Rafa: Waving goodbye to the Toon?

Posted on April 5th, 2019 | 26 Comments |

Rafa Benitez waving.
Rafa: Waving goodbye to the Toon?
Whilst the first half of the season was looking like more ‘doom and gloom’ for the Toon, Rafa Benitez’s ability to (somehow) get Mike Ashley to dip into his back pocket during the transfer window has all but guaranteed another season in the Premier League.

Miguel Almiron became Newcastle’s record signing, signing from Atlanta United for a fee thought to be £21 million. He’s only featured seven times so far in the Premier League but looks set to be a star once he settles into life in England.

Although this particular signing has excited Newcastle fans, Benitez has remained frustrated with the lack of funds during his reign in charge.

At odds of 150/1, Premier League betting suggests it is almost impossible for Newcastle to go down, with Fulham and Huddersfield having already confirmed they will be playing in the Championship next season.

It is fair to say Newcastle have become the modern-day “yo-yo” team when it comes to bouncing up and down between the Premier League and the Championship. Even after splashing £21 million on Almiron, Rafa tried to explain he needs more money if he is to achieve any kind of success with Newcastle.

It is widely being reported that the Spaniard has hired a sports agency to represent him in France. The ex-Liverpool manager appears to have become more and more frustrated with those above him at Newcastle, so is he really seeking a new challenge in Ligue 1?

There are plenty of rumours flying around that Lyon and Marseille may be potential destinations for him come the end of the season.

Benitez’s contract runs out at the end of the season and he has yet to talk openly about a new contract or any discussions he has had with Mike Ashley.

According to L’Equipe, Benitez is eager to try his hand in the French top division and ‘Score Agencies’ have accepted his request for representation, with contracts already having been signed.

Benitez apparently met with the agency back in February in Manchester, accompanied with his lawyer, Richard Green. They have signed him up until 1 September 2019.

Newcastle have been very vocal about their desire to keep Rafa and are believed to have offered the Spaniard a two-year deal. However, his disputes with the hierarchy make it unlikely that he will be hanging around after the season comes to a close in May.

Marseille are currently way off a Champions League spot and may turn to Rafa to help steer them into the competition next season. Lyon, who is currently managed by Bruno Genesio, occupies the last Champions League spot at present, but their hierarchy is said to be underwhelmed with his team’s performances this season.

Lyon’s club president, Jean-Michel Aulas, was fuming with his side’s shock defeat at home to Rennes in the French League Cup, which led to him retracting a proposed new contract for Genesio in the post-match conference.

With only a handful of games left, it is looking likely that Rafa Benitez will head across the English Channel and begin a new venture in France. Mike Ashley has it all to do if he is to keep the Spaniard, who has proven to be a real hit with the Geordies during his reign.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 67 articles on this blog.

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26 Responses

  1. Oh well, another Saturday afternoon made depressing by the Magpies forgetting to score. We did dominate that game pretty much with possession and playing much of the game in their half but once again we didn’t capitalise on it. Maybe Yedlin shouldn’t have made that challenge for the penalty like he did but those things happen, the real problem is that we should have scored two at the other end.

  2. Yedlin, how do you give a game away in the waning minutes of a game dominated by the home side, stupid !

    The guy has pace to spare and is ok as a wing back, but he certainly lacks any basic defensive abilities other than roughing attackers, I say sell him and half of the side, if you want to continue watching EPL football .

  3. Aye Chuck, it was daft but even if it didn’t happen, it would still only be a 0-0 draw and that’s our problem, 31 goals in 33 games, less than a goal per game so it only takes one goal to beat us.

  4. Sorry but I don’t care who supports Newcastle.
    I don’t care who play’s for Newcastle
    I don’t care who manages Newcastle
    But I care that the person that owns it doesn’t

  5. I got a feeling we will lose Benitez if he gets a decent offer, It’s obvious he hadn’t fully understood that Ashley doesn’t care about NUFC and his (Benitez) brave new world image of a whole re-vamped system, with a brand new coaching system, that wasn’t just “jobs for the boys”.

    We all understand that Newcastle and “The Wirral” are not that far apart, of course that’s where his family have a home, the other main attraction for Benitez was the fact he actually likes both the fans and the idea of re-creating the club to a top ten regular spot, if given enough dosh, which will never be the case as long as Ashley owns the club, it ‘s need to him is that of an adjunct to his main business, retailing used the club for advertising and I suppose tax benefits.

    Too bad really it wouldda/couldda worked, but Ashley’s interest is to only avoid relegation, which we still may be involved with before the seasons end.

    And yes I agree that to-days top EPL sides are for the most part too wealthy to compete with, however did Ashley not take twenty million profit from the club, but what about the alternative selling the club for a fair price.

    Unfortunately NUFC has not had anyone apart from SBR and Benitez in the role of top management, something Ashley believes he alone can handle and just look at his success rate, this club needs quality management from everyone, astute coaches, and the others that are necessary to run a modern business.

    Not as some billionaire’s toy.

  6. Just checking out how things are goin with Brexit and end up more confused than ever.
    Now we have a guy (Corbyn) who sat on his ass for two years refusing to either do or say anything, to come up with the answers, he gave little indication as to which way he had intended to go and now that PM May is hanging by a thread, makes his big entry.

    The most positive of the present choices is to just tell the EU, erm sorry ! we made some bad decisions and just want to cancel the whole f***ed up situation and want it to go away, then return to being a dues paying member of the EU once more, I wont mention the alternatives but if the UK is willing to accept the terms of something other than a return to business as an EU member, then they should go and get their heads checked out.

    Being it’s a type of national suicide, what I see as the main problem is what’s called immigration, which is a dog whistle name for racism, hey we have the same shit happening in the US, where the brown (read Hispanic) group are growing rapidly and scare the hell outta the ingrained fly-over population.

    Most folks here are totally confused as to what the hell’s going on with the Brits and rightly so, they don’t have the facts to figure what’s going on so just look a bit bemused when discussing the subject and ask the same questions which are, but why ?

    What do I tell them, cause they are intrinsically racist, if you don’t believe it check out the three hundred years of slavery, where they played a major role, and other atrocities which have been kept a secret, sure the black hole of Calcutta is mentioned but nothing about the mass execution of Indian mutineers, some who were placed in front of field guns and blown to pieces.or the fact there were concentration camps as late as the sixties where the Mau Mau were tortured and killed, but being the British government were in control of the presses never came to light , other than the constant call’s to parliament on the subject by that Labour elected MOP, Liverpools Bessy Braddock.

    So for those in favor of racism, go ahead commit a form of economic suicide, but we don’t want to hear any more about it, it’s your self made problem deal with it.

  7. Nutmag, you do speak, or write in riddles sometimes, but I think I know what you mean.

    Chuckles, you’ve gone off on your anti-British rant again, you can’t seem to hold it back, it just bursts forth like magma from a volcano. Where did it all start?

  8. Worky Simple really, I could care less what happens to Nufc. I don’t watch, listen to or read about them anymore. The actual football that was being played was dull boring survival rubbish. The club I supported died the day Ashley acquired it. The supporters can be bought with a simple yearly five minute statement from Ashley saying that the club is for sale. Even the blogs have lost their vigour variety and input. This one even though it has become very quiet is and always has been the best for some time.
    Chuck There is no solution to Brexit even taking the undemocratic action of calling it off as you suggest This will leave you with the majority that voted out aggrieved that their vote has been disregarded, with some justification.
    A little story from my youth many years ago. Back then a Saturday night out was a few pints and down to the local dancehall. On one such occasion I came out to see a couple of drunks knocking hell out of each other. A small crowd had gathered and at the back stood a policeman. I asked him why he didn’t stop them, he didn’t reply but gave me a look that obviously meant mind your own business. By then one of the brawlers was on his knees and obviously not going to carry on, the other one was barely stood up. It was then the bobby turned to me and said “Now its my turn” he grabbed the two spent fighters and dragged them off.
    Why should Jeremy Corbyn get involved with the Tory induced Brexit and split. Better he lets them dig their hole and doesn’t give the press anything to hit him with. That’s why all they have at the moment is antisemitism and being a Marxist which they dig up when they have nothing else and are desperate.
    Jeremy Corbyn is my Policeman at the back of the crowd.

  9. nutmag

    Yes I understand you were making an analogy between the Cop who stood there and did nothing, and though you may very well condone it, even though it’s contrary to his job description and comparing the cop to Corbyn, is to advocate it’s perfectly ok to refuse to lead, or for that matter to refuse to advocate where one stands on matter’s are both equally wrong.

    I’m simply stating that the same analogy can be used for either side of the argument, look it’s not a decision that the cop has any control over, his is to keep the piece and refuse to let matters deteriorate, it’s not for him to choose, no more than it’s the choice of the shadow PM, to refuse to lead or when involved with possibly the most important decisions the nation has faced in generations
    to take a stand and state it, so that no one is confused, which has never been discussed even at this late stage.

    Instead Corbyn got himself embroiled in a side issue, defending himself from possibly a plot within his own party which wouldda/ couldda, effect his leadership, accusing him of being an anti-simite, , but is the Labour Party not the party of most Jewish voters and registered members, but it appears there is much disagreement within the Party, one being the remaining Blairites vs the old time left-wing of the party, without stirring up more unrest and real leaders, are as rare as hen’s teeth.

    My reasons for advocating a complete reversal and to continue as a regular member of the worlds largest trade block should be obvious to anyone who understands the
    situation, but as usual the citizens of other countries appear to know more and have received more information than those involved.

    Meaning if the result of everything goes to another referenda, do you think the people of the EU would be better informed, doubt it !

    This is a very serious position and should be awarded with a great deal of thought, we understand the original vote was conducted with no information by either side and few could probably tell you why they may have voted to leave, however most probably are none the wiser and could vote
    for a jump into god knows where, which it appears is next in line.

    Then to the dumb-ass policies of possibly the worst ever PM, who thought no doubt she could force through the policies by simply demanding them, a time limited backstop
    etc. which ain’t gonna happen, regardless of how many trips she makes to Brussels the final answer has been there from day one.
    And to advocate any continuity other than making the decision to cancel the whole of Brexit and continue as before, again taking into consideration the positions of NI & Scotland, both who voted substantially to stay and if disappointed will no doubt look to leave the UK.

    As a matter of fact NI by the year 2025, will belong to an United Republic of Ireland and the Unicorn will once again
    be the Scottish symbol of an independent country, and he UK will consist of both England and Wales.

    Who to bully then ?

  10. I can just picture that scene, Nutmag! Incidentally I am just watching a programme on Newcastle history as I write this and the historian is saying that Newcastle was dubbed “the drunkest town in England” way back in the 1830s.

    I understand about Ashley but Fat Freddy was no angel either, I think that lousy bosses were something we had to put up with before Ashley came along. I think we had a good one in the Edwardian era though.

    Chuckles, lighten up a bit, you’re getting apoplectic over Brexit, what is it to you over there in New York? I’m not getting apoplectic about it like you and I live here. .

  11. Worky
    Well perhaps you should be more disappointed and fearful, as at this stage (to call the subject a negotiation would be ridicules ) it’s your future and you must see the future of a disunited UK, and the problems that will bring,

    I mean do you see a customs border post @ Carter Bar in your future ?
    The Scotts have said they would no longer allow nuclear bases in Scotland and hundreds of other issues that will be on the table, a living nightmare and with it goes any respect from the EU, US and any other entities who have to deal with a UK, consisting of only England and Wales,

    I honestly see no valid reason for Brexit, being there was never any reason to believe that the electorate would be stupid enough to vote to leave, obviously I was wrong and if they are this stupid, unfortunately they deserve everything that is coming their way , like attempting to do trade deals under the WTO rules, in an age where trade blocks are more common than not.

    And to act as if this were just another odd British experiment that will eventually be proven to be the right course to have taken, (unfortunately I don’t believe in miracles) , which you don’t consider in anyway earth shaking, well you should, being the repercussions will be enormous.

    But don’t feel like the Lone Ranger, most of the former eastern European countries, are unbelievably becoming
    more fascist by the day, which I just don’t get !
    Yes I suppose we are a bit blind in that respect projecting the future, but to enter the race for the twenty first century the way things are heading, unless the UK totally rejects
    Brexit, will be a nightmare.

    There will be an enormous amount of things that will have to change, certainly the travel arrangements, right of abode, naturalization, banking, currencies, numberless little annoyances which will require every ones attention.

    Perhaps by then you will have set up a system of control that prevents non whites and those others like Romanians or peoples who are generally considered as undesirable to
    enter a UK, which is already close to being multi-racial, I don’t get that either, seems a day late and a dollar short.

    When one thinks of the final years of Queen Victoria and both the power and wealth of an Empire and compare it to a UK, consisting of only Wales and England, it should make people wonder where it all went wrong.
    But go ahead with your Brexit and don’t worry, being things will work out perfectly, yeah sure !


  12. Chuckles, I am not worried about my future because I don’t have a future, not much of one anyway.

    I have mentioned the far right in the East of Europe before in previous discussions we’ve had on here, and at least once in a story on here when the Toon went to play a 2012 pre-season friendly in an East German town called Chemnitzer. I once had an East German correspondent who worked for the Government in Berlin, and she told me about another East German racist town called Usedom, which is famous for nazis and nudism, a strange combination I admit! It was so racist she told me that even her white (but dark haired) German boyfriend got threatening looks there one time on one of their visits because he had been in the Sun and was looking fairly brown at the time! Hence, this far right thing isn’t something which has just erupted out of nowhere. Though Angela Merkel’s offer to take in over a million, mostly Syrian refugees was certainly a huge trigger, the far right politics were already there. At the risk of sounding like a western elitist, when Eastern nations joined the EU, some of their social attitudes to things such as race, homosexuaity etc were still stuck in the 1940s, when Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” divided Eastern and Western Europe. Was the EU so hungry for expansion that it bit off more than it could chew? Or was it a glorious opportunity to teach the East to be more socially inclusive to those who had been stigmatised in the old days?

  13. It’s difficult to say whether the system in place during the cold war, can be used as a major factor in regard to peoples attitudes.
    Having observed and discussed with people from the Balkans, various issues, I find most to be better educated than their opposites’ in the west, one thing that can’t be denied was the fact they were given a broader curriculum
    I was convinced of that while taking to a group of Israeli’s
    in Haifa, who when asked about school systems of the various countries they had been educated in, stated the education in the east was much more thorough and covered more ground than those of the west.

    Well if you still consider the Germans as racist, what about Angela Merkel, an east german say as a comparison to either May or her predecessor now comfortably installed in his gypsy caravan writing his memoirs and attending the odd company board meeting.
    Who as far as we know invited no one from Syria.

    The difference being the Germans have invited Portuguese
    Turks and now Syrians as guest workers, some who are by now second or third generation German citizens.

    While the Brits only invited the Irish to rebuild Britain and those that arrived on ex troop ships following WW2 to drive busses and other low paying jobs and are now attempting to get rid of both they and their offspring.

    the Uganda Asians were fortunate enough to have British passports, but had they not, would no doubt have been refused entry.

    And yes most of us are aware that those Islands off he west coast have been more or less isolated from mainland Europe, however is that a valid excuse in his day and age, for isolation to result in racism.

    It still puzzles me why Immigration is such a prominent part of Brexit and the Irish will no doubt be blamed for not allowing the projected Backstop to have a time limit, my advice to May is to possibly read The Good Friday agreement that ended thirty years of war and harassment
    against the Irish and of which the UK is a major signature too.
    Fact is immigration on whatever level has been a significant factor in making institutions like The NHS work and without many of these workers the country could come to a stand still, the Irish may have to pay a price for Brexit as there is talk about the common travel area and the trade deals between both countries, which will have to be either ratified or renegotiated, Barclays bank has recently changed their headquarters to Dublin, which undoubtedly will be among numerous other changes about to happen.

    However the one thing that prevents the UK from making a positive deal to-day is Immigration, draw your own conclusion’s.


  14. How does a club with only 28% possession manage a win,
    in the EPL ?
    Obviously through using the right tactical approach, which unsurprisingly was their resorting to a well defined and tactical well practiced defensive game combined with a number of fast breakouts, that had Leicester reeling, being their defensive unit were unable to handle the pace of the breakouts, which should have registered more goals and IMO won easily.
    What does this mean to the average fan ?
    The fact it would be a miracle under a different manager, he being so aware and surprisingly enough playing a similar game to their detested ex-manager, though much better drilled.
    Even down to the fact he (Benitez) specifically noted that one midfielder among the opposition, had a tendency to be somewhat easily dispossessed after receiving the ball, to which he targeted, taking advantage of that weakness.
    I mean how more well prepared can a manager be.
    That plus the number of no name transfers, who look like they should be carrying their own lunch boxes to practice, being such a blue collar bunch, but who have shown when integrated to the side, a team that is capable of beating any side in the EPL this is the influence imparted by Rafa and to lose him at this particular time would be stupid mistake on Ashley’s
    It looks fairly good for the club in the sense of retaining membership in the PL, but to have to repeat the same no money and dig around in the bargain basement, for players next season is not a really attractive proposition for the club, so think seriously Ashley, this is a big opportunity, either accept that big check for the club or spend what’s needed for a top ten side.
    to back Benitez to run the club


    how does a

  15. It was a cheap ‘no name’ signing who won us the game though, Chuck. Perez was our man of the match alongside another cheap and cheerful signing, Fabian Schar. Going back to what used to be one of my favourite subjects under Pardew, it really was ‘route one’ football on our side though. Looking beyond the mere possession stat, Leicester made 808 tiki-taka style passes whilst we only made 322. Despite that, Leicester only made 47 long passes where we made 64.

  16. Yes ! there are those that could be considered bottom of the barrel players and there are those who have proven to be exceptional players, to those who are decent but awaiting replacement whenever the opportunity comes along.
    However the miracle is how Rafa. has molded these players into a well drilled side, not unlike the most recent
    game against Leicester where they beat a better side, (certainly one that cost a hell of a lot more than NUFC)
    with only 28% of play, what does that indicate.

    To me it indicates the man has basically performed a miracle, with his knowledge of both each APL club and of
    it’s players strengths and weaknesses and tactical plans.

    I’ts always been my belief that NUFC’s weakness has been a lack of top management, just look at the people
    who were in charge, well actually there was only one. “Ashley”, the others were merely yes men that knew even less about football than Ashley himself.

    And he was/is deathly afraid if he gives anyone the authority to spend more than he believes necessary, it will effect his buy cheap and sell for a profit system, basically still a part of his overall business ethos.

    What I m suggesting is for the two protagonists to agree on a spending limit that cannot be changed without the
    owners permission, letting Rafa spend it as required on the youth system, players, wages etc. and can be renegotiated when the contract ends.

    It could leave Ashley to concentrate on his side of the business and Rafa could do likewise with the club.

    But then what do I know about anything .


  17. Chuck, I don’t think Benitez has “performed miracles,” but he’s done his job. Remember, he is a top manager who’s supposed to be better than the average, and that’s what he has been, a bit better than average under the circumstances. He has done a good job at the back and in the middle over time, we are a tight team who don’t give too many goals away, but the bit that’s missing is the amount of goals and the making of enough good chances overall. He’s had a few seasons now and he really needs to get that sorted out now to say he’s turned the team around properly.

    Yes, you’re probably right about giving him a budget and letting him get on with it.

  18. Well perhaps I give Rafa.more credit than I should, however I consider him at present as being the solution to most of the clubs problems.

    I’m sure he is totally aware of the situation that exists at NUFC with it’s state of the art stadium and the possibilities that he can re-ignite this club, certainly he has the support of the fans who both love the club and are willing to support it, by showing up at both home and away games, however that’s not enough.

    As anyone who has read my blogs should realize, it takes more than dedication and fan support to wring money from our dear owner, who’s interest is purely about making money and uses the club as an advertising board and adjunct to sell his rebranded but cheap sports equipment and possibly as a tax deduction.

    I believe that if the club is to be successful there has to be an agreement between both Rafa. and Ashley in regard to spending, that is if Ashley considers NUFC to be a long time investment.

    Up to now we have had Llambias, who knew about as much as Ashley about football, then we ended up with a hopeless manager who is now out of football as far as we know, and ended up with the chubby guy we found somewhere in the system, who was the person who stepped up when the call went out “NEXT”, yes the guy who probably knows as much as his predecessor Llambias.

    It’s not difficult to figure out who runs the entire program,
    in case you don’t know it’s Ashley.

    That’s it !!!!

    However if he doesn’t realize what he has now, a professional manager with ties to agents and to other continental clubs, who has bought and sold and ended up with a bunch of cheaply bought players, who are as capable of competing with some of the EPL’s better sides.

    It’s possible Rafa could be the best thing that has happened to the club and that an agreement on spending could be the answer to Newcastle’s present position as a
    perennial club dodging relegation each year and who knows may involve young stars who could fulfill Ashley’s dream of continuing as an owner who can boast of buying cheap and selling for a profit, plus have a business adjunct, that can provide free advertising and at the same time advertise to those corners of the earth, where customers for his merchandise exist.

    However I doubt whether Ashley can let go of control, it being obvious to everyone how much of a control freak he is, so all in all we can only look forward to a sale, where a new owner/s can both invest and hopefully support a top
    ten or better EPL side.

    If that occurs, without Ashley considering they may have both one of the best football managerial prospects and general managers in the EPL, who wants to stay, then what can I say ?

  19. Chuck, he did the same as Hughton with roughly the same resources, he won the Championship, got promoted at the first attempt and finished mid-table in the Premier League, Hughton was also mid-table when he was sacked. Hughton didn’t get much of a chance in the Premier League with the Toon but like Benitez, he had his good and bad runs of games after promotion.

    Of course though, one was a new manager stepping up from assistant coach and the other had an illustrious record of winning trophies all over Europe, so naturally, the expectations of one would be higher than the other. Benitez hasn’t sorted out the last piece of the jigsaw yet with the lack of goals, but both have done what they were expected to under the circumstances. I don’t know, maybe all I’m saying is that if Benitez with his top-notch record worked miracles, then Hughton worked even bigger ones being a new manager. Having written that though, our ex-manager at Brighton is in a bit of a relegation dogfight with Cardiff in the last few games of the season.

    I notice that the ‘Antisemitism’ accusations are really starting to step up over there now as well against the Democratic Party. Right now they seem to be focusing on Muslim Congresswomen such as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, but it will probably evolve and spread the same way it has over here so that no Democrat will be safe.

  20. Worky

    Well we are aware of the fact, both managers for whatever reasons, appear to concentrate on avoiding goals, in other words they are defensive minded.

    In Hughton’s case he himself was a defender when he played and was a defensive coach for a number of years with Spurs, so there’s no surprises there.

    On the other hand I don’t believe Rafa. deliberately chose to be predominately a defensive coach, rather the fact he had little choice, being he had neither the players nor the funding to do otherwise, as I believe at the time Ashley was in an asset stripping mode, preparing to sell (at least that’s how it appeared to me) in which case you could say he Rafa. was in a worse situation than Hughton, who retained most of his premier league players in the second tier.

    And yes I believe they are both decent managers, only held back by a lack of funding, which is generally the case, as money talks and bullshit walks, seven days a week, that’s one thing Ashley is well aware of
    However there are various tiers of funding by which one can tell this, simply by glancing at the league positions and I believe with the right management and co-operation of top level management and owner, which includes a general knowledge of agents and an understanding of how the system works in regard to player recruitment and most essential having like Rafa. a manager with a keen understanding of the tactical nature of the game, I mean how does one manage to win away against a decent side like Leicester by only having possession of the ball for 28 minutes in the entire game ?

    No I believe Rafa to be an exceptional manager and to find another manager to repeat what he has done with NUFC as well as he has, with the resources he has, to me is also exceptional.

    I doubt Rafa will sign another contract, certainly he won’t without certain guarantees and we are all aware or should be what a control freaks both are, on the other hand I think it would be in the interest of all to reach some kind of agreement, being to have Ashley in charge of running any football club would be considered ridicules, but that’s what we have had since his arrival, proven by two relegations.

    Well lets see what happens, who knows ?

    Certainly the club cannot go on as a perennial loser , continuously fighting relegation each year that’s a step too far for the fans, who like any others, will drop off and put the club into further decline, as we both have stated at various times you cant believe in miracles, but there has to be changes made and if Ashley remains unwilling to attempt something Rafa may want to come up with, for more of the same, hopefully the sale of the club to someone who cares will take place.

  21. Chuck, I analysed all the factors in our two relegations (you know I like that sort of thing) and even allowing for more money in football and opponents generally spending more on players, Hughton and Benitez had pretty much the same to deal with. I think Benitez is an excellent manager, but “miracle” would have meant saving us in the last few games of the last relegation season, staying in the Premier League and by now, worrying about European qualification rather than relegation.

  22. Worky

    Interesting but surely you jest / exaggerate, about qualifying for Europe and by the time he (Rafa.) arrived relegation was obvious, regardless of who was in charge.

    And yes I read some interesting gossip concerning transfers, from various exerts from English newspapers, by and about who is going to buy who, where prices are being touted higher than that being asked for Newcastle’s entire club, (500M. being offered to the Man.U . gaffer)
    unfortunately that does not bode well, for most EPL clubs.

    Being money talks etc. and face it there’s a new set of owners, some we may be unaware of how wealthy they actually are that is, some begin with buying a Championship League side (being cheaper) and hiring a decent manager and then giving him the money to do whatever is necessary, Leicester and Wolves for instance, now Leeds appears to be ready to join them in the PL.

    Which leaves me a bit confused, being had we been relegated this season, there would no doubt have been more chance of a sale I believe, but the down side is we would have lost Rafa. who is or was a big reason for buying NUFC, along with the infrastructure of the club, it being state of the art, with no investment required, two positives.

    Also the fact he (as far as we know) is not talking to other clubs and has shown an interest in a number of young EPL players from the more recent clubs added to the top league in England, apparently who meet Ashley’s standards, cheap and young.

    Plus I get the impression NUFC, has become a big factor in his projected future, a side built on whatever he see’s in certain players, not unlike the no name guys he has already brought to the club, what I mean is a side lacking in big names but well coached and tough as nails to play against, just ask any Liverpool fan, who claim their run in to the championship could possibly be ended by their game against the Toon.

    Yes like days of old, it would be nice to see a club emerge from the tunnel with an equal chance of winning against all comer’s, from whatever end of the league and I doubt if there is a better candidate to manage that role than Rafa. Benitez.

    And by the way I believe he thinks the very same thing and I believe Ashley also understands the situation, so I will go with the hope that there’s more than just the end of this season in Rafa’s stay on Tyne-side.

  23. You’re being uncharacteristically optimistic there, Chuck, though tempered with a sense of realism too. I think with experience, a lot of fans would just expect Ashley to fuck everything up on the football side, offer Benitez a really crap deal, sell the best players or whatever, but still end up making a few quid out of it and getting a load of free publicity for his company nonetheless.

  24. Worky

    Perhaps I may sound optimistic, on the other hand I still believe the club has the ability to become at least a regular top ten side, that is with the right top level management.
    Face it the major reason the club has had a less than spectacular decade is due to all decisions made by a guy who only knows how the rag trade works.

    He has hired people he has found working in casinos, disreputable ex players and managers who were so out of date but compliant, it beggars belief that anyone could be so gullible and it’s a wonder we are once again in the top league, but struggling.

    So when we eventually hire one of the worlds best managers, who it appears is happy to be on Tyne-side and also appears to have a plan to remake NUFC into a successful side and also appears willing to operate on a limited budget, I say grab him and give him a contract, which i believe the majority of fans would like to see.

    I mean is it about time that our dear owner realized that football like any other business requires people that both understand the business and can give positive input rather than “he” making decisions, being no one ever believed that Llambias was ever more than a yes man and did as he was told, or that Pardew was a good manager, i mean how long does it take to see the overall picture.

    Ashley just does not understand how to run a football club and never will, my advice is to stick with the business you know and have proven so and let those who have had success in football run the club, it’s not brain surgery.

    Plus the fans know this already, yet keep filling the stadium, it’s their team and their city and it’s about time that Ashley realized it being without their contributions to the club there wouldn’t be a NUFC.

    Sure our general manager, that’s the guy that stepped up when the call came NEXT ! just gave a positive statement in regard to the financial situation of the club, yes it looks very positive, however without Benitez where would we be and more to the point where would Ashley be, yes heading for another term in the second tier.

    Look we all understand the fact that, Ashley is both a tight wad and a control freak, not trusting anyone, or should do following the last ten years in which case he understands that he can not compete with Gulf and Russian oligarchs, but he’s not dumb and should realize that he has the opportunity to have a fairly successful side, which if he wants to impress and sell to the Asian market, a decent side as opposed to a club considered a loser would no doubt be more impressive.

    As of right now he is also in a good position to sell if needed, without losing a dime, as he has already stripped the club of certain assets, mainly players and can get out free and clear with a decent profit.

    So Mr Ashley , make up your mind, the balls in your court.

  25. Aye Chuck, you can persuade enough mugs that they’re getting a better deal than they really are for some tat in a shop, Ashley is great at that, but you can’t do that in football where over the long term, quality has to be real as it is measured in terms of goals, points, league positions, trophies and so on…

    As for relegation, though highly unlikely now, it is still not a mathematical impossibility. If Cardiff win all of their last 4 games and Newcastle lost their last 4, Cardiff would have 43 points and Newcastle would still have only 38; even if Cardiff only won 3 of their last 4, they would still have 40 points, so the fat lady isn’t singing quite yet.

  26. Worky

    I guess I owe Perez an apology, for bad mouthing him recently, to-day his Hat Trick possibly caused NUFC’s
    future to take a new turn, I understand that the mathematical numbers don’t verify that but one can assume that they will add at least another three pointer before the season end’s.

    Look I really would like to keep Benitez at the club and i’m sure he could in fact become a moneymaker for Ashley, both for NUFC and his other business (moving tat) in the Asian market, and I’m sure he understands the idea that one has to spend money in order to make money.

    I believe this is Ashley’s opportunity to take advantage of having a possible top eight side, the best of the so called rest, despite the serious amounts of dosh being tossed around by EPL sides.

    And on a comparative shoestring in comparison with the top clubs, I believe I mentioned that Man. U. management are being offered somewhere in the region of between $6oom & $7oom, as a transfer war chest, I mean how does one compete on that level, it’s much more than the amount being quoted for the entire Newcastle franchise.

    I guess the Glazier family understand that those who spend the most also gain the most.

    And to go looking for a new manager at this stage would be stupid and probably would set the club back, with another relegated next season, being no manager I know of either would or could do what Rafa has done with his no name , no money spent on side.

    We are all aware how capable he is in his buying and selling, a tactical genius, and it’s time we saw someone who actually came through the club youth system development of our youth system having a promising young midfielder in Longstaff and of course we spent little, actually making a profit for him, this season.

    In which case it’s time to make a change with a cap on certain expense’s but to ensure the club can not only survive in the EPL, but also compete, I mean where else can he find someone to take care of the everyday running of NUFC and concentrate on making money both from TV rights and possibly from his Tat Empire introduction in Asia.

    Being i’m sure the Chinese and other Asians are not anxious to see Newcastle show up in the summer as a
    Relegation dodging side, but would easily accept most top eight clubs and possibly support the side.

    What makes Me think that?, certainly NUFC gained a lot of non Newcastle fans , during the Keegan years and were voted as every-ones favorite second choice side, so perhaps if Rafa get’s another decent contract and hands most of the daily operation over, he could concentrate on becoming as wealthy as some of the present oligarchic figures presently owning a number of the better clubs in the league.

    Actually I care little about Sports Direct, but as long as Ashley owns NUFC, they have to be considered as part of
    the same organization.