Benitez and the ironic change of emphasis at topsy-turvy Toon

Rafa Benitez and Matt Ritchie

Benitez with Scottish signing, Matt Ritchie.

Like the NHS and the British education system, Newcastle United under Mike Ashley has undoubtedly been the victim of too many top down reorganisations inflicted by those who didn’t have a clue what they were doing. Yet, despite living with the consequences for a second time under Mike Ashley in the form of relegation, we fans have seldom been more sanguine, all because of confidence in Rafa Benitez and his diligent, systematic, trophy winning ways. Now we do have a manager of Benitez’s calibre, Newcastle United are strong favourites for the Championship title and automatic promotion. If you were thinking of having a bet and would like to claim a bet365 bonus code where you could receive a bonus of up to £200, you will find instructions in the following link (how to claim bet365 bonus with promotional code).

I’m not knocking it. As someone who used to holiday in Valencia and watch Benitez’s great side there with the likes of Aimar, Ayala, Baraja, Albelda and so on in the early Noughties, and I was more than a little jealous when Liverpool got him in 2004 as I wanted him for Newcastle when Bobby Robson retired. That was about a month before Robson was sacked and we ended up with Graeme Souness. 12 years later it’s still a case “better late than never.” However, even more, it is just another symbol of the topsy-turvy world that lies down the St James’ Park rabbit hole. In the Premiership, when they should have been appointing someone like Benitez, or Ronald Koeman to pluck another example of someone who would have been very good without being completely out of reach, they throw in a Joe Kinnear or a John Carver just to make things more dangerous and interesting, and then when relegation is all but inevitable, then they appoint a Champions League winner to manage us in the Championship.

Carrying on the topsy turvy theme, there has also been a complete role reversal in terms policy on coaches and transfers. In the old pre-second relegation days, the managers, along with the highly influential figure of Graham Carr, were good old fashioned, salt of the earth British football characters either fished out from the dustbin of English football history, or assistant coaches with no real top level managerial experience plucked from backroom obscurity. On the other hand the player policy was the exact opposite, with a succession of French Fancies imported into Tyneside in a so called “French Revolution.”

Now in Benitez we have the opposite of a John Carver, Joe Kinnear or Iain Dowie in the dugout, the epitome of a sophisticated, Continental manager. One might have expected that the man who bought such talents as Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso when he was last managing in England would replace the French Revolution with some kind of Spanish Inquisition. However, as the manager profile has swung one way (to the delight of most fans), the average player profile has now swung back in the other direction and Benitez has been more like a Mike Bassett trawling for British battlers. After all though, it was Benitez who also signed players like a young Jonjo Shelvey, as well as an older Craig Bellamy when he was managing Liverpool too so he is a man for all seasons. In a sign of how fiercely competitive the Championship is becoming now though, Benitez isn’t the only Champions League winner in the Championship this season with Roberto di Matteo at Aston Villa. Like last time with Chris Hughton, there is only one benchmark for success though and that is promotion at the first attempt.

avatar NUFCBlog Author: workyticket workyticket has written 1052 articles on this blog.

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8 Responses to “Benitez and the ironic change of emphasis at topsy-turvy Toon”

  1. 1
    avatar Nutmag says:

    Good one Worky good to see you back in the saddle.
    Honestly could not think of anyone better than Rafa for the rebuilding and organizing that is needed at Newcastle.
    Early signs are he has it right, no mean feat knowing the total mess the club was in.
    The squad looks just what is needed, and will get better with time. The “Star” players can come later.

  2. 2
    avatar workyticket says:

    Thanks Nutmag but wheres Chuck? I’ve just sent a brief e.mail to him (a few minutes ago). It almost a month now since he was last venting his spleen on here. I hope he’s ok.

  3. 3
    avatar chuck says:

    Had some reception problems, living in a remote area, that’s with my I-pad.

    Back in the US and in city now that the sauna bath weather has passed (I hope)

    I for one was not very impressed by either SBR’s or Shearer’s statues, guess it’s the thought that counts.

    SBR was a clever guy, though I can’t say I have been much impressed by Shearer, apart from his abilities on the field of course.

    As for Rafa., sure he may be the savior we need, though i’m not quite as impressed as you appear to be.

    Having constantly raved on this blog that until Ashley hired professional management, the club was going nowhere.

    It also appears Ashley has reached a stage where everything wrong with his business plans have finally gone tits up and he may now be more into consolidating and presenting both SD and NUFC as reformed businesses, though he will need to hire the right Public relations outfit, it’s an opportunity he should grab now, people love a reformed sinner and it could be good for business, no!

    Especially if the club regain PL status, though I can’t see the club becoming more than a top ten club over time, but to be a top ten club in the EPL, ain’t exactly chopped liver, all things considered.

  4. 4
    avatar workyticket says:

    Chuck, we were worried about you there. I thought the fish might have finally taken their revenge at long last on one of those fishing trips of yours.

    I can’t say much about the football as I’ve only heard the last two on the radio and only saw highlights. It sounded brilliant against QPR and pretty awful today. Going from the commentry, it was a bit of Titus Bramble style performance from Mbemba.

    If Ashley wanted to be nice, the whole model of Sports Direct would have to change and other shareholders own almost half the company now as well. He sold off bits of his holding when the price was higher, so he’s still worth well over £2billion, or 3 billion in dollars.

  5. 5
    avatar chuck says:

    Having watched a coupla games i’m certainly not impressed so far, but understand what’s happening, as far as money and transfers are concerned.

    Obviously Rafa had to unload before making signings, both in order to make changes and get the big hitters off the payroll.

    What I see is a mediocrity of a side, but one competitive enough to finish in the top four of this league.

    Though it will cost a lot to build a side that can compete in the PL, being the present group will just not be able to survive there.

    Time for the scouting system to go into high gear and either bring in some prospects or at least line up the prospects that could do the job following the expected promotion.

    That’s not to say we should ignore veterans, who may have one or two decent seasons left, who can provide both leadership and experience.

    Anyhow we are now looking at a different club, the beginning of the Rafa revolution, which hopefully can achieve promotion this season (though I am not that convinced).

    And unless Rafa gets a better offer we may have him for this and the next two following seasons I believe.

    Which could be worse I suppose, though there are any number of decent managers (young & old) making their way too the EPL, no doubt attracted by the big bucks, plus three million a year sounds like a decent piece of change
    and depending on how he (Rafa.)does within that period of time, will certainly influence his decision in regards to any future in football.

  6. 6
    avatar workyticket says:

    Well it’s fairly easy, Chuck. It’s the same as last time we were relegated. We should get promoted and if we don’t, that isn’t good enough. I don’t agree with Rafa on one thing (having looked at the data), that promotion is harder for him than it was for Hughton.

    “Time for the scouting system to go into high gear and either bring in some prospects or at least line up the prospects that could do the job following the expected promotion.

    “That’s not to say we should ignore veterans, who may have one or two decent seasons left, who can provide both leadership and experience.”

    This is what Bob Paisley said about that sort of thing, Chuck:

    “My policy is to ideally have five or six men around the age of 26, a couple of youngsters, a couple round the 28 mark and one or two in their 30s. But the nucleus of the team should be experienced and not too old.

    “You don’t just look at the calendar. The medical side is an important yardstick. Our two over 30s are Phil Neal and Kenny Dalglish. Phil is the type of player who doesn’t often get injured. Kenny takes more knocks than the others, but he is very strong. They have been outstanding from a stamina point of view as well as in skill. They have kept going as well as anyone. But they still need that help from the younger players.”

  7. 7
    avatar chuck says:

    Sounds like a likely mixture age wise, fact is I had no idea Kenny Dalglish was a part of the squad, nor Neal either.

    Looking at some of the young Turks coming into the EPL, there are some who have shown incredible technique with pace to match, not to mention goal scoring abilities.

    The best game of football I have watched so far was the earlier Liverpool vs Spurs game, excellent football.

    Watched the Leicester vs Chelsea game to day, ok I guess, but Chelsea’s quality came through, money still talks.

    Though it should be an interesting season, with clubs like L’pool., Everton, Citeh, Arsenal, MU., Chelsea and possibly a couple of others who will no doubt contend for a spot in either of the Euro. competitions.

    Especially MU who are off to a bad start and no doubt have to come up as winners of some kinda silverware if they want to hold onto their sponsors and the dosh they provide the club.

    As time goes on, the lessons of once great clubs like Leeds and others brings the fact that overspending and poor club management can reduce a once massive club to one that barely competes in the second tier level and who without some kind of radical change and an infusion of dosh, may never again compete in the highest level of competition.

    Take for instance the two Scottish Giants Rangers and Celtic, though they have the infrastructure that compares to most EPL division clubs, without a decent tv contract,
    they are reduced to the equivalent of an English second or third tier side.

    Yep ! it’s all about the dosh, innit ?

  8. 8
    avatar workyticket says:

    Dalglish was an amazing player. He probably was the greatest ever at Liverpool as they say. He had the same sort of vision as Cruyff in the box.

    “Looking at some of the young Turks coming into the EPL”

    I thought you were going on about Mesut Ozil and Emre Can for a second there! It isn’t exactly a compliment to refer to youngsters as “Young Turks.” The Young Turks were really evil bastards like the Nazis. I was a last baby of a last baby, so my Grandfather on my mother’s side saw the handiwork of the Young Turks when he was fighting in the First World War in Turkey. They would eviscerate pregnant Kurdish women, ie they would cut the live babies out of their stomachs.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Turks

    Could we adjourn to comments section of the newer blog soon?

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