A word of admiration for Rafa Benitez


In this day and age when managers are eager to ply their in the top divisions of European Football, Rafa Benitez has decided to extend his stay with Newcastle United despite their relegation to the Championship.

Prior to the confirmation, pundits and fans alike were convinced of Benitez walking out of the St. James’ Park and look for a club elsewhere. Everton were in the hunt to poach the former Liverpool manager to Goodison Park, however, Rafa was swayed away by the love and affection from the Geordies supporters.

Apart from the overwhelming reaction from the fans, the way players responded to Rafa’s tactics played a key factor in him extending his stay with The Magpies. Out of the 10 games Benitez managed, Newcastle won 3, drew 4 and lost 3 games.

Initially, Rafa took time to understand his players and impose his tactics on the squad. There were clear signs of improvement under the Spaniard as Newcastle ended their season with a 5-1 win over title chasers Tottenham Hotspur.

What does Benitez’s stay mean for Newcastle?

Now with Benitez staying, Newcastle’s promotion to Premier League looks certain as he will by far be the best manager in Championship, which will give The Toons a clear advantage over the other teams.

Once given a full season to work with the squad, Benitez can work his magic on the players and get them playing at peak of their powers. Another advantage with Benitez in charge will be his ability to convince the better players to stay put at St. James’ Park.

Likes of Moussa Sissoko, Andres Townsend, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ayoze Perez have been linked with a move away this summer but Benitez can change all that by leading the way himself.

Rafa has set an example for rest of the Newcastle United players to commit to their club regardless of them playing in the Championship next season. If the former Real Madrid manager can do that, others can as well.

Despite being relegated last season, Newcastle United have started on the right path ahead of the 2016/17 season which will attract more attention on Championship than usual after Rafa Benitez’s decision to stick with Newcastle United.

Rafa’s decision will change the way how other managers think about Championship and like Premier League, we may see a galore of top class managers in the second tier of English Football next season.