Rafa Benitez leaves Newcastle fans in stitches over blunder in deleted tweet

The Wild West of the Premier League can often be an unforgiving place – and Rafa Benitez found out first-hand how social media takes few prisoners as well.

That's after the former Newcastle chief was caught out in cringeworthy fashion following Newcastle's success in returning to the Champions League on Monday. While a 0-0 draw at home to Leicester wasn't the result Eddie Howe's side sought at St. James' Park, one point was enough to guarantee a top-four Premier League finish.

It marked the end of a 20-year absence from Europe's first-tier tournament, recognising the team's rise up the ranks since being taken over by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) in 2021. Benitez, 63, was the last manager to clinch silverware at the club in 2017, though fan prospects are now way beyond winning the Championship.

READ MORE: Newcastle fans in dreamland as Geordies confirm Champions League football for next season

And the Spaniard inadvertently lassoed himself a share of the spotlight on Monday, albeit not for the reason he was hoping. One misplaced letter was all it took to leave fans wondering what in tarnation had gotten into the managerial veteran, who tweeted: "Congratulations to all involved. Howdy the lads!"

Clearly an attempt to write 'Howay' intended to touch base with his Geordie past, Benitez (or whoever runs his social media) swiftly deleted the post before replacing it with the correct spelling. But TV showrunner Nick Walker was too quick for the former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss as fans revelled in the 'rootin' tootin' typo.

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"Autocorrect has gifted the world something magical," replied a spectator grateful for such a golden error. Another more sympathetic supporter commented: "We have all had the spellchecker duck up a tweet."

One geographical whiz pointed out there is in fact a city called Newcastle in Texas, which is named after its English equivalent. An alternate defence for Benitez might have been to insist his original tweet was intended to honour the outpost in cowboy country all along.

Despite not holding a management position since being sacked from the Everton helm in January 2022, Benitez is still proving great value (accidental or not). It shouldn't be a surprise, either, coming from the man who originated pearls of wisdom like: "Some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar."

The Spaniard's way with words is enough reason to want him back at one of Europe's top clubs. Those fans may well get their wish, too, after Gazzetta dello Sport reported Benitez is the favourite to replace Luciano Spalletti in a return to Serie A champions Napoli this summer.


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