Rafa Benitez attracted much credit when he agreed to stay on at Newcastle United after relegation.

The club waiting far too long to get rid of Steve McClaren and the Spaniard having very little chance of turning around the almighty mess that Ashley, Carr, Charnley and their previous managers/head coaches had created at St James Park.

Rafa seeing it as a long-term project and confident his experience of managing everywhere from the Spanish second tier to Champions League & La Liga titles, would give every chance of initial success in the Championship and longer-term in the Premier League.

Little surprise that on Wearside there was a very different reaction and throughout the season we have seen some amusing/embarrassing reactions from Sunderland fans desperate to see NUFC and Rafa Benotez fail, including some tremendous chat amongst them as they watched the Brighton match on Tuesday.

rafa benitez

However, fans are one thing but experienced journalists should be above all that…the only problem being that on Wearside there appears to be a very thin/invisible line between them.

Time to revisit maybe the most classic example this season.

Nobody is saying, least of all Rafa Benitez, that the job is now complete after the wins over Brighton and Huddersfield – but fair for us to look back at what this particular clown said back in August – in the aftermath of a poor performance and defeat at Fulham on the opening day/night of the season.

Plus you can’t help but compare what has happened to Newcastle compared to fellow relegated teams, Villa and Norwich.

Formerly employed by the Sunderland Echo before becoming freelance, Graeme Anderson has covered Sunderland for over 25 years.

He has destroyed the evidence from that post-Fulham defeat but we still have it…what a clown saying this after one match of the season, playing up to his Mackem audience.

Graeme Anderson via Twitter 5 August 2016:

‘#SAFC fans will rejoice in #NUFC’s loss tonight – not because they’re bitter but because this Rafalution hysteria has been ridiculous.’

‘Still don’t get it. Why would you want him to stay? He took you down. And he’s never managed in the Championship. #risky’’

‘Just wearied/staggered by #nufc fans who expect to walk Championship under Rafa and then be Champions League.’

‘#safc has to share the same air-space, news-space, TV-space with you and can’t believe the #nufc hype.’

Newcastle fans didn’t/don’t expect to walk the Championship and funnily enough, the Champions League neither.

A simple case of Newcastle fans showing massive relief at having a decent manager at last and one who treats them with respect.

How dare we!



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