So we’re into the final week of Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United contract.
The uncertainty continues, but as things stand, we won’t have a manager come July 1st. The takeover saga looks to have dented the contract situation between Benitez and the hierarchy, ending with a stalemate.
Should the Spaniard leave the club, it’ll signal the end of an era for Newcastle United that could’ve been so more special.
Instead, it’s been a three year period clouded with uncertainty, with a world class manager fighting against the odds to do right by a fanbase who worship the ground he walks on.
Benitez did all he could
The fact that Rafa is actually Newcastle United manager still baffles me at times. The amount of times I would stop and think ‘wow, Rafa Benitez is manager of my team’ are too often to remember, particularly in the early days.
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His arrival in the first place was pretty incredible. We were staring relegation in the face under Steve McClaren, then suddenly we were managed by the guy whose last job was Real Madrid. It didn’t seem possible. I remember being told that it wouldn’t happen by someone seemingly in the know.
Yet he came, and although we didn’t survive, he changed the mood of the club. Then the Championship season was just fun. We were winning games, scoring great goals, as well as the added drama of winning the title on the final day.
Our two seasons in the Premier League under Benitez have been tough, but he took us to heights he didn’t really have the right to with the hand he had been dealt.
If this is the end, Benitez can walk away knowing he did all he could as Newcastle manager under the circumstances.
Hopefully this is see you later, not goodbye.