Rafael Benitez Appointed Newcastle United Manager

With ten games of the season remaining, Newcastle acted quickly in parting company with previous head coach Steve McClaren, before swiftly welcoming esteemed and experienced manager Rafael Benitez to the club, signing a three-year deal. Benitez has been out of work since being sacked at Real Madrid earlier this season, and had previously discussed his desire to return to management as soon as possible.

Benitez has taken on a mammoth task, as Newcastle United sit in 19th place in the Premier League, with matches against champions Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and the hotly anticipated Tyne-Wear derby, still to play.

The appointment has come as a surprise to many in the footballing world, none more so than Newcastle fans themselves. A man whose managerial CV lists European giants Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Napoli and most recently Real Madrid, was not the expected appointment on Tyneside.

Rafael Benitez was revealed to the media by the club’s Managing Director Lee Charnley, and it was reported that Benitez met with his new players shortly afterwards at the club’s training ground on their day off, taking an impromptu training session, only 90 minutes after being announced as manager.

It remains to be seen whether Benitez will remain Newcastle United boss if they do suffer relegation, as there were murmurs that the Champions League Winner would have a relegation release clause entered into his contract. However the club themselves have reported the signing of the Spaniard on an initial three-year deal.

Benitez brings with him a backroom staff consisting of: Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Miguel Moreno, former Real Madrid fitness coach, and Antonio Gomez Perez. Goalkeeping coach Simon Smith and First-Team coach Ian Cathro remain at the club following McClaren’s departure which saw Alessandro Schoenmaker, Paul Simpson and Steve Black depart too.

Benitez brings a wealth of experience to a squad requiring mental enrichment and confidence. His tactical nous and high-profile persona will hopefully lift the players and fans to create an intimidating atmosphere in nine days time for his first home game at St James’ Park against Sunderland. It is undoubtedly clear also that Benitez’s footballing knowhow will rub off on the younger players of the United squad; the likes of Ayoze Perez, Chancel Mbemba and Aleksandar Mitrovic the beneficiaries.

The feel-good factor has returned to Tyneside just in time, as the club face off in ten cup finals in the run in to the close of the 2015/16 season. It isn’t certain whether Newcastle will survive the drop but they have definitely given themselves a fighting chance, pulling off a coup in the form of Rafael Benitez.

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