Thank you Rafa Benitez.
On behalf of all Newcastle United supporters, thank you for the excellent work you have done in your short time at the club. Newcastle United were not relegated by other clubs’ results, or at Aston Villa last weekend, they were relegated much earlier in the season.
Results against the likes of Bournemouth, Everton, Crystal Palace and failing to beat Sunderland yet again, are a handful of matches that have led to the club’s sad demise. Mismanagement from the highest level, lack of expenditure in recent years, failing to capitalise on past successes, and ultimately asset-stripping has relegated Newcastle United for the second time in seven years.
Benitez has undoubtedly been the highlight of Newcastle’s season; the appointment of such an esteemed and experienced manager helped to give fans hope that a survival bid was possible. Prior to his appointment, all hope had been lost and fans had accepted the likely fate of relegation, yet he steered the ship in the right direction, instilling belief in the squad and the fanbase. Quality when it matters has failed to materialise but the magnificent work in the mere two months at the helm has proved to be one of the most exciting times to follow the club in recent memory.
It is painstakingly clear that the appointment came too late, when the club were in a desperate position that not even a Champions League winning coach could turn around. His determination to try to save such a historic football club is admirable and each Newcastle fan has the utmost respect for him. Anybody who has watched recent matches will have seen the Spaniard’s almost obsessive attention to detail, his dictating of the play from the touchline and his effect on the entire city, creating a buzz of belief, hope and possibility.
It is almost an inevitability that the club will lose Benitez after the game against Tottenham Hotspur, but to be blessed with his presence for two short months has been an enjoyable experience despite the saddening outcome. Each Newcastle United supporter will wish him all the best with his future endeavours and will greatly appreciate his efforts. Sunday’s home match and final game of the season must not be a hostile affair—it must be a celebration of Benitez’s tenure, an ode to a magnificent manager and person with excellent credibility.