As he emerges to be the supporters’ favourite, could we really expect Benitez? 

One of the questions asked by many outside Newcastle is why would Benitez choose to come here, after all, he has achieved almost everything in the club game. On a supra national level, he boasts the Champions League, Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and even the FIFA Club World Cup. 

At national level, he has won league titles in Spain, cup competitions in Spain and Italy. He has proven himself to be among the best of his generation. Surely he could do better than a club that has only won the UEFA Cup predecessor since 1955 and an Inter Toto Cup since 1969? 

From outside, it does not seem to take much to work out the sort of character that Benitez is. He has been a huge success but retains a degree of modesty with it. He has managed to find systems that work, being creative in the process. 

Although lacking the bluster of a Mourinho, he is a man who has an obvious passion for his chosen career. His single mindedness translates into efforts on the field of play, not to his own self gratification. 

One way to sum up Benitez is as a perfectionist, a man who always seeks to improve. Life is full of challenges to be overcome and, after all, what could be a bigger challenge than taking on Newcastle United? 

Of the leagues around Europe, the most high profile ad the greatest quality can be found in 4, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Premier League. Benitez has already managed in 3 of those and he has yet to learn German. 

Of those quality leagues, the highest profile and most competitive is surely the Premier League. 

He has also managed some of the top clubs, Real, Napoli, Inter and we have to reluctantly admit, Chelsea and Liverpool. There are a couple of remaining challenges, the Premier League title and reawakening a sleeping giant. 

From outside, what he might see at Newcastle is a club that has funds to invest and a talent base that is ripe for development. Let us not forget that we already have World Cup players in the squad, Janmaat, Sissoko, Tiote, Krul and yes, Coloccini. 

There is a talented winger, just as he recruited Sterling, he would already have Townsend. There is already one of his protégés at the club, Jonjo Shelvey who he signed as a 16 year old for Liverpool and has the potential to become Tyneside’s answer to Gerrard. 

Looking at the up and coming players, he must surely be attracted to a player we signed from one of his other former clubs, Tenerife. Like Fernando Torres, Perez is fleet of foot. Remember that under Benitez at Liverpool, Torres managed 56 league goals in 79 games.

He even shares a background of
Valencia with Ian Cathro. He has not been averse to working with English coaches. 

Over his whole career, even including his early days his goals against column averages significantly less than a goal per game. Once again, he has the challenge of organising a ragged defence. 

There are of course other bonuses, over and above a challenge. As a part of the Premier League, the riches are almost untold as compared with all but the top teams in Europe. He can command a high salary which Newcastle as one of the top 20 rich clubs can afford to pay. He can also demand a budget. 

There is one more element which no doubts appeals, that of appreciation. He has chosen to live in England, surrounded by the supporters of Liverpool, known for their passion. 

Having been involved with the English game for much of his career, he will certainly know of the passion that exists on Tyneside. He will know of the enduring love that supporters have for Keegan, Sir Bobby, even the likes of Hughton, not to say the players who have adoration for several players.

He has insight into what it means to be a partial success on Tyneside and surely knows that if he can revive this sleeping giant, he will have a unique place in football history. Where else would he find 52,000 supporters inside the ground with yet more outside after so long without success? 

There are potential barriers. Ashley is not known for paying his managers well. The club structure is in need of reform. 

For once, there is an opportunity to push the boat out for a manager capable of generating far more income than he will ever cost. For once there is a chance for Ashley to dream of delivering a manager who can produce success as well as generating a more positive image for his flagship business. 

There is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a win/win situation all around. For once, there is a compromise surely too great for even Ashley to turn down.

The perfectionist needs the ultimate challenge. He is worth the investment.