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Opinion

What has Rafa Benitez ever done for Newcastle United?

4 weeks ago
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Rafa Benitez is now only 17 days away from taking charge of his last ever Newcastle United match.

That is, unless Mike Ashley belatedly changes his ways and convinces the manager that there is any reason for him to stay on at St James Park.

So what has Rafa Benitez ever done for us?

Obviously not meant as questioning his positive impact, more along the lines of what did the Romans ever do for us?

Concentrating just on this current season, it is a bit too simplistic to say that Rafa has kept Newcastle United in the Premier League.

He has of course done that but his achievements have been so much more than this.

Here are a few…

The man with the plan – Rafa Benitez knows what he is doing, knows where he is aiming to get to, and doesn’t let himself be knocked off course, even when the tide is going against him.

Only English club to beat Manchester City in 2019.

Newcastle United had lowest net spend (biggest profit!) on players in summer 2018 transfer window.

NUFC have only lost away from home once to a club (2-0 at West Ham) outside the top six.

Has given the fans another year without feeling embarrassed every time their manager speaks.

When journalists, armchair fans and ‘experts’ are telling him where he is going wrong, he failed to take their advice.

Newcastle have conceded less goals (44) than all clubs apart from Wolves (43) and the top four.

Achieved Premier League safety with three games remaining.

His presence has ensured Newcastle United average over 50,000 at St James Park.

Has prevented the club/team completely falling apart.

Conducted himself with dignity and focused solely on the job in hand, despite being undermined and provocation from Mike Ashley and his minions.

Maybe more than anything though, possibly even including Premier League survival, Rafa Benitez has given Newcastle fans some self-respect back.

Whilst Mike Ashley knows the price of everything but the value of nothing, Rafa has been generous in every respect.

Newcastle fans have seen the odd great and genuine manager over the years but a lot more self-centred chancers.

The fact that Rafa is now seen with similar affection to that previously reserved for Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson, tells you everything.

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