Former Newcastle United midfield maestro, Nolberto Solano, has sent a powerful message to Mike Ashley in an interview with The Chronicle, pleading to the NUFC owner to back Rafa Benitez.
While Solano spent the opening part of the interview calling for focus at the club, as NUFC enter the business end of their season, the Peruvian talked about the potential for a bright future, should we gain promotion:
“Under Sir Bobby, we always felt like we could get to the business end of the table and it can be the same again under Rafa.
“The top six is where Rafa will want to be, to begin with, if Newcastle get promoted, I have no doubt about that. He won’t want to be fighting relegation – it’s just not his style.”
“I hope that Mike Ashley is going to be on the same wavelength as Rafa and I hope that the club sees having Rafa here as a major opportunity.”
“This is well and truly the chance to kick on and win something or get back into Europe.”
It is interesting to see Nobby liken Rafa Benitez to the great Sir Bobby Robson – a comparison that would no doubt excite Newcastle fans, and rightly so.
Solano goes on to justify further why it is vital that Benitez receives full backing from the NUFC board, suggesting the current United side would struggle in the top flight:
“Teams from the Championship would struggle against the big guns and even against teams like Stoke, West Brom and Bournemouth. That’s why you need to spend.”
“There will be no panic now but if Newcastle get that place, I hope to see Mike Ashley open his wallet and get spending. If you back Rafa Benitez now it will pay dividends.”
“My fear is that Rafa does not get backed and might not stay.”
“There are big clubs out there who will want him if Newcastle don’t. The Premier League is competitive now.”
Solano makes another valid point. If Newcastle thought the Championship had improved in quality then they are in for a shock should they return to the top flight.
The likes of Stoke, West Brom and West Ham are no longer your average side deemed an ‘easy win’. They are approached with caution, possessing strength in depth and genuine quality throughout, showing how such teams have evolved over the years as the standard of Premier League football increases.
Finally, Solano signs off with a great message that Mike Ashley and co could learn a lot from:
“When I signed for the club in 1998 it wasn’t just because of the brilliant fans I’d seen on TV when watching on from South America.
“It was because Newcastle had genuine ambition. Under Rafa, they now have that again. He is capable of taking Newcastle to places they could only dream of in recent years.
“He can win a cup and he can get them into the Champions League IF he gets the backing.
“I just hope they give him that chance.”
Before we start dreaming, here’s hoping we first, gain promotion, and then go on to give Rafa the backing he needs.
Who knows what the future could hold if you mix a world class manager with a big club, brimming with potential.