Newcastle United fans received the news they feared on Monday, when it was confirmed that Rafael Benitez would be leaving the club, and they have been reacting to it on social media.
There has been a long-running saga between the Magpies and the Spaniard over him extending his contract at St James’ Park, with a number of standoffs seemingly hampering any progress.
The Newcastle boss was regularly frustrated at a lack of support in the transfer market throughout his time on Tyneside, but despite those restrictions, he did an amazing job under tricky circumstances.
A takeover of the club has been mooted throughout the reign of Benitez, which has led to uncertainty and at times chaos, so just keeping the Magpies in the top flight was an achievement on its own.
There was seemingly some encouragement for the Spaniard, when Newcastle owner Mike Ashley broke the club transfer record fee to bring in Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United in January, but relations between the two men always came across as being strained.
The Magpies were believed to have been deep in talks with the former Liverpool and Chelsea boss over him staying at St James’, but with no agreement being reached, the club have announced that the popular manager will leave Tyneside when his contract expires at the end of the month.
This was not the news Newcastle fans wanted. They know the trouble their beloved outfit would have been in had they not had a coach of the quality of Benitez at the helm, and are already beginning to fear the worse.
Many Magpies supporters took to social media after the departure was confirmed to offer their reaction, and vent their frustration at the club and its owner, as they prepare to let their biggest asset just leave at a time when he was building something special.
Here are the pick of their posts:
I don't think that #nufc are going to get a win in their first six matches. Norwich & Watford won't be easy as they appear to be two of the easier ones. Tough year us now without Benitez & with Ashley still there.
— Mark Sothcott ⚽ (@marksothcott) June 25, 2019
— Justin (@JustinTerrett) June 25, 2019
— Rafa Benitez is 👑 (@wonderbonzi) June 25, 2019
Benitez is a winner. The club had already wasted 3 years of his time. The fact he stayed that long says all you need to know him. The club, if they GENUINELY wanted to, could have kept him. Benitez is ambitious. Ashley doesnt want that. 17th every season is fine by him #nufc https://t.co/5CIBbppCXD
— ToonFan (@ToonFan14) June 25, 2019
ALL NUFC FANS NEED TO MAKE MIKE ASHLEYS LIFE A LIVING HELL! STOP GIVING HIM MONEY. STOP GOING TO GAMES. HIT HIM WHERE IT HURTS!! MAKE HIS POSITION AS NEWCASTLE OWNER UNTENABLE!! #ASHLEYOUT #NUFC #Benitez
— NUFC Honey Monster ⬛️⚽️⬜️ (@NUFC_MONSTER) June 25, 2019
— FPL Stray 🇳🇴 (@FilipStray) June 25, 2019
Let's never forget that we had Rafael Benitez as our manager. Thank you for 3 years that Ashley never deserved. #NUFC
— Scott Johnson (@SAJtoonfan) June 25, 2019
This is how you treat a manager like Rafa Benitez? A man with a plan. A man with ambition. Ambition to Ashley is struggling to finish 17th each season. Ambition to Ashley is to collect the TV money each season and slip it into his back pocket. #AshleyOut #NUFC
— Tales From The Toon (@talesfromtoon) June 24, 2019
Let’s set the record straight here. Rafa Benitez has not left Newcastle United.
Newcastle United (or at least the poor excuse for an owner) has left Rafa Benitez. #nufc
— Scott (@SJC_90) June 24, 2019
The connection between fans and the club came back when Benitez came in, and it grew.
Now, the glue has been ripped away. Bar a takeover happening – this could well be the tipping point for the majority of fans. It certainly is for me.
— Erik Bjerke (@nordicgeordie) June 24, 2019