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Opinion

There is this noticeable trend with Rafa Benitez

8 months ago
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Hallelujah. Finally. The waiting is over. We have the run of home wins we all craved. Some positives to grab hold of.

The home form in the first half of the season was, frankly, embarrassing, and that has, to a large extent, been corrected.

Four in a row at St James Park, one of them a barely believable conquering of Manchester City, has stemmed the bleeding.

Geordies, undoubtedly bruised, can almost see some light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Regardless of what happens away at West Ham we’re in a much stronger position. It seems a habit of this squad to only turn things around when they’re drinking in the last chance saloon.

We sit now with one hand on Premier League survival and the finish line is coming into view. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish the season that counts.

One man is at the epicentre of this revival. Rafa Benitez.

There is this noticeable trend with Rafa. Over his three years at the club, and I know it’s hard to believe it’s been that long already, he invariably always ends up getting it right.

You can spend a few weeks thinking he’s making a mess and then all of a sudden Rafa has the last laugh. He’s got a few flaws but my word, he is one heck of an asset for our badly run football club.

The mission now is for the players to complete the job over the final run in. With Rafa’s coaching the chances of success are high.

The momentum seemed to swing in one single day, which tallies with the crazy world of all things NUFC.

It was the day we heard Miguel Almiron was on his way to sign for the club. That deal, which had looked in major doubt, suddenly got done
and we had the playmaker we crave, and there’s plenty to come from Almiron, that is for sure.

Then just a few hours later Man City were edged out 2-1. It felt like the confidence came flowing back, and the rub of the green, Wolves game aside, had returned.

The players have found some form and the job has been throughly professional. If the plan was to find form come late winter, just like last season, then it’s worked a treat.

They need to finish the job off and then the club’s hierarchy have to sort out Rafa’s contract. It’ that simple. Everything can flow from getting the big ticket issues right.

Messrs Ashley, Barnes and Charnley must find a way through these issues. Then it really will be a case of hallelujah, finally, some really big positives to grab hold of.

Secure safety, and then secure Rafa, and all will be well.

You can follow the author on Twitter @DavePunton

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