Opinion: Can Benitez turn around Newcastle's disappointing season?

New appointment Rafael Benitez could be the major turning point for Newcastle's season as his arrival is met with optimism from the fans.

Opinion: Can Benitez turn around Newcastle's disappointing season?
Benitez could be Newcastle's salvation. Image (Getty Images)

With Newcastle United characterised by many in the footballing world as a sunken ship destined for the Championship, can the new man, Rafa Benitez, be the manager to patch up the faults at the club?

Installing confidence

With the last drop of confidence squeezed out of Newcastle following their disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, Benitez brings to the team something Steve McClaren could never have provided. Experience at winning trophies. Considering his mightily impressive set of credentials, Benitez certainly has the experience of overcoming opponents, something severely lacking at the Newcastle camp. His new presence at the Tyneside club could give the players hope in their ability and the confidence boost needed to survive a relegation battle.

With ten games left and an upcoming clash against title contenders Leicester City, Benitez has been given a hard job, but if anyone can do it, the odds seem ever more favourable with the ex-Real Madrid manager than with Steve McClaren.

Revitalising the fans

Reform was drastically needed at the club and this exciting shake-up of management has certainly revitalised the Geordie faithful who are excited to see what a Champions League-winning manager can bring to the table at a club mired in misery. With the crowd at Newcastle being a major contributor to the player’s mentality, a reform at the club will give the fans something to relish in and to urge their team to victory in the upcoming run of fixtures.

As the fans at any club are vital for the players' effort and determination, a switch from the negative atmosphere of the McClaren era to the hope Benitez will probably provide, will certainly be a strong reason for the players to fight for survival as the 50,000 strong Geordie faithful urge them on.

Benitez poses with the Newcastle shirt upon arrival at Tyneside | Image: Getty
Benitez poses with the Newcastle shirt upon arrival at Tyneside | Image: Getty

The impact on the team

Ex-captain Fabricio Coloccini, has spoken out about his “excitement” at the prospect of Benitez's appointment and how the young players at the club can "look up to him". This certainly will be the case as the new manager certainly knows how to get the best out of his players and with a relegation certainly on, this can only be a good sign.

A main criticism of Steve McClaren has been his team's selection and positioning. His choice to alter the team's formation and position has meant that nearly each match, the players have not had the chance to acclimatise to their position on the pitch as McClaren has swapped them around often. With Benitez, the team will be picked with care and for the right reasons, hopefully ensuring that Newcastle can deal with the opposition more effectively.

The only worry

The only worry for fans is the fact that the damage may already be done. The effects of the McClaren era may still be lingering on the players and with that the team cannot be reformed under the guidance of Benitez. The only definitive from Benitez’s appointment is that the reform to the club was duly needed. Our answers as to just how effective this radical change will be can only come from the upcoming match against Claudio Ranieri's Leicester City side on Monday.

If by some miracle Newcastle can pick up a point away, confidence will be at an all-time high this season and the important ‘cup final’ match against arch rivals and relegation contenders, Sunderland will be one widely anticipated in the North. Newcastle are in a new position now and they only need to surge ahead with momentum to complete "Mission Impossible: Survival in the Premier League."