Newcastle are right in the mix of things once again in terms of the Premier League relegation battle, but they’ll be keen on avoiding the drop for the second season in a row following the arrival of Rafa Benitez.
The Benitez effect was felt for the first time when Newcastle secured a vital point in a hard earned draw against local rivals Sunderland.
Passions flared, and battle lines were drawn in that game, but the spoils were shared between the two sides leaving them both within the bottom three.
Although from the looks of things Rafa Benitez seems to have instilled the most important attribute required to survive a relegation battle in his Newcastle side which is none other than belief.
Belief is one thing a team just can’t do without in a situation as dire as this one, Benitez’s reputation seems to have spurred up some sort of confidence in the Newcastle camp as seen in the Tyne-wear derby when Mitrovic was faultless in his passionate approach to the game.
So the question on the lips of Newcastle fans will undoubtedly be whether they can turn their impressive showings into wins because they need points, and they need them really quickly.
With games coming in thick and fast Benitez will be keen on keeping his wits about him as the Magpies fight for Premier League survival.
But surely Rafa isn’t used to this type of set-up as he’s more of a top team manager rather than relegation battler, but his arrival at St’ James’ Park might be in preparation for something bigger.
Mike Ashley may finally deem it fit to start investing heavily into Newcastle which in turn could mean the arrival of some high-profile players in the summer, but before they reach that level the Magpies need to face the task at hand which is survival.
They retained their top-flight status by an inch last season following Hull City’s inability to win against United on the final day of the previous campaign.
They’ll be hoping that they don’t have to wait until the final day before they can see themselves out of trouble this time.
As things stand, we’re set for the most intense relegation battle for quite a while with the likes of Sunderland, Aston Villa, and Norwich fighting to stay alive. However, at the moment, it would be quite safe to say that the Remi Garde and company are out of contention for Premier League survival.
Can Newcastle Survive this season?
Honestly, they have the best chance of staying up this season considering their natural quality as well as the experience Rafa Benitez brings to the table.
In addition to that, it seems like the Geordie fans are completely in support of their club, so I think this is going to be another lucky escape for the Magpies.