Rafa Benitez has been a breath of fresh air for Newcastle fans.

After the procession of Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve McClaren, little wonder that supporters can at times appear to go a little overboard about the amiable Spaniard.

Rafa invariably has a smile on his face as he goes about his business at Newcastle United but just like him, it looks natural and genuine, unlike when Pardew used to flash his gnashers.

However, whilst the United boss exudes that smile and easy going persona for the public, quite clearly he does not suffer fools gladly behind the scenes, or anybody looking to make a fool out of him and/or the club.

This summer saw Rafa using plenty of carrot and stick as he attempted to shake up his squad and prepare them for the Premier League. With a net spend of only £11.5m, Benitez had to wheel and deal in probably the toughest ever transfer market.

He made clear early on that a sizeable number of players had no future at the club and went about the business of ‘encouraging’ them to find new clubs.

Some players were missing almost totally, or entirely, from the pre-season friendlies, some sent to train with the kids, players omitted from the public training session in front of the fans, players warned they would be left out of the first team squad if they hung around.

The likes of Krul, Riviere, Sels, Hanley, Lazaar, and de Jong packing their bags.

One of the remainers though was Jack Colback. After not even making the bench in seven games so far, Thursday even saw him left out of the official 2017/18 team photo.

Just like Sir Bobby Robson, Rafa Benitez is the genial figurehead out in public, but behind the scenes they both are/were as ruthless as any other.

The club will always come first and Rafa Benitez will take no prisoners as he attempts to revive this club back to health.

  • Steve Pearce

    So why can’t he take out the fat stinking bag of pus that is our owner……

    • Vodkamagpie

      You have a terrible way of words. The same owner that employed rafa to build a team that competes in the premier league, and if we maintain premiership survival, with deadwood leaving the club, rafa can spead and grow the squad that is financially secure for Newcastle utd fc.

      • Steve Pearce

        Really? The same owner whose parsimony led us to signing a so-called striker for 5 million who can’t even seem to be able to score goals. Rafa has been starved of funds for some time now and I think it is only the love and devotion of the fans that has kept him here. You are I admit a rare person though – possibly the only Mike Ashley apologist in this region. Thankfully the object of your devotion will soon be a distant memory when he finally sells up and the fat stinking bag of pus will slime his way out of our club!

        • Oldgeordie


        • Mark Potter

          Rafa Benitez signed Joselu. He provides something more than our other three strikers – no red cards, hamstrings that work, hard work, makes chances, brings other people into the game, closes down opposition players without elbowing them in the face. He was bought for a fee within the budget that the owner and director agreed with the manager. The manager decided how to spend that budget, he could have spent everything on one marquee player, or spread it across the squad. He tried to get Tammy Abraham on loan, but failed, that would have saved him from spending much on a striker was the thinking. It failed to come off, after Swansea pinched him right from under Rafa”s nose. “We made a mistake” Rafa commented about that deal, and he admitted him and his team had to be “more professional”.

          • Mal

            You are assuming that the owner and manager were in agreement about what the budget was. It seems pretty obvious to me that Rafa thought he had more than was eventually made available.