As many predicted, Newcastle have won promotion straight back to the Premier League from the Championship.
The Magpies even won the second tier title, after rivals Brighton took their foot off the gas late on the season.
The club from the north east are now back where they belong. Much of the credit has to go to former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard stayed at the club last summer, despite relegation and interest from other clubs.
Benitez has brought stability to the club
Rafa Benitez may have been the man in charge of the Magpies when they went down, but in truth, he was always fighting a losing battle after his predecessor’s poor decisions.
The former Valencia boss seems to have brought stability and calmness to a club that has seemed a mess over the last couple of years. The Spaniard seems to be universally popular with the Toon Army, which is rare for a manager of most clubs, let alone a club as volatile as Newcastle.
Benitez has likened Newcastle to Liverpool, in that both sets of supporters are working class and love their teams with a great passion, so maybe that is why he feels so at home in the north east.
The Spaniard could have taken the easy option last summer and moved clubs. However, to his credit, he stayed and helped the club back to the top-flight.
Benitez is a very good manager
For me, Rafa Benitez is a very good football manager but falls slightly short of the top-tier of football bosses. The Spaniard has been around the block a couple of times and must know the game in and out by now.
His CV says it all about his managerial ability. He has managed Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter, Valencia and Real Madrid. That is not a bad CV for any boss. In fact, a certain Mr Mourinho has also managed a few of the same clubs as the veteran boss.
Benitez is regarded as a cautious boss. However, his tactical acumen is often underrated, because of criticism of his tactics talks at the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid. However, he was out of his depth at Real Madrid.
At Newcastle, though, he seems to have found a new home, a club where he seems to be flourishing and building something once again. If he is given the right tools for the job Benitez will continue to do a good at the north east club.
Due to the fact that Benitez has managed at big clubs, the Spaniard will also be able to attract a decent calibre of player this summer. However, he will only be able to do his job properly if owner Mike Ashley backs him in the transfer market.
If Ashley gives Benitez financial backing then the Magpies have a very good chance of surviving the drop this season.
Staying up is the priority next season
Newcastle’s priority like most promoted teams will be to cement their place in the Premier League next season. The bookmakers actually fancy their chances of doing so, as the Magpies are currently odds of 7/2 to be relegated next season.
Those odds suggest the north east side are sixth favourites to go down next season, with the likes of Swansea, Burnley and Watford shorter odds for the drop.
Everybody connected with the Magpies will know that they have to strengthen their squad this summer. A number of the players that were relegated are still in the club’s ranks. Some major flops will also return from loan spells in the likes of Siem de Jong and Emmanuel Riviere.
Newcastle as a club are equipped to stay in the English top-flight next season. However, their playing personnel needs some tweaking in the coming months.
Most Newcastle fans will be confident of surviving the drop next season. The simple reason for their confidence is that they have a highly experienced and capable boss Rafa Benitez at the helm. The Spaniard is why I do believe that the Magpies will stay in the Premier League next season.
Will Rafa Benitez keep Newcastle in the Premier League next season?
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