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McClaren Out Rafa In At Newcastle United

Rafa-NewcastleI wrote on Wednesday how Newcastle United were in talks with Rafael Benitez to replace current manager Steve McClaren. Those talks obviously progressed well as the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss has replaced McClaren as the new Newcastle manager.

Rafa has signed a three-year that that reportedly been includes an opt-out clause should fail to save the club from relegation.

Benitez, who will face Newcastle’s bitter rivals Sunderland in 9 days his first home game in charge, said:

“I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League.

“It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the club and the fans.

“All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I’m going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.

“Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can’t be happier.

“C’mon Toon Army! The club and I need your total involvement!”

Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley said:

“I am very pleased to welcome Rafa Benitez to the club. In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe’s top managers.

“He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager.

“Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players in order to secure our status in the Premier League.”

Benitez is bringing his own backroom staff with him to Newcastle, as Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Miguel Moreno and Antonio Gomez Perez will join Ian Cathro and Simon Smith to form his coaching team. Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black have left St James’ Park.

While keeping Newcastle up will be difficult for Newcastle it will not be impossible. It is clear that two from Newcastle, Norwich and Sunderland will join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.

The Magpies have 9 games left starting with this weekend’s match away to Newcastle. Then they have Sunderland (h), Norwich (a), Southampton (a), Swansea (h). They are all games that they could get points from.

Newcastle are one point from safety at the moment. Do you think Rafa will keep them up?