Newcastle United have played their final card in order to avoid relegation this season by appointing the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez as their new manager. While Rafa has a great European pedigree, he will be aware that his job at St James’ Park will not be easy.
Newcastle are second bottom in the league table and have 11 players out injured at the moment. Knowing their current situation, the biggest question right now is can Rafa Benitez save Newcastle from relegation?
It is no denying that Benitez has been a successful manager in Premier League and with Valencia and Napoli, however, his last job did not turn out to be great after getting sacked inside 6 months at Real Madrid.
Another factor which might go against Rafa is that he has not been involved with a team, who are battling for relegation. All his life, he has seen his win% be right up there among the very best.
Only 11 managers have won more than 50 per cent of their matches in the Premier League and Rafa is one of them. However, Benitez will have a completely different situation to deal with Newcastle, where he cannot expect the likes of Gonzalo Higuain or Steven Gerrard or Gareth Bale to rescue him in difficult games.
It will all have to come from a sub-standard Newcastle team, who are very low on confidence at the moment. One thing, that is still in Newcastle’s favor is their game in hand. If they can win on Monday against Leicester, it would lift them above Sunderland and will give some confidence to the fans.
Newcastle’s final gamble on Benitez
But we are talking of a Leicester side, who are giving their all to stay in the title race, and it will not be the best of starts for Rafa as the Newcastle manager. But, over the years, Benitez has been known to bore teams out from his tactics, so at best, he can go for a 0-0 draw against the leaders and then the two games against Sunderland and Norwich will be massive.
Another game, Benitez will be expected to win is the clash against Aston Villa on 5th May. Villa have been dropping points left-right and center, and a win that night could go a long way in securing Premier League football for another season for the Magpies.
At present, Benitez looks to be the best bet for a revival for Newcastle. Both the club and the new manager are well aware of the massive task in hand, but one thing that will be in their favor is the positivity inside dressing room whenever an under-fire manager leaves the club.
With Benitez coming in, there will be new ideas, new training regimes and new playing style for the players and it should be enough for The Toons to pull off a miraculous escape this season.
Image Credit: Getty