When Rafa Benitez rocked up at St James Park two years ago, it was scarcely believable.
For Newcastle fans who had been subjected to Alan Pardew, John Carver and Steve McClaren for the pat five years, it took some getting used to.
After McClaren belatedly got the bullet with only 10 matches remaining, Rafa Benitez approached Newcastle to say he was interested in the job.
Even Mike Ashley wasn’t daft enough to turn that chance down.
The relegation situation proved too desperate for even Rafa to save despite three wins and three draws in an unbeaten final six game run but still Newcastle supporters couldn’t believe their luck.
It was a bit like the bloke dying of thirst in the desert and discovering an oasis where supermodels were serving free beer.
Mike Ashley has dragged Newcastle United so far down, with even many Newcastle fans doubting their own club’s modern day credibility.
So the classic Only Fools and Horses three-wheeler that proclaimed their business empire as:
New York – Paris – Peckham
Was made to look almost sensible now compared to Rafa Benitez’ career route:
Valencia – Liverpool – Inter Milan – Chelsea – Napoli – Real Madrid – Newcastle United
It was a major coup, and a lifesaver, for Newcastle when Rafa Benitez agreed to stay on after relegation.
Mike Ashley giving the Manager assurances to him being supported in the transfer market and Summer 2016 was a win/win all round.
Rafa allowed to spend around £50m on…