When Jack Charlton walked out in 1985, Willie McFaul took over – who I think was already on the staff.

Willie had three or four years in charge and had a few quid to spend off the Beardsley and Gascoigne money .

It failed and we were relegated.

I remember when McFaul left/was sacked, it seemed to take weeks and weeks to find a replacement – every manager in the country was mentioned  and we ended up with Jim Smith .

rafa benitez

Now I had a lot of time for Jim but he was about  fifth choice of manager for us at the time.

I can still see the Chronicle’s headline ‘The Bald Eagle has landed’.

This was well before social media and obviously the world /football has changed.

Now Steve McClaren has gone and Rafa Benitez is here, I am amazed at how many supporters and pundits, including Alan Shearer, are having a pop at the club over the treatment of McClaren.

If he had been sacked on that Saturday after Bournemouth and no replacement lined up, the club would have been slaughtered even more.

The Rafa appointment is the best thing that’s happened to Newcastle in a long time and maybe we are now so used to the dark side, we can’t even see a light at the end of a tunnel.

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