It took a week but Newcastle United eventually got round to sending an email to supporters ‘from’ Rafa Benitez.

This PR initiative throughout this season has seen previous ones appear in the mailboxes of fans, from the likes of Steve McClaren, Lee Charnley and Steve Black.

Looking at the words below, if you swapped it for the previous ones from Steve McClaren, ou would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Fair enough, you can see why Ashley’s PR department thought it was a good idea to use smoke and mirrors when you have somebody so out of their depth as Steve McClaren.

However, why the need to pull these tricks when you have somebody as charismatic and respected as Rafa Benitez.

Reading/listening to what Rafa actually says at his press conferences is of much more substance and inspiring, than a dreamt up set of key phrases/words put in his name.

The Rafa Benitez email sent out by the club to supporters

Thank you….

First let me start by thanking you all for the heartfelt reception I have received since I arrived. It was an honour to be asked to take charge of this club and I could not have asked for a warmer welcome.

Working hard…

As you know, work began with intensity from the moment my coaching staff and I arrived. Our first job is to make sure we remain a Premier League club and this week we have committed everything we have to making that happen.

Whilst the result on Monday at Leicester wasn’t what we wanted, I was pleased with parts of what I saw. We have worked intensively on the areas that need improvement and I am confident we go into Sunday’s game well-prepared.

A Black & White Army…

I have been in the opposing dug out at St. James’ Park and I know that when I take my place on the home side, I will be backed by some of the most passionate fans in the world.  In fact, the strength of your famous support is one of the many things that drew me to this club.

On Sunday, Sunderland’s team will face not only the 11 players on the pitch, but a 50,000-strong army.  I hope you will not underestimate the importance of the role you will play on Sunday; you can make the crucial difference for us.

Let’s create a wall of sound and a tide of black and white. I am sure there will be respect on both sides, that’s important, but I have no doubt that the atmosphere you will create will be electrifying and imposing.

We are ready…

In turn, I know the team will play with the passion befitting of this historic fixture.  We will give our all to honour the tradition of the derby and take the victory we need.

I know you’ll be behind them.’