Former Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren believes the way Rafa Benitez came in to Tyneside club and took control of all footballing responsibilities is the main reason behind his successful start to his tenure at the Magpies.
Successive managers including McClaren, Alan Pardew and Kevin Keegan all had to work under a different structure with head of recruitment Graham Carr taking responsibility for transfers. McClaren told the Evening Chronicle that Newcastle needed to be a run in the correct way to succeed:
“Run correctly and rightly, as a football club it will thrive. Unfortunately, I was the right man at the wrong time. What Rafa has done is gone in and gained control. It needed a big change. He has bought players with Championship experience, leaders in the dressing room, which was something that was badly needed.”
McClaren was desperate for a return to management after being sacked by Derby County and was therefore in a weak position to dictate terms when he took over as manager last summer. In stark contrast, Rafa Benitez reputation as a world class manager allowed him to demand changes in contract negotiations from Mike Ashley enabling him to take control of areas previous Newcastle coaches were not in charge of.
The switch from a head coach role to the traditional managerial setup has allowed Benitez to sign his own players this summer, and the Magpies’ recent form shows that the club is now reaping the benefits.