The Newcastle United Blog

News and Commentary On Newcastle United By Ed Harrison, A Proud Exiled Geordie And Lifelong Fan

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Banner created by Reilly - one of our readers
Howay The Lads!!

Benitez Asked If He Would Stay On If Newcastle Relegated

8:34 am, Sunday, March 20th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

Rafa Benitez seems to have big plans for Newcastle if he can keep us in the Premier League and it was kind of good news today that he speaks regularly with both Lee Charnley and Graham Carr.

They could already be planning which players could come in this summer.

It may be premature to talk too much about that until we know for certain which league we will be playing in, although we must say that Benitez seems certain he can save Newcastle this season, but to do that we need to start putting a string of wins together.

rafa benitez smiling st james

Rafa Benitez arriving at St. James’ Park

And planning must go ahead now for the summer transfer window – that’s also very true.

Benitez came to Newcastle because of the club’s massive potential, but he has already made clear he only wants to concentrate on saving the club from relegation and that’s his major priority now.

Rafa was asked if he had changed his opinion on Newcastle since he first arrived at the club a short nine days ago:

“No I have the same idea – I decided to come because I knew how big this clubs was; the fans, the stadium, everything.” “You can see that it’s a sleeping giant.”

“Then you think maybe with your experience, and talking with everyone at the club, I can see that if we stay up, we can achieve things because the potential is here.”

Rafa was then asked rather pointedly if he would consider staying at the club even if we took the drop down to the Championship in May.

This is what he said:

“No I haven’t thought that far ahead – I think at the moment my job is to give players confidence, to win games, and to stay in the Premier League,” 

“I think that we can do it; still I think that we can do it.”

“Obviously if we win this game against Sunderland it will be easier for everyone because it will give them more confidence and help them to work hard and do really well.

“So then we will have more confidence and believe that we can do it in these games and the next games, because we were a bit unlucky to play against Leicester, Sunderland and Norwich too soon  as if we had more time maybe it would be easier.”

It looks like he may not have ruled out staying on if the disaster scenario happens, but Rafa’s right to only concentrate on keeping Newcastle up and of course he’s also on at least a £2M bonus to do that – we shouldn’t forget about that.

You don’t want to think too much or give too much attention to the negatives – like going down – and certainly not to the players.

The goal is to stay up and start putting those wins together, hopefully starting today against Sunderland.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Prayer · Premier League · Press

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ShirebrookToon // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Be nice if we thrashed em 8-0 just like we did Sheffield weds in Bobby robsons first home game.

  • 2 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    I wonder if the “if we had more time” statement is Rafa saying he should have been brought in earlier. I know we as fans think he should have.

  • 3 anthc // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    I don’t think I expect to win but rather we need to win. This will be a tough game no doubt about it. I’ve watched sunderland on tv a few times and they are organised, willing to fight. Saying that, they’ve also been sh*te too. We need to get at them from the off and get an early goal as the longer it’s goes on all square the more dangerous they will be become.
    We’ve saved them the last three seasons so let’s send them down this season.
    Butterflies already and I’m not even at the pub yet!

  • 4 G // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    Shirebrook, I would settle for 5 goals so I can walk round work shouting ‘what time is it?’ to all the mackems fans.

  • 5 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    Someone said yesterday Optimistic Prime I think, that Shearer was seen going into SJP, and I noticed he was not on MOTD.

    So maybe Shearer has come in to sort out the strikers.

    Thoughts anyone?

  • 6 fresh sarnie // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:51 AM

    Just wanting to know if it’s just me but does anyone else get ad pop ups that take you off site? If so is there a way to stop them?
    On a more important topic, HOWAY TOON!! nothing less than a win will do for me today, can see wijnaldum getting a couple

  • 7 G // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:53 AM

    Fresh sarnie, try using a different browser. Chrome or Firefox, along with adblock addon.

  • 8 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    fresh sarnie

    I use Chrome with adblock plus and Ghostery (to block trackers) and my browser loads really fast.

  • 9 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    Well,i suppose that isn’t a “NO” so hopefully it means he hasn’t ruled out staying, even if we do drop. Lets just hope for a few wins and not have to worry about it.

  • 10 ShirebrookToon // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    Shearer coaching mitrovic…… Yes please

  • 11 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    Do you really think Shearer has charmed his way into the back rooms of nufc? 🙂

  • 12 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    I thought Lee looked a bit peaky back there. A bit thin. He needs a sandwich.

  • 13 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:13 AM


    I don’t know on Shearer, but he was seen there yesterday, and was not on MOTD, It may be putting two and tow together and getting five, but I just wonder if Benitez has brought him in to motivate Mitrovic who will all know wants to be like his hero.

    It could be a good move by Benitez (if true) and we could see Mitrovic looking more like a striker and less like a big holding player up front.

  • 14 one fine day // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    4 hours til we can get at them .
    1230am kick off here in aus.
    Don’t care how it happens as long as we get three points .
    #viva Rafa
    # hwtf

  • 15 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:23 AM

    Firebug yes it would be good. It would have been great a few months ago. What is it with these idiots?

  • 16 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Getting the sofa positioned so I can get a decent lookout from behind it this afternoon. Dreading it. Will still be dreading it if we are winning 2-0 with 20 minutes to go.

  • 17 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    The hippopotamus headed numbskull will set up his neanderthals to bully and dig in with defoe and the odious boringini lurking for scraps.

  • 18 Tsunki // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:28 AM

    Quiet morning on the blog. Jeff bulling up on his insults and getting a page of hyperlinks together for this afternoon no doubt. The rest of us getting our breakfast and observing derby rituals like normal folk.

  • 19 Munster Mag // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Maybe shearer is going to the game? Im all stressed about the game and fear a 2-2 draw. They have about 5 decent players and one of them is a lethal striker. Late nite last nite and crap sleep. Mildly hungover and quite worried. I might go to mass and pray for the Mags.

  • 20 martoon // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    Tuff – this is my last word on the subject. I don’t consider myself part of the blog police whereas you seem to be the chief constable. Yet when you fell foul of your own rules with a sick post instead of living up to your name and manning up and apologise and then move on you pathetically try and deflect attention on to Jib claiming sand dancer is a racist slur. You then spend days trying to prove your point – absolutely pathetic!
    Now I’m going to move on and concentrate on the derby.

  • 21 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:33 AM


    Aye it’s maybe the calm before the storm. It will be tough today but victory will be ours, the 52000 fans will need to be full on for 90 odd minutes, as they have the ability to give our lads a lift and create a hostile atmosphere for the makems.

    Oh and lock up you daughters while the makems are in Toon, and as the cheating Defoe is with them lock up your wives too.

  • 22 Viduka // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    I’ve got mobdro but I’ve got no idea what channel to select. I’m in oz any help?

  • 23 Munster Mag // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Tsunki i really do hate the hippo. He’s actually a witty character on panels etc but i hate the sod

  • 24 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    I posted a link yesterday regarding Mitrovic receiving extra training from a company called superior striker.

    It’s run by some ex footballer and based in Scotland (I think)

    Can’t remember the specifics but they help on and off the pitch.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Shearer was helping too. Again, too little too late I fear.

  • 25 Munster Mag // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    Average where did u hear that?

  • 26 Viduka // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    I’m also stupid

  • 27 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM


    Sky sports one in the sports section.

    Sometimes the links for it go down/lag quite bad so I’d recommend that once your in the sports section actually typing in sky sports one and it’ll have all the available links to that channel.

    This will save you time searching for others if a specific link you’ve chosen plays up.

    Sometimes if you scroll down you can find NBCSN which is the American version. Again if it’s their I’d recommend searching that too for more links.

  • 28 Munster Mag // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    Odd question but are there any makems on geordie shore? Also the Durham family on gogglebox…are they makems….i heard durham is more makem than geordie?

  • 29 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:40 AM

    I’ll try to find the link munster

  • 30 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:42 AM


    Actually I’m not sure whether your mobdro would have the same content as a UK one. If it hasn’t I’m not clued up on what to search for or what aussie channels show footy mate.

  • 31 Viduka // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:43 AM

    Cheers mate!

  • 32 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    I have been using Ace player with links from the sopcast channel list, and have had few if any problems.

    Just putting it out there as an alternative.

    I have used mobi with robocop, but it’s a bit of a bugger sometimes, so I reverted back to Ace Player.

  • 33 Viduka // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:45 AM

    Nah should work, it doesn’t have any Aussie channels.

  • 34 Black and white armpit // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    Durham Is about 50/50

  • 35 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:49 AM


    March 19, 2016
    Superior striker training.

    Let’s hope it helps although I don’t think it’s just him but a combination of things like not enough support from midfield and always having his back to goal when he does receive it.

    Wish they had a defensive one lol

  • 36 lesh // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:51 AM

    Whilst Rafa hasn’t ruled out staying if we’re relegated, he hasn’t ruled it in. His response as quoted says nothing about anything other than he sees himself staying if we’re in the Prem.

    Whether he stays or not post-relegation would depend on whether or not Ashley assures Rafa that he really is intent on great things for the Club.

  • 37 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:51 AM


    It shows sky sports channels though?

  • 38 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    Just out of curiosity like lol.

  • 39 lesh // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:53 AM


    It’s because Rsfa should have been brought in earlier that Charnley and Carr should be replaced for next season.

  • 40 Viduka // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Yeah mate, just sussed it out,sky is there and a heap of American channels. Thanx again

  • 41 PK-Norway // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:56 AM

    I know it’s fun if leichester won the league but yesterday huth should have been sent off and it was a pen for us against them. So much luck or are the ref secretly hoping for them winning too..

  • 42 lesh // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:57 AM


    If Shearer was at SJP, he’ll have been in to claim his seat in the Beeb’s commentary positions

  • 43 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM

    Squeaky bum time. Had a horrid nights sleep last night. Didn’t get to sleep for ages aswell.

    When I did eventually manage to drift off, the wife came in bladdered and woke me up so that’s not helped either.

    We desperately need a win but I’ve got this horrible feeling that because the games so crucial they’ll be up for it more and hippo heed will relish besting us and inevitably seal our fate.

    Just hope rafa has pressed the importance of this game upon the players, not just for bragging rights, local pride but for the survival of this once great club, that’s how pivotal I feel this match is.

    Black n white army!

    Hwtl Hwtf

  • 44 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM


    No worries mate.

  • 45 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:02 AM


    I agree that Charnley and Carr should be gone, They are the epitome of diabolical.

    On Shearer, maybe he was just booking his seat, but I would think all that is done well in advance and by phone.

    It may just be wishful thinking like, but there could be a hundred reason why he was there.

  • 46 beermonkey // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:05 AM


    i was the one that got bladdered to help me sleep
    it did the job

    got me lucky shirt and pants on

  • 47 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Reading the blog this morning, it seems a lot of fans lost sleep or had a restless night, myself included, I eventually got back up at 5 am.

    I think that expectations have never been so high for us, I just hope like Average, that Rafa has instilled some of this hope and desire into the players.


  • 48 Average_Contents // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:12 AM


    I used to wear my shirt and a scarf even at home but the performances in recent derbies have kinda sucked that from me.

    Used to put one on my lad too and sit and watch it with him but got too angry when the inevitable happened so don’t subject him to it anymore, poor mite.

    The wife usually buggers off upstairs when it’s on but she’s up their already today because her heads fell off lol.

  • 49 beermonkey // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:23 AM


    given the way we have played over the last few years i have nothing toon related that could be considered lucky

    so i have on my golf top and and lucky pants i always play well with them on so lets they can find the net like i find the hole
    (i am a poor golfer )

  • 50 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Average, I saw a programme or it was featured on a programme about the Superior Striker guy, and I mentioned it on here when I saw it to see whether anyone else had.

    He used to play in Scotland and MLS I think it was. He takes the striker for 1-1 coaching. He uses video analysis to correct flaws in their technique, movement and certain runs to open up better chances. They do drills and they both analyse the footage to look for improvements.

    The programme featured a certain Berahino who uses him. They showed the stats of some of his clients before and after the 1-1 coaching. I thought it looked a very good step in the right direction when I saw it, so if you’re saying Mitro is now using him, then I’m really pleased.

  • 51 firebug666 // Mar 20, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    Lee Ryder ?@lee_ryder 49s49 seconds ago
    Benitez clear and simple in programme notes: “We want, and need, to be more clinical in one area and better at the other end” #nufc

  • 52 Bobbybee // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Just getting ready for the short drive into toon and can’t wait for this one. Having to wear a stupid brace for my back and go in the chair, but worth the effort. Confident of three points with Mbemba coming back into shore the defence up – he’ll keep the poison dwarf quiet. If these players click we can give the mackems nightmares for the run in and send a message out to the rest – this ain’t done yet! Just to keep Rafa at the club should be enough to inspire the players – when will they get this chance again? The atmosphere will be unbelievable today – much better than it would have been – and the scum will crumble. 3-0 will do nicely, but i’ll take any win. Howay the lads!!!!!

  • 53 optimistic prime // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away but I wish it was 1600 and I knew the result.

    My arse is twitching so much it’s sending morse code, nervous excited and tense.
    I used to love derby day, now I worry if I’m going to have a heart attack or burst a blood vessel.


    I’m pretty sure it was him

  • 54 Laurent Robert 32 // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Another little weapon we have is the Shelvey’s mid/long shot. It all helps.

  • 55 Blackley and Brownlie // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    We’re worse this season than last season when it went down to the last day. I think we’ll be very lucky to be in it at the same stage this season. We might well be down and out in a few hours. We deserve to be, given the fact that this lot have beaten us six bloody times on the trot. That is rank bad management of the club. Charnley and Carr have wreaked too much havoc. But, even if we win today, I can only see it being a false dawn. I’m going today to give 100% support and hope to be surprised.

  • 56 fresh sarnie // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    In hospital for a while and had my dad bring a radio in but can’t get bbc Newcastle. Does anybody know any apps on the iPhone that would let me listen or watch the match?

  • 57 Jib // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    I take it y0u are a CP supporter.
    A few on here noticed last week when we played Leicester that
    a. Refs give them free kicks very easily
    b. Huth and Fuchs get away with blue murder in and around the box.

    Morgan’s handball was never going to be given.

    Refs probaly think it’s a good thing breaking the top teams monopoly but it hurts when you play Leicester.

  • 58 jimmysmith // Mar 20, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    The game will doubtless be its’ usual mess, and our boys don’t much like it up ’em. But the Mackems are essentially hopeless, and we can actually be quite good on our day. Better than them anyway, but this is a big test, and let’s be honest, were aren’t right are we, something is very much awry, and its likely even Rafa will struggle to sort it out, especially over 9 short games. We need some luck, starting right now. HWTL. I’ll be watching from a low dive here in Bangkok, and have literally spent the day counting down the minutes.

  • 59 ashleysmate // Mar 20, 2016 at 5:18 PM

    Hope you enjoyed the game…. Shame our team can’t show the same amount of determination as you

  • 60 ashleysmate // Mar 20, 2016 at 5:23 PM

    Sorry….this was a reply to the very brave Bobbybee

previous post: Benitez Gives Surprising Update On Charnley And Carr

next post: Townsend, Mbemba And Lascelles All Start