The appointment of Rafael Benitez at Newcastle United was met with a sort of apprehensive optimism by football experts and pundits alike. With a CV many would envy, there is little doubt that he has the ability to manage and steer teams towards success.
Yet with unsuccessful stints at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid, there remained some doubts as to whether he still possessed the tactical nous that has been the bedrock of his managerial success.
Joining a struggling mid-table club certainly did not help quell the feeling of insecurity surrounding him. Yet all that has changed in a short passage of 6 months.
This week saw the Spaniard pass the six months mark into his Newcastle United career, and to match the occasion, the Geordies scored 6 unanswered goals against QPR on Tuesday. The win saw them continue their 6 match winning streak while also propelling them towards the top of the Championship table.
Benitez has certainly got the Toon army buzzing and rightly so. The players are enjoying their football, the new signings have settled in quickly, the team looks solid at the back and the team is back to winning ways.
An incredible stat from a fan shows his tactical acumen with his Newcastle side losing none of the second half in the last 18 matches. 10 wins and 8 draws to be precise.
Not sure what kind of half time pep talk the players are getting from the Spaniard but it does seem to be working very well.
— Demba (@CheickTiote) September 14, 2016