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Opinion

When undeserved sunshine holiday becomes essential mid-season team building exercise under Rafa Benitez

4 months ago
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We all know the presence of Rafa Benitez helps massively to minimise the discontent with the Mike Ashley regime, at least in terms of being expressed openly.

So long as the manager remains, most Newcastle fans will keep on getting behind Rafa and his players in the hope that things behind the scenes will change.

It isn’t so much expectation, simply hope. That so long as Rafa Benitez is here, at least we have somebody who could potentially take this club forward, given the right backing.

Whilst we are also grateful that for the first time since Mike Ashley accidentally appointed his last decent manager in Chris Hughton, the football club has somebody in charge of team affairs who doesn’t make the club look even more ridiculous.

When Rafa Benitez says or does whatever, fans are supportive, as they know he has the club’s and their best interests at heart.

A perfect example has been seen over the course of this last week.

The Newcastle United squad flying off to Spain for a warmer weather training camp and a friendly against CSKA Moscow at the end of it.

I don’t think I have read any negative comments from supporters, which says it all.

Newcastle fans happy to follow the line of it being great for team building/morale, ideal for the squad to get away from it all and regroup for the remaining 12 matches of this season.

This is only due to the presence of Rafa Benitez.

Remember, the players only had the chance to go away this past week because of a feeble home cup exit to Watford, a Watford outfit which was a complete second choice one, as Gracia made 11 changes.

Rafa protected/left out players and the two goal defeat saw well over thirty thousand turn up and see only one effort on target from the home side.

Plus, the Newcastle squad flew to Spain deep in relegation trouble, only one point above the drop.

Compare how both the media and Newcastle fans have reacted to this trip away, compared to when the likes of Steve McClaren and Alan Pardew were at St James Park.

There used to be hell on when as usual under Mike Ashley, Newcastle dropped out of the FA Cup in January, then promptly booked a ‘holiday’ in the sun for the players when they should have been playing in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Newcastle’s manager and players ‘rewarded for failure’ used to be the mantra.

Remember, this was even in seasons where the team weren’t even in relegation trouble, simply a reaction going out of the FA Cup early.

I don’t think any of us have any doubt that if Rafa Benitez walks away this summer, he will be replaced with anything other than the typical Mike Ashley appointment, somebody not up to the job and simply so grateful to get the opportunity, they will take it despite having to accept they will have no say on transfers or anything else of importance. Simply another puppet in the Pardew/Carver/McClaren mould.

After three years though, even Rafa Benitez can provide Ashley with only so much cover.

Home matches no longer sell out, Man Utd the only one so far this season and that only sold out on the day of the game.

Newcastle fans are simply sick to death of the way the club has been ran into the ground by Mike Ashley and Rafa Benitez as been like a lifebelt thrown to supporters, keeping them afloat/believing that just maybe something better might happen so long as the Spaniard is still here.

The Spanish holiday/essential team building camp is now in the past and the countdown to safety and Rafa’s future is very much counting down.

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