As we all know, sometimes two plus two doestn’t equal four and that is the case with Mick Quinn and his analysis of Rafa Benitez’ future.
A story started circulating a few days ago claiming that if Newcastle were relegated then Everton is a likely destination for Rafa in the summer.
As usual with these type of tales, there was no real source or substance to it, simply putting together a number of factors and then connecting the dots.
In this case:
Rafa Benitez is too good to manage in the Championship and would therefore not consider staying at Newcastle.
Everton are likely to be looking for a new manager because Roberto Martinez may/will leave.
The Rafa Benitez family home is still on The Wirral from his days at Liverpool.
Mick Quinn thinks that the rumours make sense and Benitez to Everton ticks lots of boxes.
I suppose it does…but it also doesn’t tick a lot of other boxes, or those boxes are already filled in…
Rafa still has that family home on the doorstep of Liverpool/Everton but it hasn’t stopped him managing in Italy (twice), London and Spain since leaving Liverpool.
The ongoing relationship between Benitez and the Liverpool fans isn’t just a hindrance, it surely makes it impossible for both Rafa and the Everton fans to even consider it.
Imagine for a second….and this may take a small leap of the imagination, somebody has masterminded a Champions League success (and others) for Sunderland, then that person was later linked with managing Newcastle…? Those ties between that manager and the fans of his previous club would make it just too problematic for everybody.
I think as well that we have to get away from the idea that appears to have built up, where managing for a season in the Championship is being talked of as an equivalent of a life sentence in the proverbial Siberian salt mines.
I just can’t see the idea of a year rebuilding in the second tier as such a massive reason to stop Rafa Benitez continuing at Newcastle.
I can understand why relegation clauses were put in place on both sides (Benitez and Ashley) because it is a potentially volatile situation.
What I find strange is that it is so easy to ignore the fact that Rafa Benitez and his backroom team have put their hearts and souls into this survival attempt and walking away after 15 May, would mean that all the time and effort would simply have been wasted.
Everything that Rafa had learnt about the club and the team and the management…would count for nothing and he’d be starting from scratch elsewhere.
Just so long as Mike Ashley doesn’t pull the plug, I can’t see why Rafa Benitez WOULDN’T want to stay at St James Park.
If Ashley (in the event of relegation) will back Rafa’s judgement on a comeback plan and fund it (unlike Chris Hughton who saw every player sold who there was an offer for and who wasn’t given a penny of that cash to spend in summer 2009), then no reason why Newcastle can’t bounce back from the Championship and do great things under the talented Rafa Benitez.
We all know that Newcastle have far more scope and potential than Everton, if all that potential is ever properly utilised and unleashed.
You only need to look at what the likes of Southampton and West Ham are achieving on a lower turnover than Newcastle after spending time in the Championship (and League One in Southampton’s case) since Newcastle were there in 2009/2010.
Mick Quinn speaking to the Chronicle:
“Rafa Benitez wants to turn Newcastle United into a Premier League force again, and I genuinely believe he can do that if he keeps the Magpies up this term.
“However, if truth be told, should United go down I just cannot see Rafa staying…I think Rafa is far too good a manager to be leading a team in the Championship.
“It would come as no surprise to me if Everton are considering him to succeed Roberto Martinez should the Magpies go down, as has been suggested. This is a bloke who was managing Real Madrid at the turn of the year; he is a coach of the very highest calibre.
“Would Rafa want the Everton job?…I can’t speak for him, but it would make perfect sense in a lot of ways. Rafa still lives in The Wirral, he wants to manage in the Premier League, and it’s another club with a historical connection with their fans.
“Maybe Rafa’s history with Liverpool would stop him going to their city rivals, but there aren’t too many jobs out there of that magnitude and I just can’t see him managing in the Championship.
“But that’s enough negativity…Hopefully Newcastle can continue their current form and beat the drop.”