Bye Rafa, Thanks For Trying

Rafa Benitez has gone public to respond to Lee Charnley’s programme notes for the Arsenal match.

In particular to Charnley’s assertion that our manager went to China for the money.

Most United fans will have read all about this spat so we won’t repeat any of it here.

Below UTD111 Forum Member GhostfaceKillah shares his thoughts on Rafa’s impact on our club:

Rafa wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea and I respect that, not everyone wants the same thing from a manager. Reading his response to Charnley though, just reinforces his passion for football, his passion to want to do well for the club, it’s fans and the community around the football club.

What Rafa did with this club is more than what you can display in your trophy cabinet. It’s more than something you can quantify with a league table or a set of Sky Sports statistics.

What Rafa did was give this club an identity again, he made Newcastle United feel like a football club again, which is something it didn’t feel like before he came and sadly, something it doesn’t feel like now.

Of course he was on top money, he was a top coach, and one that was worth every penny. 6 million a year on Rafa meant 0 million a year invested into the squad. Rafa earned every penny he got from the club because as we are about to find out this season with what some might argue is a strong squad on paper, this is an average squad of players that need organising and coaching to a high standard, just to make them competitive on match day.

When you don’t have that, you’ll find yourself staring down the barrel of another relegation. There is no one better suited to tactical football than Rafa Benitez. Did we always play good stuff? No. Did we always win? No. Aside from the odd meeting with the top echelons of the league though, I felt like we could go anywhere on a given day and come away with something.

What Rafa did with the players at his disposal was a masterstroke, and those wishing he’d gone and didn’t like the brand of football on offer, well guess what, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. And with absolutely no investment in the playing squad, Rafa made us as difficult to beat as anyone in the league outside of the top 3 or 4 teams.

There isn’t a manager in world football who could have taken that squad of players, make them entertaining to watch every week, and keep them in the league come the end of the season.

It goes back to the point about having an identity though. I was proud to have him as our manager, you could talk to people about your club and not feel embarassed to be associated with it. Having an absolute ******** of an owner disappeared into the background somewhat, as come match day, we had arguably the world’s best footballing tactician in our corner.

I think this is why I am so angry about the current situation. I feel embarassed we have Steve Bruce, who has now managed rival club’s in 3 different cities. We have a manager who has apparently shown no loyalty to the club he has just left, despite them treating him well during a difficult period in his life.

We have a tracksuited dinosaur back on the touchline, a man who once admitted he didn’t believe in tactics, with the only thing missing a Tony Pulis style baseball cap to top it all off.

Watching the game on Sunday was a frightening example of what’s to come this season. it reinforces everything I thought about Bruce and everything I have read about Bruce from the fans of other club’s he has managed.

But worse than anything it knowing that had we had Rafa in the dugout, with Rondon up front, the outcome of that game would have been completely the opposite.

Rather than give Benitez control on transfers, and spend 16 million on Rondon (and likely keep Perez), we have blown 40 million on a striker that I suspect we’ll be lucky to offload in a couple of years, let alone make his original transfer fee back.

It’s all just so unnecessary, as that sort of money in the pocket of Benitez, could have given us the ability to maybe push for a Europa League place, where instead it has been gambled on a player with a poor goalscoring record, for a fee that is unforgiveable considering we have lost the best manager since Sir Bobby, all because he wasn’t given assurances that the right investment would be made in the team.

12 years on and the same gambles and the same mistakes are being made. We are fighting for 4th bottom, and with Bruce in charge, it’s a fight I feel we will lose, comfortably. It’s a fight we would have never have lost with Rafa Benitez at the helm.

Well done Mike, you’ve done it again.

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below (We use Disqus).

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