Newcastle fans think Benitez is manager of the year

Newcastle fans think Rafael Benitez should be in contention to win Premier League manager of the year, after the Spaniard guided them clear of relegation trouble in March.

When Rafa Benitez agreed to take over at Newcastle he was an instant hit with fans. When he stayed with the club through relegation, that admiration went up a notch, and when he guided them back to the top tier of English football at the first attempt, he earned legendary status in his first full season at the club.

Until March, things were looking pretty scary for Newcastle fans though. The Magpies were sitting dangerously close to the relegation zone, and had made little splash in the January transfer window.

Three masterful home displays have changed the fortunes on Tyneside since then, and the particularly important wins over Southampton and Huddersfield have moved the Magpies into 12th, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Newcastle spent less than both of the other promoted teams last summer, and fans are calling for Benitez to get more national recognition.

In the minds of many supporters, the club would be in a similar state to West Brom without Rafa, considering the resources and quality of the squad at his disposal.

Some of the best Twitter reactions can be found below…