Multiple sources have claimed that if Rafa Benitez walks away from Newcastle United, Amanda Staveley will end her interest in buying the club. But why is Benitez seen as such an integral part of Staveley’s plans for the club post takeover?
Let’s be honest, Rafael Benitez is the best manager that Newcastle can hope to get. With spells at Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid to name a few, he has the necessary experience that can help save Newcastle from relegation this season and go onto build the club up for the future.
If Newcastle were to go down this season, this would see them miss out on the lucrative Premier League TV money that would limit the funds available to make the necessary investment in the squad.
Benitez can use his vast experience to build a squad capable of playing in the Premier League with money provided by the new ownership. With Benitez as the helm, the club can start to look to the long term, and looking to climb the Premier League table. Over time, Newcastle should look to returning to qualifying for Europe once again.
Building for the future
Looking at Newcastle, they have a large fan base and a large stadium. While this is important and often see’s newcastle described as a ‘big club’, it is the only part of the club that is currently rivalling the top clubs in England. If Staveley buys the club, it is reported that she wants Benitez to build Newcastle’s infrastructure to the level of the top clubs in England.
Currently, Newcastle’s youth academy is the biggest part of the clubs infrastructure that is lacking behind other clubs in the Premier League. This is a major problem as the club will struggle to be able to produce good enough players to play in the league.
This would allow Newcastle to save money on transfers as they wouldn’t need to take risks by signing young prospects that may not work out. Player such as Florian Thauvin came to the club with huge potential, but ultimately, failed to achieved the necessary standard in the Premier League.
Benitez has a good record of developing players while at Newcastle, with the prime example being current club captain Jamaal Lascelles. Before Benitez’s influence, Lascelles was a player who made mistake after mistake, costing the club vital points in the relegation fight. Now, he is a reliable leader who rarely makes mistakes. He criticises the team when necessary and wants constant improvement, just like his manager, Benitez. If this attitude can be instilled into Newcastle’s academy, the club could have a youth system full of players striving for constant improvement which can only be a benefit for the club.
Finally, Benitez is currently one of the best managers in the world, and has been for many years. As mentioned earlier, Benitez’s career has seen him take charge at some of Europe’s biggest clubs, spending time at Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid. It is quite clear that Newcastle are certainly nowhere near the level of these clubs.
Benitez is the man Staveley wants at the helm as he has shown throughout his career that he can make help clubs compete with the best. He has also shown that he can compete in the league at the same time. When he won the Champions League with Liverpool, he also guided them to a fifth place finish in the league as well as securing a trip to the League Cup Final. This is what Staveley wants, a manager capable of performing in multiple competitions to satisfy the craving for success from the Geordie faithful. While this may not ultimately mean Newcastle will win any silverware, all the supporters want is to support a team that is able to compete with the teams at the upper end of the table. This is more than a realistic goal with a new owner willing to invest at the helm.
If Benitez were to leave, Newcastle could not attract a manager anywhere near the Spaniard’s quality, something that Staveley acknowledges. Benitez can be a figurehead, but also help build a youth system to rival top system across the country.
Hopefully Benitez will stay at St James’ Park and help drive the club forward after the successful takeover from Staveley. This may eventually see Newcastle finally realise its potential to become a big club in England, and maybe see a return to European competition.