real along with the get out clause in his contract, something seemed fishy. Fast forward to the present, he is still here and very publicly building a new squad.
Many might scoff at his decisions to chop the old wood but it’s about time someone realised that the team, whilst on paper very solid, just wasn’t working. We say goodbye to some absolutely belting players who gave 110% most of the time, personal favourites of Krul and Collocini but they know which side their bread is buttered and I wouldn’t blame them for wanting better. It’s what they deserve and its what we should have been delivering for the past 10 years.
Sir Bobby would be reeling from our displays of late. Mr Shearer is definitely a presence missing and Mr Gullit would agree that this is not sexy football.
So with a new team of quite frankly, raw and youthful talent, Rafa soon begins his planned ascent to the top. An almost biblical achievement looks within reach, obviously because we have Rafa but also Jesus (Gamez) is on our side.
On a personal level I believe we can do it. There’s no reason why we can’t. We are a big club and it’s time we started being one again. Mike Ashley’s admirable decision to let Rafa do whatever he wants to get us back into the premiership I’d say we are a blank canvas in the hands of an artistic genius.

19 thoughts on “In Rafa we trust – a fan’s view of Benitez’s NUFC tenure so far

  1. Welcome to the mad house mate but your thread is not mad it’s what all fans wanted and hoped jabba would agree with the fans for once looks like he agree with us,I think most fans are really looking forward to a fresh start with a manager that knows how to win things

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  2. Welcome to the blog Magpie Marc. I’m delighted we got Rafa in as manager. I think thing’s are defiantly changing for the better. I didn’t ever think we’d get Benitez so it great his here. Troy was expecting Lee Clarke and Gashly was expecting Paul Jewell but it would be so Mike Ashley to do something like that.

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  3. From the last thread: it is strange that Nigel Pearson is 4/1 for the Mackem job when he just signed on at Derby. Even though the Mackems are in the PL I think it is a harder job than Derby and they might even swap divisions this year.

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  4. Nice read Marc and welcome to the blog. I may have to hunt you down and give you a spanking though cause I have submitted an article very similar to yours 😆
    Seriously, we need as much input from different folk as possible, it keeps it fresh. I do think things are looking up. I explain more in my article which hopefully you’ll see.

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  5. Kimtoon:
    Nice read Marc and welcome to the blog. I may have to hunt you down and give you a spanking though cause I have submitted an article very similar to yours?
    Seriously, we need as much input from different folk as possible, it keeps it fresh. I do think things are looking up. I explain more in my article which hopefully you’ll see.

    Kim you have always been my favourite thread writer,but welcome MM and any other people who want to join the party there’s some good bloggers on here and most are level headed

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  6. So David Gold is saying they want more than 50 million for Payet, a 29 year old one-trick-pony. He scored 12 goals last year so isn’t exactly prolific when you consider Gini got 11 from a mostly more deep lying position. The thing about scoring from free kicks is that it doesn’t always last, teams adjust, it happens in spurts. Christiano Ronaldo has gone 42 direct free kicks with Portugal without scoring so it is conceivable that Payet could go through a dry spell. This Pogba valuation has pushed prices into the stratosphere.

    Consider this, Julian Draxler has a price on his head of 50 million. He had 6 goals and 6 assists last year.

    Fck me, Shearer must be wondering what he would have cost in his prime? I think Ashley would have to re-mortgage half his empire to have got him.

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  7. Could be trouble with Hendly bid,S/we’d have joined the bidding,and other clubs are now bidding for their other C/B Duffy,club say only one will leave,they value him at 3mil and some club has met their price,what’s next??

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  8. Icedog: Kim you have always been my favourite thread writer,but welcomeMM and any other people who want to join the party there’s some good bloggers on here and most are level headed

    Cheers Ice, very kind 😀

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  9. The Rovers fans have already torn out all their hair Kimtoon mate. Their fingernails are chewed down to the elbows as well. Venky’s are even worse as an owner than Ashley has been.

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  10. Mag Marc – nice writing mate & very good article. Welcome to the blog 😉
    For me it’s simple. You don’t get a manager like Rafa & not back him. Now that said, if there were ever a board who could go against it it would have been our bunch!!.
    Fortunately they have been bitten enough pre Rafa to have that desperation to get it right.
    Call me cynical but I think they are more changing their approach for self preservation rather than coz it makes sense.

    But I’m not complaining, providing they keep it up.

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  11. Icedog:
    Could be trouble with Hendly bid,S/we’d have joined the bidding,and other clubs are now bidding for their other C/B Duffy,club say only one will leave,they value him at 3mil and some club has met their price,what’s next??

    Ice – I read earlier today that Hanley is desperate to work with Rafa & is mates with Ritchie through the national team.

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  12. Kimtoon: that article actually makes sense. Sissoko still wants away and Rafa might now be willing to accept that he won’t change his mind. Next, we are willing to accept a fee in the region of 20 mil which was what was talked about before Sunday’s game, which we have to remember was only 3 days ago and he didn’t even score or have an assist in the tournament even though he played well. That is par for the course for Sissoko who looks good sometimes but STILL has no end product.

    Now what could change? We could get multiple offers from CL clubs like Man U , Spurs and Dortmund which could take the price higher. Or, Rafa might demand that Sissoko stays but I doubt it as I think he probably has a replacement in mind.

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  13. We haven’t seen any Italian or Spanish players linked yet which is strange as Rafa has been at Naples and Madrid in the last 3 years. I expect if we lose Sissoko and/or Wijnaldum there will be some incoming from these leagues. We don’t need to get everybody with Championship experience and Rafa’s contacts can allow us to be patient and play hardball with sales and for the likes of Hanley.

    I expect Rafa to have the cash to raid the Italian and Spanish leagues soon because we will certainly sell a few of Tiote, Krul, Janmaat, Sissoko and Wijnaldum.

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  14. I am going to repeat this but I don’t think we will regret not signing Hanley. I think he would be a decent buy but when Rafa gets his hands on some good money from sales I expect him to put his Spanish and Italian stamp on the team.

    He has already cleared the decks of a lot of salary that was sitting there injured, doing nothing, sulking or being homesick so we will be able to attract players from other leagues that maybe some people thought would never want to play in the Championship.

    Between Taylor, Colo, Marveaux, Obertan, Cisse and Townsend we must have saved 12-15 mil in salary and I bet the new guys we bought so far don’t cost even half that much.

    We are finally being run the way a football club should be. It is a pity it took Carver, Schteve and relegation to get to this point.

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