Benitez Makes More Changes At Newcastle

Rafa Benitez seems to have been given a wide berth at Newcastle to come in and do whatever it takes to keep Newcastle in the Premier League this season and then if he does that and stays on board on Tyneside he will be given big money to spend in the summer transfer window to bring in new players.

He will also be allowed to finally get rid of those players who have been at the club for too long and are not the class we need at the club and the money he gets from those could also be used to bring in new players.

And remember we will be having about £80M coming into the Newcastle coffers in May and if we are still in the Premier League at that time that amount could rise to about £140M for next season,  so there is money to spend in the summer.

Rafa-Benitezs-first-Newcastle-United-training-session (1)

Rafa Benitez at the Benton training grounds

The news today from Ashley is that there is nothing currently in the Newcastle bank and the Board seem to have spent it all on new players.

The latest move made by Benitez is to have the Newcastle development squad move to the club’s Academy training pitches at Benton – so the manager has more space and can better focus on the senior players in the final seven weeks of the season.

The U-21 players had been based at the first team’s training complex but the new manager thinks it’s just too crowded there and they moved to the Academy complex a few hundred yards away last week.

We are hoping Benitez can save us this season, but it’s not going to be easy.

Comments welcome.

39 comments so far

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #1


    You said James Toon wouldn’t be so worried if he didn’t make shit up.

    JamesToon // Mar 21, 2016 at 10:49 PM

    Bit worried about Ashley’s interview where he says he regrets buying us, and that we’ve completely emptied the bank this season…

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #2

    James Toon has a good right to be worried because he can see the implications. Unlike you, the man who backed Makro to the hilt.

    Don’t count goals conceded when we get thumped, indeed.

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #3

    “JamesToon // Mar 21, 2016 at 10:49 PM
    Bit worried about Ashley’s interview where he says he regrets buying us, and that we’ve completely emptied the bank this season…
    And says he won’t increase his stake in rangers because he doesn’t want to be involved in football anymore, OK…so why still own a football club??!!”

    Full quote
    No mention of Rangers by Ashley in interview.
    Which was my point.
    Naughty naughty
    A thicko like old Blackley has no chance of outfoxing old Jib

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    Comment #4

    If you understood grammar, you would appreciate the reason for paragraphs. James Toon was talking about the interview in a separate paragraph to when he was talking about Rangers. Did James Toon say there was a mention of Rangers by Ashley in the interview, which is your point for saying he’s talking shit? If so, show us. Otherwise, STFU.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    Comment #5

    Mike Ashley already making excuses not to pay benitez his 2 million bonus, if he keeps us in the league.

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    Comment #6
  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #7

    We need to give contracts to Woodman, Aarons, Mbabu as they could all do really well in the championship.

  • scout

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #8

    Does anyone have a spare ticket for the Southampton game? Thanks chaps

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 22, 2016 at 12:59 PM

    Comment #9

    Brilliantly timed PR from our best ever owner, I wonder what Rafa thinks of it all, surely he was given assurances of a transfer kitty in the summer!

    lesh says Mike Ashley has got almost clean hands. If I owned a school bus and employed a drunken driver with no licence to save money and work under the conditions I imposed, would I be blameless if he then crashed the bus in to the school as I only employed him, not tell him how to drive???

  • AncientC

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:05 PM

    Comment #10

    An astute businessman, Mike Ashley rushed through the sale of buying Newcastle, and forgot to ask if the club had any money owed out. Mike Ashley completely oblivious and unaware – bought Newcastle United without any inclination that clubs normally pay for players in installments, and do not normally have their stadiums fully paid off.

    It was as this juncture that Ashley decided to save Newcastle from its prestigious position in world football.

    Relegation, no net-spend on playing staff after promotion until summer 2015, the only club to decrease its commercial revenue in the last 3 years, increased debt, stagnation of debts, advertising turned into a direct revenue stream from NUFC to SD, the rebranding (deeply symbolic) of the shirt sponsor to an extortionate payday loans company, the leasing out of the stadium name for St. James’ Park, the transfer of rights around the stadium so that the club has little/no chance of expansion, the hiring of stooges to play the role of board members, the undermining of an ex-manager in his 2nd term causing grounds for constructive dismissal costing the club millions, the exploitation of using Shearer to try and save the club + renaming the bar in a petty act of revenge against the club legend, the lies by omission in regards to the new training facilities, the upside down 5 year plan, the purples policy, and… the club failing at every single playing level including reserves & u21s.

    22/03/2016 Update received from Mike Ashley.

    “I have virtually nil affect on Newcastle United, in reality”

    Does Mike Ashley honestly believe anybody in their right mind would realistically believe a football board would be constructed of Charnley, Carr, McClaren, and Moncur?

    If you are going to create a crony board, at least assemble a group of directors that don’t look like they have just fallen off a pirate ship.

    Mike Ashley is far from astute, and he is going to be found out. Snubbing a parliamentary select committee says it all. Kicking the can down the road, waiting to be picked up and put in a cell.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #11

    Well I’ve just been catching up on the chicken roosting today. What a surprise! Mike’s door has turned out to be a trapdoor. What’s this he’s saying about having very little to do with the running of the club? The sole Shareholder, who has whatever board he chooses, to do his bidding.

    Jeff reckons the “stick to beat him with,” that nasty free advertising , is intertwined with the “interest free loan” idea. in other words, if Mike charged SD millions for worldwide exposure, he would be obliged to get a loan from them at interest. What financial tenet is that based on?

    As for the loan, is it believed that Mike has no security on it? If I were Mike, I would have debentured the loan against the clubs fixed and floating assets. I wonder if Mike, multi-millionaire entrepreneur, contemplated doing that? Of course he did.

    Well, now that we haven’t got the ad millions, the well has run dry until the TV money comes in. Which means Mike has no overdraft facility until it does. Hmmm.

    What Mike is saying is that if the club can’t wipe it’s own mise, he will cut it off to spite it’s face. If we go down, and stay down, Mike has the capacity to fold us up, take his asset worth and fire sale us. Happy days.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #12

    Just a heads up everyone but Jeff has a real problem with context. Just fyi.

  • LGFUAD21

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Comment #13

    Basically Newcastle dug a hole for themselves through not investing consistently and sensibly.

    And then decided to go nuts and blow all its load in the summer and this past winter.

    We’ve literally wasted £80 and out of it gotten 4 players that you would say are premier league starters.


    Thauvin, Cabella, Riviere (£6m???) have all been gross wastes of money and ones that people called before they signed.

    Siem De Jong is a different case as for £6m people thought that was a good deal.

    This is gross mismanagement. I wonder what the guys running Southampton couldve done with us.

    So overall, not only have we been poor in transfer dealings but we mismanaged players.

    MYM was never given a fair crack. Davide Santon was forced out despite being our only LB.

    To boot, we seem to run players into the ground.

  • LGFUAD21

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #14

    I genuinely believe the bit about the bank being dry.

    What I dont believe is how he cant accept the blame for appointing a useless board.

    Carr has had a million misfires and failed to address our weaknesses for the past 4 years. He’s had some keen spots but Cabella and Thauvin alone wipe them out.

    Charnley has shown to have the decision making and negotiating ability of a fish.

    And what does Moncur do? A club legend but its a different era of football to the one he worked in.

    I dont know how much the TV money is going to add to the kitty and I pray we can flog Sissoko for £15m but it’s all useless if we dont use the money we raise from transfers well.

    Our flops have been so bad that we cant even shift em.

    Summer Shopping list provided we stay up
    Left Back
    Center Back
    Right Back Cover
    Defensive Mid
    Left Winger

    Thats 6 players. At an average price of £10m we’re talking £60m worth of investment.

    Moussa £15
    Thauvin £6m (not sure on the fee agreed)
    Cabella £6m (reported)
    Anita/Colback £4m
    Riviere £2m

    That’s £33m raised. Just need to find another £26m which you would expect to be easily covered by TV money.

    People may accuse me of being an armchair/fantasy manager but this doesnt seem like rocket science to me, so long as you plan a strategy.

    If i can realise this and have since last summer thats 1 season to say to Carr “Right we need you to provide 6 options for each position”. You prioritise your targets, set your valuation and your max bid, you set deadlines and go out to get them.

    It’s not even blind negotiation as the agents provide you will a lot more info than the average business man gets to negotiate a deal with.

  • firebug666

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #15


    We must still have at least £24m in the bank, as that was the bid made in January for Berahino.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #16

    LGFUAD @13 – yep what a waste of £80 never mind £80m ha ha 🙂

    I think many posters latched onto the shady nature of reciprocity in the transfer deals. More financial ding-dings went on than pure talent scouting there. Getting rid of Charnley and Carr is the first step in dissolving the cabal of handshakers that dabble in agents fees

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #17

    Firebug yeah but we had that really big gas bill. And the company Kango needed four new tyres. Plus there was McLarens hair glue. Not cheap that stuff.

  • firebug666

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #18



    And Charnley’s bus fares too.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 22, 2016 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #19


    I laughed because I was amused, nothing more nothing less, particularly at a professional footballer reading literature and relating to it!

    I could not envisage SMC recommending such learned titles and I have the utmost regard for Tuchel, to such an extent that I promoted his ability four or five years ago when AP needed to go.

  • Lindisfarne

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:03 PM

    Comment #20

    It us not the free advertising alone, by the many different labels in the SD stable, but the fact that every other revenue stream has been deteriorating. The club has only made money from the TV deals and has not even achieved the planned aim of building a stable of players that could be traded for greater profit.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #21


    You say, “If I were Mike, I would have debentured the loan against the clubs fixed and floating assets…” Why is that?

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #22

    Why not Blackley? If the club defaults on the loan, he calls in the assets. It would make sense.

  • cyprus

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

    Comment #23

    Pointing is not what we need right now. Shelvey is doing that. What is needed, pronto?

    For starters, figure out how to get Shelvey to play like he did that first game. He has since been firing random passes and falling over the ball. Everyone wanted him; we got him, he sucks. Since he arrived, we’ve lost the MF; not sure it’s him alone to blame.

    Figure out how to use our best player, Gini. It was his assist, from the right, which got us the goal. Basically, he’s been all over the place, you had him way back in the last game. He ain’t a holding MF. He needs to be a ‘secret’ CF, maybe. Give him the 10.

    Figure out where the real Perez has gone. He could not lose the ball, now that’s all he does.

    Figure out what to do with Sissoko. With his speed and ability, he is intimidating and I’ve noticed opponents fall back when they see him. I do’t know what to do with him, I leave it to you.

    You’ve kind of sorted the defence. I will leave that to you as well. Now, for attacking options. What’s the deal with that Doumbia? Just how unfit is he?! If so, have a chat with Carr. While you’re at it, ask him where he blew 100 mil.

    Tell Black to work on the psychology of the under 12’s, that should keep him out of the way and off the pitch.

    The super kid with his tactical nous, which has been so evident this year? Well, see point right above.

    Other people to figure out and work with. Mitro, Colback, Tiote. For starters.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Comment #24

    He may have just bunged the cash in security free, Blackley, I don’t know. What do you think?

  • cyprus

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    Comment #25

    Just read the MA interview transcript. Seems surprisingly candid. Worse, sounds like the words of a defeated man.

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #26

    Steve Black got the chop when McClaren did.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 22, 2016 at 2:55 PM

    Comment #27

    Its certainly no churchill speech from ashley. Why all the PR now? I assume the govt pressure has something to do with it?

  • Wayayman

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #28

    Forge the interview with Ashley today people. It’s what’s known in the PR trade as distraction. It’s purely and simply a way to get the papers printing stuff about him not related to SD and the politicians who are about to pounce on him. Like tomorrow’s papers will be printing what would normally be big impact stories on the inside pages after the terror atrocities in Brussels today gave the spin docs a great opportunity to get home grown ‘bad’ news out with the minimum of fuss.

  • Jib

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:07 PM

    Comment #29

    The comments on the Toon were subsidiary to the main drift of his interview in which he was very rude about Parliamentary committees.

    SD shares took another tumble last week and I think he is following the logic of “there is no such thing as bad publicity”.

    The MT says

    “There are doubts however over whether the House of Commons could use its ancient powers to sanction Ashley. It hasn’t ordered the Sergeant in Arms to imprison a non-MP since 1880, and the power isn’t formally laid out in statute. Were the committee to ask the House to hold Ashley in contempt, the Commons would need to vote to approve the measure, but even then Ashley could challenge it in the courts. Perhaps he’ll call their bluff.”

    Would a house of commons with a majority of tories censure Mike Ashley – who knows.

  • lochinvar

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #30

    Part of BBC report,
    Makes for shabby reading.
    Who was pulling Carvers strings then – Charnley. Signing Rafa is not a get out of jail card .

    Ex-Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez claims the club deliberately did not start him in matches so they could release him after cancer treatment.

    The 32-year-old is suing the club for in the region of £2m over disability discrimination after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2013.

    The Argentine, who was released in May 2015, was giving evidence on day one of an employment tribunal on Tuesday.

    He says he was left out of the team to avoid triggering a new one-year deal.

    Gutierrez claims he had to start 80 games during a four-year contract signed in September 2011 in order to trigger a further year at the end of the 2014-15 season.

    However, he says then temporary boss John Carver waited until he could not hit his 80-game target before starting him in the final five matches of the campaign.

    In a witness statement presented to the tribunal in Birmingham, Gutierrez said: “Due to their concerns about my cancer I consider that the club then ensured that I would not be selected to start in a sufficient number of matches to trigger the option.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Comment #31

    I’m reading your comments with interest as I usually do. I’m not understanding the point you’re making. I’m interested and just asking you to add a bit more.

    My thought is that, if I was lending such a large amount to another person, I’d want ideally to secure it against their assets . However, if I am 100% owner of the person I’m lending to, I’m not sure what that would achieve. It might achieve something in this case, but I’m not sure what you have in mind. I’m also not sure whether you’re making a wider point that I’ve missed.

    You go on to say, “I wonder if Mike, multi-millionaire entrepreneur, contemplated doing that? Of course he did.” I don’t know what you mean? Are you saying his loan is secured? As I say, I can’t see what it would achieve specifically? Is it secured and if so, why?

  • posada

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #32

    I’d rather focus on football and not club finances etc.

    On Mitro. He has no pace. But he can finish. Like Shearer in his last few years.
    SBRs solution we can all recall. Robert and Salano down the flanks, to put in crosses. Belamy with the pace Shearer lacked.
    Do we at the moment have the players to do that for him.
    I doubt it.
    Our best effort would be Townsend on the right. Wini or Aarons on the left.
    The Belamy role. Only person I can think of is Sissoko.
    That may sound daft, but he has pace. Not as quick as Belamy but more powerful.
    He played there in one of his first games for us I believe, when we beat Chelsea 3-2.
    But, it would be a brave move and putting all our eggs in one basket.
    No late runs from Speed or the pace of Dyer.
    Actually forget it.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #33

    “There are doubts however over whether the House of Commons could use its ancient powers to sanction Ashley. 

    The bloody politicians shouldn’t exercise any powers against a subject where those powers are vague and uncertain. A subject should know with certainty the sanction that will be imposed as a consequence of his actions. Why should parliament be able to compel a subject to appear before it when there is any doubt about its power to compel?

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #34

    Mitrovic can finsih? WTF? How can somebody watch this season and come to that conclusion? Baffling. Needs to improve dramatically.

    His movement is poor also. Twice Townsend put in great crosses for him on Sunday, first ended in a tussle with the defender and second he was 10 yards behind not anticipating it, like he often is. One of his big problems is when he comes deep, if a winger/fullback is released, he can’t make up the ground in time to get in around the penalty spot.

    He’s a trier, but needs to start using the thing in his noggin as much as the noggin itself. If you’re consistently getting beaten to the ball and buffeted by the CBs, pull onto the fullbacks instead, they tend to be smaller, luckily he got this in the 83rd minute. Now let’s see if he’s a better learner than clogger Colback.

  • JamesToon

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Comment #35


    thank you for backing me earlier mate (regarding ashleys interview). i don’t know why jibberish likes to go around being a wetty

  • Moonraker15

    Mar 22, 2016 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #36

    Ashley can’t call in the loan it’s his own asset so he would be bankrupting himself and they won’t allow it !

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Mar 22, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #37

    The injustice of it is that you’re being disparaged by Jib as a result of his own intellectual shortcomings.

  • hibbitt

    Mar 22, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #38

    just a theory but…………is Ashley driving the share price of sports direct down it fell 9% today is he about to take sd back to private ownership were he can run it the way he wants without shareholders sticking there nose in…… the more the share price drops the less he will have to pay to take it back to a private company….. today’s statement has been a pr disaster for the sd……. in the scheme of things we appear to be just an afterthought added on to to bulk the statement up…,,,, is he that cleaver

  • posada

    Mar 22, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    Comment #39

    Hail Wor
    The lad can score a goal. Just how good he is remains to be seen.
    The point I’m making is – do we want to set the whole team up round him.
    Shearer was good enough to justify that.
    Is Mitro. If the answer is no then we have wasted 12 million. It would be the only way to get the best out of him.
    Personally I think he was a poor signing, with no thought to how we would play him.
    Without pace in the game now your knackered.

    Having said that he put the effort in on Sunday and deserves credit for his goal.


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