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.