Rafa Benitez is looking at every aspect of the club and how he can improve it.
With only 49 days to go until the Championship kicks off, time is obviously limited, but Rafa clearly wants to set the ball rolling in terms of getting everything and everybody pushing in the right direction.
The first team picture at Newcastle has very publicly been a shambles in recent years but underneath that, the outlook is possibly even worse, with Adam Armstrong looking the exception to the rule in terms of bringing young local players through.
Rafa Benitez says that at Academy level it isn’t easy to bring in new players of the right quality but what he says can be done with the current set-up, is to improve the coaching and the young players ‘understanding of the game’.
When Rafa was looking for a new assistant after Fabio Pecchia left, maybe it is no coincidence that in Mikel Antia he is bringing in somebody who was coaching young players at the Aspire Academy in Qatar.
Turning around the youth set-up properly at Newcastle United will take a long long time, certainly longer than Rafa’s current three year contract, but any improvement is welcome and is something to build from.
The past season saw the Under 21 and Under 18 teams only register a combined 12 wins in the 53 games played, losing a massive 32 of those matches.
The Under 18s experiencing some real collapses that suggest something seriously wrong within that part of the club, the Academy side registering defeats of 6-1, 5-0, 8-0 and 7-1.
Good luck to Rafa Benitez and our thanks to the Manager for taking on this mammoth task of sorting the club from top to bottom, it is just a shame we had to experience five wasted years under Pardew, Carver and McClaren to reach the point where Mike Ashley realised he couldn’t cheat the system by employing yes men, rather than giving control to somebody who knows what they are doing.
“It is an opportunity to change things and we will try to make the right decisions and go in the right direction – I think everybody realised something had to change.
“We are working very hard. Since the first day I signed the new contract we have started improving and analysing the training ground to see what we can do, and I have a meeting in the academy, and with the medical department and for the squad with the scouting department
“We have already been working in different areas and I think we are changing little things in each department and trying to bring the best for the players.
“We need to improve the team experience because that is also crucial for the Championship.
“It is not easy to bring in players (at Academy level), what we can do is try to improve the way that we coach, the way that we give them the instruction and understanding of the game.
“We have already had this meeting and obviously it will depend on the players and it will depend on the coaches but we will try to share our ideas and hopefully it will be good for the young lads.”