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Opinion

Rafa Benitez not desperate and will walk away from Newcastle United if no satisfactory deal

1 month ago
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Rafa Benitez is now only 13 days away from his Newcastle United contract ending.

All kinds of speculation as to his future, Newcastle fans and neutrals alike wondering if this will be the end of the Spaniard’s time on Tyneside.

Talk of a takeover had/has fuelled optimism that Rafa could be convinced to stay, whilst on the other hand Mike Ashley has made little or no effort to persuade the much decorated manager to sign an extension.

Within all of the debate amongst media and fans about whether Rafa Benitez will stay or not, one bizarre notion has taken root amongst many of them.

There is a belief seemingly by many, that Rafa Benitez will commit to another Newcastle United, not because Mike Ashley has changed the way he is running the club, instead it is claimed that Rafa will sign up simply because there are no great alternatives at this moment in time.

I really struggle to get my head around this one.

Rafa has a great relationship with the players and staff but has also repeatedly made clear his frustrations at how Mike Ashley has restricted what he wants/needs to do at the club.

The Newcastle boss (for the next 13 days anyway…) saying time after time that it is impossible to progress the club unless things change. A relegation struggle season after season with no chance of even trying to compete in the cup competitions, how does anybody think Benitez would even consider tying himself to Ashley for any more of this?

When Rafa Benitez arrived in March 2016, he stated that he was looking beyond the current position and had approached the club after McClaren’s sacking because he could see the potential. He has repeated this time after time but no way will he sign a new contract if there is zero chance of this potential ever having a chance to be realised.

Rafa Benitez is a well respected manager but also a very well off one, he doesn’t need a job for financial reasons.

He also has shown in the past that he isn’t desperate to take just any job like an Alan Pardew, Steve McClaren or John Carver. When he was sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010, it wasn’t until 23 months later that Rafa then took the interim manager position at Chelsea.

Little doubt  there would have been plenty clubs keen to take him on in that near two year period.

Also, look at the other clubs he has managed these past 18 years. He took Newcastle United on because he believed a natural position for NUFC would be at that same level.

This is how the other six clubs Rafa Benitez has managed since 2001 have got on this past season:

Liverpool

Won the Champions League and runners-up in Premier League.

Napoli

Runners up in Serie A.

Inter Milan

Fourth in Serie A.

Real Madrid

Third in La Liga.

Chelsea

Third in Premier League and won the Europa League.

Valencia 

Fourth in La Liga.

Rafa Benitez came to Newcastle two months after leaving Real Madrid not because he was desperate, instead he came because he knew that if things were done correctly, just what could be possible.

He has found a club with an owner who has no interest in even playing in Europe, nor of even trying in the domestic cups.

All six of Rafa’s previous half dozen clubs are playing in the Champions League next season.

Do you really think that if Mike Ashley isn’t selling Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez is going to panic because there are no other jobs he fancies at the minute? Dream on.

I think he would be more than prepared to sit back and bide his time, rather than putting up with more nonsense from Mike Ashley and his minions.

A job would come along in the very near future, that is the nature of football with so many changes happening so often.

For starters, in England you only have four Champions League spots. With six clubs desperately in need of qualifying, I think there is every chance that at least one or two of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United could be looking for a manager mid-season if things are going badly. You might think no chance of say Rafa at Man Utd but if things don’t improve quickly and they are desperate for an experienced manager at the highest level…why not Rafa? Not to mention jobs that could quickly become free in the likes of France, Spain and Italy.

One thing is for sure, it is a no-brainer if the choice is continuing in Mike Ashley’s no-change circus or waiting instead for a job at a club where he will have a chance of competing.

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