Why Rafa Benitez’ Future Remains Uncertain At Newcastle

When Rafael Benítez accepted the challenge at Newcastle United on March 11th,  it looked like it would be a new era for Newcastle,  but now with Newcastle all but certain to be relegated to the Championship, nothing is certain yonce again at the Tyneside club.

Rafa has been non-committal on what happens at the end of the season if Newcastle are relegated and most pundits think he will simply walk away for pastures anew from Newcastle, should that happen.

That will leave both Geordie fans and players demoralized, because even though he may have failed to save us – he will be a very hard act to follow on Tyneside by someone else coming in.

rafa benitez villa

Rafa Benitez on Saturday at Villa Park

This is what Rafa had to say after the 0-0 draw on Saturday at Villa Park:

“I accepted this challenge and for me it was an opportunity to come back to the Premier League and try to show to everyone that we could do well.”

“I had the confidence in the potential of the club and the players and we were fighting until today, it could be different.”

“If Jack Colback had scored or Aleksandar Mitrovic had scored, we would be talking about we have a chance.”

“Now we have to believe that Everton will do a good game and get the result. The only thing we can do is be sure that if we have our opportunity against Tottenham we have to be ready.”

It does seem difficult for Rafa to manage in the Championship after starting last season as the manager of the world’s most famous football club – Real Madrid.

What really worries us is if Rafa does leave soon, Newcastle will have no leadership at the club – and like the last time we were relegated there will be a complete vacuum of leadership and required action on Tyneside.

The last time we were relegated nothing happened for a full six weeks and no manager was even appointed after Alan Shearer’s short contract expired.

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley offer weak leadership at best – and it’s worrying what could happen if Lee Charnley keeps his job and heaven forbid – be allowed to select the next head coach.

It’s anybody’s guess who he could come up with this time.

His selection of the just-sacked Steve McClaren from Derby County last June was the major mistake that had Newcastle in the bottom four all season long and now very likely relegated.

Somebody (Fans Forum?) should ask Lee Charnley why he thought Steve McClaren was the “perfect coach” (his words) for Newcastle United.

Maybe that’s an indication of his level of football knowledge and understanding?

This disaster was all self-inflicted and unnecessary this season.

That’s the truth and one reason it’s so tragic.

Comments welcome.

52 comments so far

  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 11:08 PM

    Comment #1

    Rafa has made his stance on this crystal clear from the first minute. He ain’t discussing his future until we finish the season. They should respect that and stop bugging him.


    May 8, 2016 at 11:10 PM

    Comment #2

    from last post
    i picked mbemba myself bobby,thought he had a steady game and tbh he put in a cracking cross at one point which a striker like shearer would thrived on….very solanoesq

  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    Comment #3

    Ah, springy my friend. Great minds think alike lmfao!. I thought pretty much the same thing about that cross. Begging for it. 😉


    May 8, 2016 at 11:24 PM

    Comment #4

    was nice to see a decent on the run cross…without all the slava of cutting inside and crossing on the wrong foot….just a run and good cross….simple really!lol

  • lesh

    May 8, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Comment #5

    Noticeable that Rafa’s language in the opening two paragraphs is in the past tense – as though it’s a challenge he’s not keen on post-relegation.

    All that those at the Spurs game can do is, as Ed suggested earlier, call Rafa’s name throughout the game in the hope that he feels valued and appreciated. It might also make it tricky for Ashley to let him walk away.


    May 8, 2016 at 11:38 PM

    Comment #6

    aye he says i wanted to come back to the premier league,which might not bode well for us at end of the season,hopefully the fans have won him round.

  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 11:47 PM

    Comment #7

    Two words.

  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #8

    It’s all we can do innit? Make him completely aware that we want him here. What he doesn’t need to hear is protests. We can save them for later if needs must, but on Sunday he needs to believe that we’re ready for the fight if he stays. United. I’m not saying we should just accept this season, but in the best interest of our future, Rafa is our priority. Everything else can wait.


    May 8, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    Comment #9

    if rafa were to stay,i wonder if that would have any effect to persuade some players to stay?


    May 8, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #10

    tbh not really bothered about sissoko,gini and janmaat on current form,tiote i would like him to stay as i think he still has a lot to offer,cisse,colo and taylor can leave for me…and maybe even krul

  • jimmysmith

    May 8, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Comment #11


    and a few astute young signings, and Rafa, and that might be enough.

    Sell the big stars, bank the money, and give it to Rafa and anymore we can find to spend if we come back, along with a healthy incentive payment.

    The money on offer now is immense, but if you are in the EPL you’ll have to spend it to stay in it. We won’t, so if there is a silver lining, or way out, this might be it.

  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #12

    Springy, i reckon it would for some, but our ‘too big for this club’ players, the ones who’ve let us down badly will still go. Good riddance 😉


    May 8, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #13

    the likes of perez and aarons need to step up there game,been very poor of late


    May 9, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Comment #14

    wonder if shelvey gets a fitness regime if he stays,he does’nt look the most mobile of players tbh,decent passer,probably the one the best at the club,but his mobility lets him down.

  • Bobbybee

    May 9, 2016 at 12:06 AM

    Comment #15

    Right, enough is enough. My tablet is running so slow it’s doing my nut in. So i will depart. Thanks to all for good football chit chat, it’s been fun.

  • Mister Tuff

    May 9, 2016 at 12:07 AM

    Comment #16

    Jib Jibberish – earlier post:-

    “Jib // May 8, 2016 at 10:11 PM
    Yeah Koeman and Van Dijk both played for Groningen and speak Dutch and Ronnie coached him for Netherlands U18 – but our directors screwed up !
    Keep your whingeing real – young’un ”

    Good shout – yes Koeman and Van Dijk both speak Dutch – always helps if you are a Dutchman.

  • bettyswallocks

    May 9, 2016 at 12:23 AM

    Comment #17

    I also think we should focus on securing Rafa before protesting about this season’s failures. Ruddy doesn’t agree as his aggressive rant at Ed confirms.
    Maybe if we attack Ashley full on with picket lines at all SD shops and then blow up the depot at Shirebrook, followed by a slur campaign on all social media, this will let him know we are not happy.

  • Derek

    May 9, 2016 at 3:15 AM

    Comment #18

    It shocks me that some fans think cheering Rafa’s name is more important for the clubs future than showing Ashley we will not tolerate the way he runs this club.

    I am dumbfounded that some people are so blind (or ignorant) to the lies and deceit, the panic buying, the advertising strategy, the list goes on..

    How can these “fans” ignore all of this, put on a fake smile and say “it’s ok as long as Rafa stays and we can be promoted again”? Rafa knows that the stipulations and responsibilities that Ashley has planned for Rafa’s career far outweighs the cries of help from desperate fans.

    Think about it this way.. If Rafa leaves, are you going to think it’s because fans didn’t cheer his name loud enough? Or is it because he knows that no matter what he does, he cannot turn Ashley’s second business into a football club?

  • emphraser

    May 9, 2016 at 4:32 AM

    Comment #19

    Rafa goes, Ashley gets in bended knee and brings back Keegan with Brian Johnson as top assistant and chief motivation officer. He’s available.

  • jimmysmith

    May 9, 2016 at 5:38 AM

    Comment #20

    If we do go down, I hope it isn’t Sunderland that joins us. That would be rotten for the region, and would simply be one extra barrier to returning.

    However, if they do stay up, and we don’t, we will see the greatest power shift, in my memory, by some distance.

    And if we don’t bounce back immediately, and Sam stabilises them, it will probably be a parallel as great as the Keegan, Robson years, when Sunderland were left behind as little more than a footnote in our success.

  • jimmysmith

    May 9, 2016 at 5:48 AM

    Comment #21

    Ok, just checked wikipedia, “footnote” might be a bit harsh, ha,ha. Couple of seventh place finishes, and moved into The Stadium of Light. But the point still stands.

  • Lindisfarne

    May 9, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    Comment #22

    I may have missed any comments, but I am surprised people are not making more of the poor starting eleven at Villa. Benitez has lost an opportunity to claim a second win and could not form a strategy to beat a team far worse than NUFC. Not that it would really matter if s’land win all their matches. Perhaps he has suffered the effect of being Pardewed.

  • Bambams

    May 9, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    Comment #23

    Can anyone seriously see Ashley paying what is reported £3-4 million per season to keep Rafa as our manager if we go down.

    The clause is there and no doubt Ashley will tell him ‘ no money ‘ and Rafa will walk.

    If Ashley wanted him to stay he would of done his “one interview per season ” and let the world know he wants Rafa to stay.

    Silence is deafening. ..

    Hope I am wrong

  • Ron Knee

    May 9, 2016 at 7:06 AM

    Comment #24


    In fairness to Benitez, Villa had managed to score two goals apiece against both Southampton and Watford in their previous matches. A fret of sorts did exist.

  • Ron Knee

    May 9, 2016 at 7:08 AM

    Comment #25


    I think if anything convinces Benitez to move on, it must be that shocking lack of effort by the team on Saturday.

  • posada

    May 9, 2016 at 7:10 AM

    Comment #26

    Rafa won’t stay unless he gets certain assurances and commitment from the owner.
    Just like Keegan and other real managers. Just not like stooge appointments like Pardew and Wolly Brolly.

    It is often said that Mike Ashley will not sell Newcastle at a loss.
    Why not he has taken a loss on most other things.
    It’s worth less because he has mismanaged it for years.

  • Wayayman

    May 9, 2016 at 7:11 AM

    Comment #27

    Derek @18 I think you’re missing the point. Most fans see that IF Rafa stays to manage us in the championship, that will only happen if he’s given control of the football side of the club (Rafa would’nt accept anything less) so that is obviously a massive change of direction by Ashley. It might just happen as it means he’s saying that he got it wrong without really having to admit it to anyone, plus hed have the very best possible chance of getting out of the mess he’s created these last 8 years.

    Nowt to do with protesting against Ashley or staying away etc. None of which will work against a billionaire with an ego the size of Kim Khardashians arse

  • Wayayman

    May 9, 2016 at 7:12 AM

    Comment #28

    And i don’t mean Kanye.

  • Magpie Season

    May 9, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    Comment #29


    About a week ago I posted the link to an article about Rafa taking the Everton job, as Martinez will surely leave. Can’t find the link but I think if they did offer him that, or the Spain job, he would take those.

    Otherwise, I don’t see another job that may interest him as he can build something special here with fans that will absolutely adore him.

    So, regardless if gets full control of our club, I think he may want the 2 jobs I mentioned.

  • posada

    May 9, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #30

    I said on here a couple of days ago.
    If Rafa does not stay then look out for the lunatics taking over the asylum again.
    Old Man Carr will be asked to find a new manager.
    Anything could then happen.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 9, 2016 at 7:26 AM

    Comment #31

    We can talk about tactics all day long but if players for what ever reason can’t be arsed it’s out of the managers hands. When a midfielder once thought good enough for England can’t hit the target in acres of space from 12 yards it doesn’t help. When your top scorer of recent years ambles around like it’s a practice match and his replacement can’t hit the target from three very good chances then you have a serious lack of quality on your hands.

  • posada

    May 9, 2016 at 7:29 AM

    Comment #32

    On protests and boycotts.
    Lets leave that for now.
    When it’s all over we must here from the owner.
    Why has this happened and what is he going to do about it.
    If we are blanked once again then we should then seriously consider our position.
    Trouble is how do you get any consensus on how to proceed.
    For me it’s impossible.

  • posada

    May 9, 2016 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #33

    Jail. I agree with your last. I saw the key moments from the game last night in the pub.
    We wasted the first half true, but at least we weren’t a goal down. We were in it to win it in the second half and had the chances.
    Some say we should have went all out from start. The only thing is we have not totally outplayed a team all season.

  • LGFUAD21

    May 9, 2016 at 7:35 AM

    Comment #34

    Watched the game last night.

    Only saw the highlights until then

    Sadly I think we’ve fluffed it. It was our finishing that once again let us down more than anything.

    Even if the chance creation was unsophisticated there were chances that we have to take.

    We can sit and blame chelsea all day but I think shearer has it. Sunderland have just shown a bit more fight. I can’t see the. Loosing to everton who lets face it have given up these days.

    Really don’t think rafa will be here in the champ. I think he’s just avoiding talk to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.

    Shame Spurs lost too as now they will have something to play for against us (second place) so we’re basically done.

    If rodgers is going back to swansea we should go for guideollin provided he is not taking over the italy reigns as is reported. He’s got lots of promotion and then survival experience.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 9, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #35

    We’re all talking about the 80M spunked this season but what about the 30M down the drain, I racked my brains to think of who we signed that summer. Jaanmat, SDJ, Cabella and Riverie not one of them started yesterday and the only one that has really featured is arguably one of the most rotten apples at the club. I mentioned it awhile ago and Tsunki brought it up last night. It will be interesting to see if Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Colback and Jaanmat have relegation clauses that they’ve been keen to trigger, it might explain a few things.

  • Tsunki

    May 9, 2016 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #36

    Exactly. We have a poor and ill – matched assortment, an owner who only thinks of the club in terms of marketing leverage, and the club is left to run by an office clerk and an ageing scout. But we do have a decent Manager to whitewash over those cracks. For now.

  • Tsunki

    May 9, 2016 at 7:39 AM

    Comment #37

    Maybe we can only half blame the cynical want-away culprits. The other half must go to Mike who they probably view as running the system a lot differently than what they were signed up to.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 9, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #38

    The ever insightful Jib reckons the club should announce Rafa’s future before tge Spurs game if the mackems beat Everton. What planet is he on, that wealth of knowledge of his doesn’t half get cruelly exposed quite regularly. Do you honestly think that they’re going to produce some robotic statement “written” by LC on behalf of “The club”. There would be absolute hell on when it is revealed that due to the restructuring of “The club” a manager more familiar to the surroundings of the Championship will be selected from the 80 applicants from within the footballing world.

  • Jib

    May 9, 2016 at 8:04 AM

    Comment #39

    What a strange attack !
    I say the club should let us know sooner rather than later what the future of the club is if we are definitely relegated and you have a pop at that idea.
    Sometimes the communication empowerment of the internet when placed in the hands of poorly educated sloppy thinkers is a frightening thing !

  • posada

    May 9, 2016 at 8:06 AM

    Comment #40

    These players think they are playing for a brand name and not for a club. For people.
    After 10 games we had 6 points. Were out of the cup after a dreadful performance against Sheff Wed.
    At that stage Freddy Shepherd would have been reading the riot act and Wolly Brolly would have known all about it.
    Not saying Fred was great, but at least they would have known that this mattered. That were are a club.


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