Rafa Benitez is quickly becoming an icon at Newcastle, but the Spanish manager's recent criticism of the club's transfer policy could have adverse effects, according to one of his former players.
Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher says he believes that the negativity coming from his former boss is rubbing off on the entire club and hurting the confidence of the players.
Benitez took the Toon right back up to the Premier League, following their relegation last year, but he's so far failed to oversee any wins in the club's first two games of the season, watching them lose 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in their opener and 1-0 to Huddersfield on Sunday.
“Rafa Benitez is a God really to Newcastle fans," Carragher said on Sky Sports Monday Night Football this week (H/T Chronicle Live). "They’re writing books about him, the way he brought them up, he’s integrated himself into the city with his work.
“But his negativity, I think, is rubbing off on the whole club. The supporters, all they’re chanting for is Rafa Benitez, there’s no players, so you can see how they feel about him but there’s got to be more of an upbeat mood.
“What he’s basically saying is the players he’s got aren’t good enough but 80-90 per cent of that squad, those are who you are going to need to keep you up.
“You need to somehow lift them as well, it’s far too negative and it has to change.”
Newcastle are set to face West Ham at St James' Park in their third match of the new campaign, and Benitez will be hoping to see his side get off the mark with goals and a win. But at the moment, he's got to do with what he's got.