Alan Shearer has welcomed Rafa Banitez to Newcastle United with open arms.

The United legend thinks that Newcastle were doomed to relegation if they had stuck with Steve McClaren and that the former Real Madrid boss has given everybody hope and the club ‘a big opportunity’.

Obviously he has to keep United up first but Alan Shearer says that Benitez can transform Newcastle United IF, and only IF, Mike Ashley accepts he has to let the Spaniard do things in his own way and have the backing to do that.

Shearer says that it has been repeatedly shown that the ‘model’ of running NUFC that Ashley adopted ‘has not worked…and will not work at Necastle United’.

If Rafa Benitez keeps Newcastle up and is still here in the summer, there will then come the biggest test of all.

In Mike Ashley’s model the transfer strategy has arguably been the biggest of all, with every manager from Kevin Keegan onwards undermined by not having any influence on which players are bought.

Alan Shearer says that controlling which players come in and out will be central to Newcastle’s chances of a fresh start under Rafa Benitez.

Alan Shearer:

“I think that it is an excellent appointment and I don’t think they would have stayed up if it had remained the same – Benitez has given them a big opportunity.

“A great coup for Newcastle to get someone like Benitez, if…and it is a big if, he can manage the football club the way that he wants to manage.

“What is clear is that every manager that Mike Ashley has appointed has come from a point of weakness, where they have not been able to set their own agenda.

“They have always had to work to a certain structure, whereas I think Rafa Benitez is different.

“He will set out what he wants, he can now demand that he controls the transfers , both incoming and outgoing.

“He can run the football club as he wants to run it…I hope that will be the case.

“When you look at his success rate, almost everywhere he has been he has delivered trophies.

“They (Newcastle fans) are crying out for something to grab hold of, they just want people  who will sweat blood for the black and white shirt – they will love anyone who gives them success.

“Mike Ashley is a very wealthy businessman , surely he can see that the model that he has had in place up until today has not worked…and will not work at Newcastle United.

Hopefully they have now got a manager in, not a Head Coach, not a manager that is on the board – which was another bizarre decision.

“They have now got a manager who hopefully they will let manage the football club.

“Let him bring in the players that he wants, let him sell the players that he wants…and let him run the football club as a manager should.

“First and foremost though, he has to keep Newcastle in the Premier League.”

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