The departure of Rafa Benitez from his position as Newcastle United manager has certainly caused a few waves in the world of football. Many fans couldn’t quite comprehend how the club, and Mike Ashley in particular, could find it within themselves to allow such a legend of the game to leave.
If it wasn’t for Rafa, then there’s a very good chance that Newcastle could’ve wound up going in the same direction as their bitter rivals Sunderland – and that’s no exaggeration. This man took a risk by managing them in the Championship, and for the most part, he proved himself to be more than capable of handling the pressure of the second tier.
After managing to stabilise the club back in the top flight it seemed as if all that needed to happen was for the big man to be given more money in order to improve the squad. To put it as bluntly as we can, that didn’t happen, and thus began the charade that led to his downfall with the Magpies.
One man who is located towards the top of the supposed hit list is Claudio Ranieri. Old school fans may know him best for his escapades with Chelsea back in the day, prior to the Blues hiring Jose Mourinho. However, more recent fans will instead choose to recognise one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of football: when Claudio was able to guide Leicester City to the Premier League title.
You’ll find a series of individuals who won’t believe that he was the primary factor behind that title win, but those individuals probably don’t really know or understand what it is they’re even talking about. Ranieri’s tactics were, in essence, the reason that the Foxes were able to stick it out at the top for as long as they did. He deserves credit for that.
Alas, if we allow ourselves to come back down to earth for just a second, we do not for a second believe that he is the right man for the job here. After coming off the back of a questionable stint over in Italy, this is the kind of high pressure job in which it’s going to be virtually impossible to come out of it looking good.
The fans want Rafa back, and it really is that simple. They won’t see or understand the purpose or reasoning behind hiring Ranieri, and to be perfectly honest, we can’t exactly blame them. They’ve been put through enough, and at this point, they could drag Sir Alex Ferguson out of retirement and it still wouldn’t be good enough.
Taking on the Magpies job is a death wish for anyone right now, because the Geordies are going to let you have it one way or another.