Newcastle United, also known as The Magpies, have been going through a rough patch for the past few years. The football club was twice relegated to the Championship in the past seven seasons. The first relegation came with a 1-0 loss from Aston Villa in the 2008/2009 season whereas the second was in 2015/2016 season. It was not right for the serial underachievers in English football to play in the second division. Can they stay up this season? We certainly hope so. After analysing the Newcastle Odds on BetVictor, it’s clear to see that they’re already the favourites to win their first few games and the Newcastle specials available show that we could be seeing a lot of goals. But what do The Magpies need to do if they want a successful season?
The Tyneside club has always managed to surprise fans by staying economical and signing mediocre players rather than strengthening key areas. However, in the past couple of years, the club has heavily invested in big names. This was done to ensure that the club stays away from the relegation zone. However, all efforts to recruit good names in the transfer window were in vain. It can be said that this delay turned Newcastle United into an example of how no club is immune to defeat.
The Magpies signed Aleksandar Mitrović, Chancel Mbemba, Florian Thauvin and Georginio Wijnaldum. Apart from this, the winter transfer window arrivals included Andros Townsend, Jonjo Shelvey and Seydou Doumbia. It seemed like the football club was learning from its mistakes in the past. Newcastle cleverly worked in the transfer market and got quality players to bolster their squad. The club initially only signed cheap European players who did nothing but damage the team’s overall standing.
The relegation in the 2008/2009 season came under Kevin Keegan, who is considered to be a legend. Subsequently, even Steve McClaren who is a fantastic football coach turned out to be an unsuccessful manager for the team during the 2015/2016 season. McClaren was unable to showcase his ability due to the inexperienced squad he had at his disposal. This led to another poor performance in the season which shattered the confidence of the players. The top players were also not interested in saving this sinking ship or fighting for the cause. McClaren had the skills to change the fate of the club, but all he was able to deliver was mediocrity and nothing else. The struggle to avoid relegation was a major threat for the club.
In March 2016, Rafael Benitez was appointed as the manager of Newcastle United. Even before he could take charge of the team, his strong CV and managerial experience served as a reason for fans to rejoice. Many hoped that the club would be able to earn promotion and become a top Premier League side once again. Ever since the departure of Bobby Robson in 2004, this has remained an unfulfilled dream for The Magpies.
Before joining the Tyneside club, Rafa Benitez was the manager of Real Madrid, which is one of the biggest clubs in the world today. This highlights his skill and vast experience in managing top rated football clubs. His managerial career includes many big European clubs such as Inter Milan, Liverpool, Valencia, Chelsea and Napoli. During his career, he has managed to lead various teams to win 11 major trophies. Many Newcastle fans were of the opinion that Benitez was the only one who could redeem the team and bring the trophies back to St. James Park. However, it is achievable only if Benitez is given enough time settle in and make his team.
Irrespective of the fact that they were relegated during the 2015/2016 season, Benitez depicted that he could change the game for Newcastle United after 11 games in charge. The Magpies ended their campaign with a six-match unbeaten run, where they won against Tottenham Hotspur on the final day with a score of 5-1.
Luckily for the fans of Newcastle, Rafa Benitez decided to stay with Newcastle. After being relegated, the Spaniard won the Championship with the Tyneside club and took the club comfortably back to the Premier League. Irrespective of the fact that there were a few opportunities, he still showed that he has the ability to take Newcastle back to European football in the foreseeable future. He is known for organizing his players strategically and is a professional class manager whose abilities cannot be challenged whatsoever.
Compared to managers like Pardew, Benitez’s conduct has always been professional. This has allowed him to not only gain the respect of his players, but his attitude has been greatly appreciated by fans of Newcastle.
The last Premier League campaign for Newcastle was helmed by Steve McClaren. Many times, reports of tension in the dressing room have led to the downfall of the club’s performance. However, Benitez has managed to bring back the winning spirit amongst players and fans by weaving a closely-knit unit.
Through his excellent efforts, professionalism and attitude, Benitez has successfully won the faith of the Newcastle board, players and fans. Apart from Sir Bobby, his performance has been better than the previous managers of the club. Managers like Pardew, Allardyce and McClaren have been shown the door by Newcastle United’s ever-faithful Toon Army.
On the other hand, there have been managers like Chris Hughton who achieved the same mark as Benitez by winning the Championship. However, Hughton failed to take his team ahead in the Premier League. Rafa Benitez has proved his worth as a successful manager who can truly make his team stand out. It is believed that Newcastle will get a mid-table finish in the upcoming Premier League season.
Over the past ten years, Newcastle made poor recruitments in the transfer windows. Among them, Alan Pardew’s ‘French Revolution’ is the most criticised as it led to many underachieving players being signed into the club.
Benitez managed to sign big players like Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie who greatly helped the club. Furthermore, Rafa Benitez also got subsequent control over transfers which other managers could not succeed in doing.
We all know that the Magpies have to spend and sign big if they want to survive the upcoming Premier League season. Benitez will have to use all his resources, skills and experience to work alongside Tyneside to carve out another success story. It will be interesting to know how he manages to take on the clubs of Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
The team is in great shape and has a good opportunity to showcase their potential. However, it is important for teams to accept that they are second best, as Newcastle was to Brighton last season, if they want to improve.
This season, the Magpies have been focusing on a single, real objective. There are chances that the roles might be reversed as Brighton considers itself to be a small fish in the Premier League. No matter what happens, Newcastle and Brighton will be playing in England’s top-flight football in the upcoming season.
Hence, it seems that phase one of Benitez’s plan might be successful. However, the success of the second phase is dependent on whether the team can rally together for a bright future.