Rafa Benitez Confirmed As Newcastle Manager

Rafa BenitezNewcastle United have announced the appointment of Rafa Benitez as the Club’s new manager.

According to nufc.co.uk, Benitez joins United on an initial three-year deal.

The Club also confirmed the appointment of Fabio Pecchia, Francisco de Míguel Moreno, Antonio Gómez Pérez, who will join Ian Cathro and Simon Smith to form Benitez’s coaching team.

Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black will part company with the club with immediate effect.

Speaking of his appointment, Rafa Benitez said, “I have the pleasure to confirm I have committed to a legendary English club, with the massive challenge of remaining part of the Premier League.

“It will be a challenge not just for me and my staff but for the players, the Club and the fans.

“All of us must push together in the same direction and with the same target in mind. This is the reason why I’m going to ask for your total support to successfully complete this task.

“Personally, it means my return to the Premier League, closer to my home and my family. I can’t be happier.

The club’s Managing Director, Lee Charnley said, “I am very pleased to welcome Rafa Benitez to the club. In Rafa we have, without doubt, secured the services of one of Europe’s top managers.

“He has managed some of the most successful teams at the very highest level of the game and we are proud to now have him as our manager.

“Our sole focus now is to give our full support to Rafa, his coaching team and the players in order to secure our status in the Premier League.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Paul Simpson, Alessandro Schoenmaker and Steve Black for their service to the Club.”

Newcastle United had earlier announced that head coach, Steve McClaren, has left the club with immediate effect.

The 54-year-old, who was appointed at St James’ Park in June 2015, won six of 28 Barclays Premier League matches with the Magpies and leaves them placed 19th in the table, one point off safety.

Newcastle have won one of their last six league fixtures, with McClaren’s last match being the 3-1 home defeat at the hands of AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
“Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United,”

Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley told the club website. “He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.

“We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.”

Aston Villa Part Ways with Manager Paul Lambert

villaAston Villa’s Paul Lambert has emerged the fifth manager to depart in this current Premier League season, after Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace), Alan Irvine (West Bromwich Albion), Alan Pardew (Newcastle United) and Harry Redknapp (Queens Park Rangers).

According to a statement from Aston Villa, Lambert was shown the way out of the club after a run of ten winless games took them into the English Premier League relegation zone.

The forty-five year old took over at Villa Park in 2012 and led the Midlands club to 15th-place finishes in his first two seasons, but the former Scotland midfielder had come under pressure from fans following a poor run of recent form.

Villa’s 2-0 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday night was the last straw for the club’s board. The defeat saw them slip into the relegation zone for the first time this season – they were third from bottom ahead of Wednesday night’s Premier League fixtures.

A lack of goals has been Villa’s primary problem all season – they have managed just 12 in 25 league matches and have not won in 10 games.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Aston Villa Football Club has parted company  with manager Paul Lambert. First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.

“The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future.

“The club will announce a new manager in due course. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”

Many of Villa’s travelling fans at Hull made it clear they wanted Lambert to be sacked.
After Tuesday’s defeat Lambert remained in defiant mood, saying: “I was aware of it (fan unrest) months ago. I just try to do my best.

“We have a massive fanbase behind us, and they want to see the team doing well. It was a disappointing result.
“We are in a fight. I have said it to the lads in the dressing room. They know it. There is still a lot of football to be played. We just have to go out to win the next game.”

Lambert replaced Alex McLeish in June 2012 after two years with Norwich City. He signed a new contract extension in September last year, shortly after a 1-0 win over Liverpool took them to second place in the table. They won three of their opening four matches of the season, drawing the other.

But Villa’s season soon collapsed – they have won just two of their last 21 games, including a dismal run of 659 minutes without a Premier League goal which ended in a defeat to Chelsea earlier this month.
Nevertheless Villa chiefs showed every sign of resisting the growing unrest among Villa fans and keeping faith in the Scot despite their plunge into the relegation zone.

Villa have been knocked out of the League Cup by third-tier Leyton Orient, but have reached the fifth round of the FA Cup.