Jamie Carragher has backed his former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez to be a success at Newcastle and believes he could be the man to end the Toon Army’s long wait for a trophy.
Benitez was named Steve McClaren’s replacement on Friday afternoon and in the short term he has been tasked with keeping the Magpies in the Premier League this season.
But if he can steer Newcastle away from the relegation zone Carragher thinks he could go on to be a success at St James’ Park, with the club without a trophy since 1969.
“These next 10 games – if he can get through those, then over the next three years he could be the man that stops that rot of trophies. He’s won so many trophies in his career,” he told Sky Sports.
“I think for Newcastle, it’s a fantastic appointment to get a manager of that calibre. I think over the last decade, you’d have to go back to Bobby Robson [to find someone] who has won that many honours.”
Benitez has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Magpies, but he has a release clause that would allow him to walk away in the summer if the club are relegated.
But Carragher insists there is no reason for the Toon Army faithful to be worried.
“The fans shouldn’t be concerned, not at all. For any Newcastle fan, forget the next three years, focus on the next 10 games.
“If you’re a fan and Newcastle went down, you wouldn’t want Rafa, you’d want someone that has experience in that league and has success in that league. Rafa won’t want to be there.
“It works perfectly for both parties; if he keeps them up, it’ll be a great appointment over the next three or four years and hopefully he can get Newcastle back up the table I think the next 10 games are all that matters for everyone involved.”