A brilliant midfielder in his day, Terry McDermott is now more remembered for his managerial partnership with Kevin Keegan, than as a player in the 70s and 80s for Newcastle United.

Looking at what has happened at his old club in the past 12 months, he declares ‘The Toon Army and Rafa is a match made in heaven’.

However, he also has a word of caution, with Terry McDermott adding that no matter how connected Rafa Benitez may feel to his new club, he thinks there is every chance the former Real Madrid boss would leave Tyneside if promotion isn’t achieved.

He surely wouldn’t be short of offers from Premier League clubs and from abroad if United didn’t go up – but fans would hope that the Newcastle Manager would still see this as the right long-term project whatever happens on the pitch this season.

Rather than not getting promotion, many supporters see a more realistic potential problem being Mike Ashley.

After failing to back Rafa Benitez with signings in January, McDermott pleads ‘Please God, if they do go up, Rafa will be given the money to establish them in the top half’.

As he points out, it is ridiculous ‘for a club of Newcastle’s size’ to have been relegated twice in seven years under this current owner and that ‘it can’t be allowed to happen again’.

Terry McDermott speaking to The Mirror:

“It would have been a disaster if Newcastle had not kept Rafa last summer after they were relegated.

“He’s a very, very shrewd man – you don’t win the Champions League at Liverpool, and reach another final two years later, if you don’t know your way round a football pitch.

The Toon Army and Rafa is a match made in heaven.

“If he had not stuck around, I’m not sure they would have been anywhere near going straight back up this year, certainly not as close as they are now.

“He’s a winner and, please God, he stays at Newcastle. That’s absolutely imperative.

“And, please God, if they do go up, Rafa will be given the money to establish them in the top half of the Premier League.

“For a club of Newcastle’s size and history to have been relegated twice in seven years is astonishing…and it can’t be allowed to happen again.

Hopefully Mike Ashley will provide the funds to improve the squad and make sure they come back stronger but for now, the most important thing is that Newcastle finish the job and do go up – because if they don’t do it this year you do wonder if Rafa will stay.”

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  • Wor Lass

    If we didn`t go up then Rafa will have failed and it would be no surprise at all to see him go. But he won`t fail. We will go up – and as champions, in my opinion. My fear, like lots of others, is that we go up and Rafa goes anyway because the barrow boy hasn`t backed him. Hopefully, I`m just being paranoid due to over-exposure to the corpulent bar steward and his tendency to rub our noses in it just as we start to relax. Can`t wait for the Wigan game!!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      you are not paranoid, you just know the score with Fatso

    • Geordiegiants

      Couldn’t agree more with you, I have a tiny glimmer of hope stashed away somewhere, that he will stay, but I have as good as resigned my self to the fact he will be gone, as soon as the final whistle goes last game of the season.

  • Gary Barak

    I think we all know this without having media comments from Terry Mac. We maybe Toon supporters but it doesn’t mean we can’t recognise the bleeding obvious. In the meantime, I for one will still believe we will indeed go up and that Rafa will bring in some amazing surprises next season.

  • Damon Horner

    I’d be surprised if he isn’t pushed regardless of whether he wants to stay or not if we don’t go up from this position.

  • Jezza

    Sadly I think Rafa will definitely be going regardless of whether or not we get promoted.

    • Hughie_Gallacher

      I have to agree. I think Rafa just wants to go out on a high. Like Chris Hughton he’s found out about Ashley the hard way.

    • Scottpaige

      Full of hope you like aren’t you. Never known such a bunch of miserable s*d’s on here at the min

      • Jezza

        Well when you’ve been supporting Newcastle United as long as I have, you’ll understand my instinctive pessimism.

  • Vodkamagpie

    True or false, since ashley has taken over, Newcastle are in the top 10 for transfer fee’s payed, in England