Going into these final three games, Rafa Benitez’ reputation is on the line according to Jamie Redknapp.
Not quite sure I agree with that, as Rafa’s task was the equivalent of somebody letting a fireworks factory burn for a few days before then calling in the fire brigade…
Jamie Redknapp also says it is one of the Spaniard’s ‘biggest challenges of his career’ which I don’t think can be disputed by anyone, with maybe only trying to control the beast that is Real Madrid being on a par with the St James Park circus challenge.
In the same way as you couldn’t write off Alan Shearer as a future successful manager because of the impossible eight game survival task he was given in 2009, you can’t judge Rafa Benitez on the cards he was dealt just over six weeks ago when he accepted the Newcastle job.
Jamie Redknapp says that Newcastle fans shouldn’t get carried away just because of the point salvaged at Anfield but once again I think he and others totally don’t get the ‘point’.
Newcastle supporters don’t suddenly expect the club to stay up and know that the odds are very much stacked against survival BUT the fans are on a (relative) high, simply because they at last has a manager qualified for the job and who they believe in.
That is where all the renewed hope and enthusiasm comes from, not from some misguided reasoning that everything is now magically alright.
Wins against Palace and Villa are now essential and then see where we are when the Spurs match comes around.
Jamie Redknapp writing for The Mail:
“Coming from two goals down to draw at Anfield suggests Rafa Benitez has instilled belief at Newcastle but they mustn’t get too carried away.
“When he took over they were second bottom and one point adrift of safety and that’s where they remain.
“It is now a case of who wants to win at the bottom. Draws for Newcastle and Sunderland were good on paper but Norwich will be delighted neither side won this weekend.
“Rafa’s reputation is on the line and keeping Newcastle up will be one of the biggest challenges of his career.”