If Newcastle United was a normal club this is what would happen on Rafa Benitez birthday
Happy birthday Rafa Benitez!
The Spaniard waking up on Tuesday morning to 59 candles on his cake.
So what kind of present will he be hoping for?
Well, I certainly know what Newcastle United supporters want to be seeing…
The Newcastle boss has only 26 days now until he takes charge of the final game of his current three year deal and we (including Rafa Benitez apparently) are all still in the dark as to what is going to happen, if anything.
In a recent big interview with Spanish media, Rafa stated that he felt he had another 10 years left in football management and was looking to spend it with a long-term project, at a club where the owner lets the ‘professionals’ get on with doing the job of making decisions.
From the starting point of his arrival at St James Park in March 2016, long-term project have always been the words never far from the manager’s lips. However, it has increasingly become a forlorn declaration, as in the NUFC boss talking about what he could achieve at the club IF Mike Ashley changed his ways.
On Tuesday morning, Rafa Benitez has had a Tweet from the club wishing him happy birthday, it feels a bit like when as a kid I would receive birthday cards from distant relations and be disappointed when after carefully checking, would have to accept there wasn’t at least a fiver stuck inside it.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 16, 2019
Funnily enough, Rafa’s salary isn’t even really a factor when it comes to obstacles preventing him signing an extension. The manager instead having other demands that need satisfying.
I can’t help but think that if this was a properly run club, then this Rafa Benitez birthday would be a golden opportunity that wouldn’t be missed.
Newcastle United are now effectively safe from any lingering doubts about relegation.
The club (Mike Ashley) have been well aware for a long long time as to what is needed to convince Rafa Benitez to stay.
So just imagine the reaction if we had a big press conference called for today at St James Park, Mike Ashley announcing that he was fully backing (properly this time!) the manager and that Rafa Benitez had agreed a new three/five/ten year deal.
Then to top it off, Salomon Rondon emerging from a giant cake and his permanent signing announced as well.
Can you just imagine it?
The place would go mental.
Guaranteed season ticket sellout for next season and massive uplift in the entire mood. Finish off the season with everybody buzzing and can’t wait for next season.
The irony being that this huge change in mood of the fans/club/city would have been achieved with no change in personnel at the football club!
Rafa Benitez still manager and Salomon Rondon remaining at the club as well.
Of course, the really important thing if such a scenario somehow happened as outlined above, is that it would convince Newcastle fans and neutrals, that at last something of real significance had changed at Newcastle United.
Either Mike Ashley set to sell up, or change the way that he runs the club.
Either way, Rafa Benitez assured that he would be properly backed AND the signing of Salomon Rondon the first proof of that change, plus evidence that the manager now had the freedom to sign the right players to take the club forward, regardless of age or other factors.
Nobody should underestimate the power of positivity and momentum, what can be achieved once you get everybody onboard and a bandwagon rolling.
No one would expect Newcastle would instantly be experiencing the days of Kevin Keegan or Sir Bobby Robson ,but they would have all the confidence in the world to tell them that, at last the club was once again going to try and be the best it can be.
In the meantime, Rafa Benitez will be shaking that imaginary birthday card from Mike Ashley, double-checking to see if there is a fiver inside…
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