Seeing the back of Steve McClaren and the announcement of Rafa Benitez was a special moment.

A bit like grafting all day at a job you really really hate, then having that first delicious cool pint after clocking off.

Alternatively, you could also compare it to Gouffran and Riviere getting subbed and two football players coming onto the pitch.


Moving forward though, what we all want to see is progress on the pitch.

Not expecting everything to happen overnight but the climate of English football  is showing distinct signs of moving in the right direction, in terms of competition.

Whilst PSG won Ligue 1 with a 9-0 away win today, with a 25 point lead and some eight games and two months of the season remaining, the Premier League has never looked better.

Leicester top, usual also-rans Tottenham a couple of points behind, then West Ham now threatening Manchester City and Arsenal for the Champions League spots.

What has this though got to do with Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez?

Well, if Newcastle can survive this season, why can’t they follow Leicester City’s lead and just have a real go at transforming their fortunes.

Back Rafa Benitez in the transfer market and let him pick the players who come in, no matter what their nationality, age and potential re-sale price.

Going into this weekend, these were the clubs who had won the most points in the last 38 games…

82 Leicester City

71 Manchester City

70 Arsenal

69 Tottenham

Yes, Leicester have won (before this weekend’s matches) at least 11 more points than any other Premier League club, thanks to their strong finish last season and stellar performance this time around. If they don’t win the title after that consistency of form they will really be kicking themselves.

This is Leicester’s record over those last 38 games – end of last season first, then this season’s stats and the final ones are the totals over the 38 games:

P9 W7 D1 L1 GF19 GA 8 Points 22

P29 W17 D9 L3 GF52 GA31 Points 60

P38 W24 D10 L4 GF71 GA39 Points 82

Then just look at how it compares to Newcastle over the same period…

P10 W1 D1 L8 GF8 GA20 Points 4

P28 W6 D6 L16 GF28 GA53 Points 24

P38 W7 D7 L24 GF36 GA73 Points 28

Yes, Leicester have a massive 54 point advantage over Newcastle from their respective last 38 Premier League matches.

Yet there are some Newcastle fans, as well as pundits, who believe NUFC have more quality than Leicester in their squad – only failing due to various other factors.

I wouldn’t go that far…but no way should Newcastle’s set of players have produced such embarrassing returns.

With the alleged quality already in the Newcastle squad and players that Rafa Benitez could potentially attract in the summer, why shouldn’t United fans dare to dream and follow the Leicester blueprint…if only we can stay up.