Alan Shearer thinks that if Rafa Benitez had any doubts, 50,000 Newcastle fans answered them on Sunday.
If it was down to mutual respect between supporters and manager, Rafa Benitez would be a done deal for next season.
However, despite the response from fans AND Rafa Benitez knowing ‘the size of the club’, Alan Shearer he’d be ‘very surprised’ if the Spaniard was still at St James Park in August.
Managing in the Championship is one obvious hurdle that Shearer points out but if we are to believe any of the countless media reports, the relegation won’t be the defining reason if Rafa departs, as no amount of talks are going to make that go away.
The far bigger obstacle that both Alan Shearer and the rest of the fanbase see, is the assurances that Benitez would need from Mike Ashley before he’d consider staying.
After his arrival at Newcastle in March, both Alan Shearer and Rafa Benitez indicated they’d meet up over a coffee to discuss the demands of the job and any advice the United legend could offer. No doubt contact will have been made in these past couple of months and Rafa left in no doubt by Shearer as to the tools of the job he must demand from Mike Ashley.
If Rafa Benitez does stay, Shearer is convinced that Newcastle will bounce straight back into the Premier League, pointing to the manager’s CV as if an proof were needed.
The players though have bemused Alan Shearer, both by their performance against Spurs and by their reaction to the result.
Wondering where that display came from compared to the rubbish that had gone before, Alan Shearer also found it difficult to believe players behaving as if they had won the FA Cup on Sunday, rather than having just relegated the club.
Alan Shearer speaking to Coral:
“If Rafa wanted any questions answered on whether they want him to stay or not, then he certainly got his answer.
“I mean 50,000 screaming Geordies asking a manager to stay is just incredible.
“Rafa knows the size of the club, he knows the passion of the fans, but I’d be very surprised if he was still the manager at the beginning of next season.
“I’d love him to stay of course, I think it would be brilliant for the city – but he’s not used to Championship football and the schedule right throughout the season. If he is to stay, he has got to get 100% assurance from the club that he can manage them the way he wants to because he knows what’s gone on with previous managers, with players coming and going that haven’t been their choice.
“Judging from what he has said and reading between the lines, I’m sure he is looking at all the options and weighing up against his discussions with Newcastle.
“If he does stay, I think he can galvanise the club and bring them right back up straight away. He has an unbelievable CV.
“As for Newcastle, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on Sunday when they beat Spurs 5-1. I mean where have those players been for the majority of the season?
“The atmosphere at St James Park was incredible for a team that have just been relegated. Not many teams in the world would have a reception like that after the season they have just had.
“I was amazed by the performance and by the reaction of some of the players who were celebrating as if they had just won the FA Cup. It was much too little too late.
“My only take on Sunday’s extraordinary performance is that there was nothing left to play for, which tells you a lot about the character of some of these players!”