Newcastle United is one of the hardest club to support in England and probably in all of Europe. The North’s great hope, Newcastle United is the only club in the city it resides and has been supported vehemently by dedicated supporters ever since its inception.
The club shows flashes of brilliance peppered with utter disasters and is one of the most inconsistent clubs to play in the Premier League. From mid table to Champion’s League places abruptly followed by a downfall and relegation.
An immediate comeback into the EPL and Europa League was followed by another relegation dogfight. Newcastle have done this all in the span of a mere decade and a half.
The Tyneside club is battling with utter mediocrity in play and have just sacked the ex-Derby and England manager, Steve McLaren to be replaced by the Merseyside favourite, Rafael Benitez.
This is probably the most sensational signing for Newcastle over the season. More than sensational, the signing simply defies logic.
Newcastle have been entrenched in the bottom three ever since the start of the season and have not shown many hopeful signs of recovery. Meanwhile Rafa Benitez had just recently been sacked from Real Madrid and is a multiple title winner and even won the Champion’s League with Liverpool. T
he signing makes no sense at all but has been made possible by the recent cash influx into the Premier League by the new television rights deal which has just kicked in this season.
Rafa Benitez doesn’t bring any recent success with him except a couple of second tier Italian Cups at Napoli. Madrid and Inter were simply unmitigated disasters for the Spaniard and left a bad taste in the mouth of even the most ardent Benitez supporters.
Considering both their circumstances, one can say that Newcastle have overachieved and would now look to stave of relegation before trying to build into the mid table with what Rafa brings to the table.
Benitez is known for a sound defensive structure and a rigid midfield paired with mobile attackers. The counter attack is revered and possession is not at all given any importance unless and until it reaps results. Set pieces are meticulous and are extremely well thought out. Defence is a slightly complicated zonal set up with players expected to automatically think and adapt to situations.
Newcastle meanwhile have been leaking goals left and right and have simply failed to convert their chances. Players like Wijnaldum, Cisse and Coloccini have been inconsistent in their play while others like De Jong and Sissoko have simply been disappointing.
The match of their season will definitely be the Norwich rout where Wijnaldum scored 4 as the team scored 6 in all past the hapless canaries. The most disappointing match of their season will be the Arsenal match where they simply dominated the game and could’ve made Wenger’s position in much more peril.
A stunning performance resulted in no goals while Arsenal scored a late header from a corner and all the effort went down the drain. A Newcastle side of yore would’ve dismantled Arsenal with at least 4-5 goals on that evening.
With Benitez coming in, the conditions will definitely change for the better as the strict Spaniard workalholic will be looking to revitalise Coloccini and Janmaat for a solid defence while Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Mitrovic and Cisse will be given hard positioning and finishing practice at the very least.
One will also expect them to defend much better overall and especially the set pieces. With players like Cisse, Tiote, Mitrovic and Coloccini providing aerial threat, one can expect them to even start scoring from these set pieces at a much higher rate.
As bleak as Newcastle’s plight looked earlier this season, a Newcastle fan can delight in the masterstroke pulled off by Mike Ashley and co. With a reasonable degree of certainty, the writer can predict that Newcastle will definitely survive relegation and be in the running for a top 10 finish next season with the new signing.