Newcastle United – A New Era

As the dust settles on Newcastle United’s Sky Bet Championship season, a season which ended with the magpies lifting the title, it is clear Rafael Benitez has changed the fortunes of the Tyneside club.

In the Mike Ashley era, there has been little to shout about for Newcastle United fans. The owner has been at the club for 10 years now, in that time Newcastle have suffered two relegations. However, as Newcastle prepare for life back in the Premier League, there is a sense that the Newcastle owner now understands what it takes to make Newcastle successful. The main piece of that puzzle was appointing Rafael Benitez as manager, the rest will of the pieces will follow.

The fans are united once more, Benitez has made that happen with the way in which he conducts himself. After a period of poor managerial appointments, the fans are finally seeing the work of a world class manager. After the controversial sacking of Chris Hughton in December 2010, Newcastle fans have had to endure a torrid time in terms of managers, four years of Alan Pardew, five months of John Carver and nine months under Steve McClaren have all delivered very little success. Alan Pardew did guide the club to a fifth place finish during the 2011/12 campaign, however his tenure was mostly full of disappointment. Rafael Benitez has united a disgruntled set of supporters, the Spaniard is honest and open – Whereas Pardew and McClaren were both seen as “Yes men” to Mike Ashley. Benitez will stand up for the club and for the best interests of the team, something that cannot be said of Pardew or McClaren. Mike Ashley, like the Newcastle fans is in awe of Benitez, the Newcastle owner has realised what a fantastic manager the club have. More importantly, Ashley is more than happy to back the Spaniard.

It really has been a tough period for Newcastle United under Mike Ashley. Now, the club are entering a new era. That is a big statement, however with Ashley’s pledge to back Benitez in the transfer market and with the club back in the Premier League, it really is a new chapter for Newcastle United. Rafael Benitez is given the same sort of ovation from the fans as Sir Bobby Robson, Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer. Quite the company to be in, it is hard to imagine what kind of ovation the Spaniard would get if he helped the club to a FA or League cup. That may sound a long way in the future, but it is exactly what Benitez is building towards.

The club have a set of players that care for the shirt, something that had been missing for some time. It is a serious and strong allegation to make, however the performances of previous players such as Moussa Sissoko is evidence to the claim. Benitez is buying players who will fit in nicely with the current set of players. There are and will not be any massive egos in the Newcastle dressing room, the players that were at the Spaniard’s disposal this season all come across as down to earth, focused and showed a real pride in the shirt. Something the fans have craved from the players in a long time. The likes of Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Dwight Gayle and Isaac Hayden made the move to Tyneside last summer, all of them are hungry to succeed at Newcastle United.

The club have announced their new sponsor for the new season, Fun88 an online betting company from Asia. The new sponsorship deal is the biggest in the clubs history. There are exciting times ahead for Newcastle United, it will not be easy next season but with Rafael Benitez at the helm, Newcastle are in very capable hands.

People on the outside may mock Newcastle, it is because they do not understand or realise how special the club really is. The club has everything in place to awaken from its slumber. A world class manager in Benitez, an owner willing to invest, a passionate set of supporters, fantastic stadium and training facilities. The only thing that was missing was unity and Benitez has pulled everyone together, everyone associated with the club are now pulling in the same direction.

Something special is happening on Tyneside, long may the positive atmosphere continue.

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