Some very interesting stats regarding Rafa Benitez and his success this past season.

The Newcastle boss this season became the first Manager from overseas (non British/Irish) to win the Championship title since 2000/01.

In fact the only previous time it has happened was when Jean Tigana did it with Fulham in that 2000/01 season.

Maybe even more remarkably, in the first 22 seasons of the Championship, only one other time did a Manager from overseas get promoted to the Premier League.

That was Roberto di Matteo with West Brom, ending as runners-up to Chris Hughton’s Newcastle in 2009/10.

There has now though been a remarkable sea change, as Monday afternoon will see either Jaap Stam or David Wagner become the fourth overseas boss to win promotion in the last three years.

Two in 22 seasons and then four in three years – those are quite bizarre statistics.

My reading of it is that it can only come down to the fact that quality overseas mangers are now increasingly willing to manage in the English second tier, with Rafa Benitez a perfect example of that.

It also maybe comes down to English clubs being more open to the idea of having non-British/Irish managers with different ideas and playing styles, rather than the stereotypical thought of needing a Warnock or Bruce to do the job.

These stats of the last three years certainly makes it look even dafter, when English media and pundits were questioning whether Rafa Benitez could cope in the Championship when he had no experience of managing there…

The non-British/Irish Managers to win promotion to the Premier League (info via Goodbrand Stats)

Jean Tigana – 2000/01 Fulham (Champions)

Roberto Di Matteo – 2009/10 West Brom (runners-up)

Slavisa Jokanovic – 2014/15 Watford (runners-up)

Aitor Karanka – 2015/16 Middlesbrough (runners-up)

Rafa Benitez – 2016/17 Newcastle United (Champions)

Jaap Stam or David Wagner – 2016/17 Reading/Huddersfield (via play-offs)