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Newcastle or Celtic? Evaluate where Rafael Benitez should go next


When Rafael Benitez announced he would be leaving his post with Chinese formation Dalian Yifang earlier this month, few could dispute his motives given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Spaniard cited his health and that of his family as the reason he cut his stay in China – perfectly understandable – and yet to our knowledge, COVID-19 has been a bit of a ‘problem’ for some time. now. ..

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez is worshiped on Tyneside | Chris Brunskill / Fantasista / Getty Images

But we’re not going to suggest that there was an ulterior motive behind his departure. Just out of interest, what is the current manager satisfaction rate among fans of former Benitez employers in Newcastle? Hmmmmmm.

Steve Bruce is about to do something we never thought possible – he’s about to replace Mike Ashley as Tyneside’s most hated man.

The former Sunderland boss’s time as head of his childhood club seems destined to end in the near future, with Ashley, the astute owner of Cockney, starting to calculate how many ridiculously sized Slazenger tennis balls he has must sell to pay Bruce’s.

It probably won’t be surprising that Benitez’s name is already making a name for itself (although in truth it’s hard to forget a man whose face is stuck to the bedroom walls of most of the town’s inhabitants) , but Newcastle aren’t the only club in need of a lifeline.

Neil lennon
Neil Lennon seems ready to receive his marching orders | Ian MacNicol / Getty Images

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are at a similar point in the timeline of their current boss as Newcastle, with Neil Lennon destined for the exit gate of Celtic Park.

Looks like Rafa has his choice then – but where should he go?

In many ways, Newcastle and Celtic are quite similar – both have huge fanbases, both put a lot of pressure on their respective managers and, most importantly, both are limited in the success they can benefit from.

However, there is a difference between success at Newcastle and success at Celtic, and that is the important part.

Magpies fans can dream of a new owner whatever they love, but the point is, Ashley isn’t going anywhere – he doesn’t want to leave, and why would he do that when he could use St. James’ Park as a ship for Sports Direct Advertising? It is no coincidence that all these “takeovers” keep falling apart.

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez could soon return to British football | Alex Broadway / Getty Images

With him controlling the purse strings, Newcastle will never fight for a European place – and for those who believe they finished fifth under his leadership in 2012, the Premier League is financially a very different league than it was there. Eight years.

The best Benitez could muster at Newcastle in terms of “success” is keeping them in the division, and although that would have Being a feat, he wouldn’t attract the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs if he ever considered leaving Tyneside.

Success at Celtic is defined very differently from how it is defined at Newcastle.

Not winning the league is a failure for Celtic, and while that of course means there is additional pressure on the manager, it gives Benitez the perfect opportunity to bolster his CV. After all, in all his years managing elite-level clubs, the former Liverpool boss hasn’t won a flying league title since 2004.

The real success at Celtic is reaching the group stages of the Champions League, and although the Bhoys are limited in the fact that they will never make it to the final rounds of the competition, there is a lot of silverware. national to win.

Rafael Benitez
Benitez failed to secure league glory with Liverpool | Sean Gallup / Getty Images

At 60, Benitez may not have many leadership appointments left in him, and you can bet that a man with teams like Liverpool, Inter, Valencia, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Napoli no do not intend to finish. his career in a modest Premier League team.

A move to Celtic Park would not only be a challenge given the current dominance of Steve Gerrard and the Rangers, but it would provide an opportunity to add the winner’s medals to Benitez’s chimney before moving on to bigger and better things.