Rafa Benitez is the ideal manager for Newcastle but it is also the perfect club for him.
There will be doubts, there will be concerns, there will probably be tension behind the scenes and possibly even the occasional row with the men in suits who have always frustrated him in football, but Rafa Benitez should stay at Newcastle United because he will not get a better club.
There are bound to be temptations. There might even be offers to lure him away. He wants to compete for silverware, he does not like going into battle against the other stellar managerial names in the Premier League with a knife when they are armed with guns, but he has something he will not enjoy elsewhere.
There is no doubting the magnificent job he has done in his second full season at St James’ Park. The Spaniard has been like superglue, picking up a broken football club, shattered into tiny pieces by the inconsiderate and downright careless nature of owner Mike Ashley and putting it, delicately but perfectly, back together.
He has taken a team that bears a striking resemblance to the one that won promotion from the Championship last season and, with a few shrewd additions – as well as a couple of transfer mistakes – turned them into a team that now looks as though it will secure a top ten finish.
It always bordered on the ignorant to label Newcastle a Championship team playing in the Premier League – which was the habit of certain pundits whenever they suffered a bad result this season – because it ignored the fact most of the squad had played in the top flight before, as well as the capacity of every player to improve, but it is Benitez who has gelled them into a team and coached them on the training pitch.
To really appreciate what Benitez has done, you have to realise that it will be only the third time Newcastle have finished in the top 10 since Ashley bought the club in 2007. They have made under-achievement a habit.
It might not match some of his other achievements, but it has given him just as much satisfaction and it is one of the main reasons he will regret it if he quits. He has players who listen and learn. They are in awe of him just as much as supporters. A young team full of hungry players who want to do the work he asks of them, is not a given elsewhere.
Newcastle are never more dangerous than when they truly are United. When the city is behind its football team it like a juggernaut with a jet engine attached. The momentum can feel unstoppable and that is the power Benitez has harnessed.
It is also why, I believe he will stay on as manager, despite the doubts he has about working for Ashley. Benitez has something unique at St James’ Park, he has the adulation that every manager craves.
It has happened to Newcastle before under other popular managers. Kevin Keegan had it, so did Sir Bobby Robson and now Benitez has fired up the engine. He is a superb manager, but he is also more than that.
He is a unifying presence. He is the standard bearer for the troops to rally around, the General everyone is willing to follow, not just in the stands, but in the hugely influential local media too. Anyone with even the remotest understanding of football must appreciate the job he has done.
Newcastle are a bipolar football club. When things are good, the euphoria and joy is remarkable. Each victory unleashes something special in the city. But when things go badly, when the team is caught in a bad run, the misery quickly turns into anger. The depression is severe.
Benitez handles that better than anyone since Robson. When everyone loses their heads, when they get over-excited, or when they panic and start to fear impending disaster, he stays calm. He is the perfect manager for such an emotional football club, but they also the ideal football club for him. Not everyone needs that sort of reassuring figure at the helm.
When Newcastle suffered an alarming dip in form before Christmas, Benitez kept on telling everyone not to be scared, but more importantly not to turn on the team. The fans listened and responded accordingly.
The bond between team and supporters has not been as strong as this for a long time. That is down to Benitez, but also the players themselves. They are the ones who run that extra mile he asks of them.
Benitez also has something he will not necessarily have at another club because of the nature of management structures in modern football. He has control.
He might not have as much money as he wants, there will always be political battles to fight – something he has tended to do throughout his career - but nobody interferes in the football side of things. He might not get all the players he desires, but neither does he have to take any he does not and it is he who decides if someone is going to be sold.
He cannot believe how slowly the wheels turn in the boardroom, it has caused him stress in the past because targets have been missed.
He has also been misled over the size of the transfer budget, confused by the refusal to listen to him on occasions, especially when it came to signing a new goalkeeper last summer, but these issues can be resolved and there is no question Ashley appreciates the job he has done.
They do not speak, they have not done so for weeks, but neither do they have to when Ashley does not run the club day-to-day. Ashley must keep him and, for all his pig-headedness, his arrogance and his parsimonious nature, it should take relatively little to convince Benitez to stick around.
Newcastle have momentum, Benitez is adored and things can only get better now they have stabilised as a top flight club again.
Newcastle are on the march and Benitez has something priceless, he is a manager who can make mistakes, who can lose a game and still hear his name being chanted in the stands.