Newcastle is having a dreadful season. From the first 30 EPL games, the Magpies have only managed to pick up 25 points. There are serious chances of relegation and they are three points behind 17th place Norwich.
Steve McClaren was sacked after the 3-1 defeat to AFC Bournemouth at home. Rafael Benitez has been appointed as McClaren’s successor. The Spaniard has coached many big teams including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan, etc. Rafa has enjoyed a successful managerial career with 2 UEFA Manager of the Year awards to his name. Benitez has won one UCL, two FA Cups and two Spanish league titles.
Benitez brings in a winning mentality and means business. Since his arrival, there has been the change in the attitude of the players and the fans. Fans finally sense a ray of hope. The players are rejuvenated and are playing with passion and hunger. Although the Toons have only picked up one point in the last two matches, we have witnessed some real intent from the players, and there is some purpose to their play.
Benitez is known for his resilient defense and Newcastle has only conceded two goals in two games for him. Previously, Newcastle was conceding about two goals per game. Benitez prefers Zonal marking on corners and relies on squad rotation. Luckily his new side has a lot of depth in their squad as compared to other teams in the relegation battle.
Benitez is a world-class coach, and he knows how to bring out the best from players. Rafa is the perfect man for this job, and his tactics would keep Newcastle up. Ten to twelve points from the remaining eight fixtures would be enough for Newcastle to avoid relegation. Benitez takes his side to Carrow Road next and would want to register his first win in the massive bottom of the table clash.
Words by: Hassan Shahid