This Is The Only Thing That Matters Now


With Newcastle almost certain to be relegated after failing to beat Aston Villa yesterday, there’s one thing that could significantly lessen the pain of another relegation – if we can keep Rafa Benitez.

We remember the last time we were relegated when  pundits said we would plunge down the leagues just like Leeds United had done earlier in the decade.

And when you are relegated nobody is your friend and the club will be ridiculed and the fans too – but hey that’s the way things are.

People and clubs are kicked  when they are down – we just have to take it and get on with it – life goes on even if Newcastle are relegated – or so they say.

rafa benitez arrives at st james pk

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

But when the Championship season started in early August back in 2009, oddly enough we were the favorites to be promoted and so it turned out.

Fans and pundits alike say we don’t have the characters in the team this time like Kevin Nolan, Nicky Butt, Alan Smith, Steven Harper and Joey Barton – but we do have some good young skillful players with excellent temperaments and attitudes.

Players like Jamaal Lascelles, Rob Elliot, Chancel Mbemba and others are good young professionals and will be good in the Championship for us – hopefully for just one season.

We will see a number of our top players leave the club this summer including Gini Wijnaldum – the invisible man in away games as he was again  yesterday.

Gini has been a huge disappointment in the second half of this season for his lack of fight and guts but he is almost certain to be sold this summer along with others lie Moussa Sissoko, Siem de Jong, Manu Riviere, Florian Thauvin, Remy Cabella and Daryl Janmaat among others.

And no doubt we will have a decent team once the new season does start in three months time –  and we should have also taken in some decent transfer money from selling players – which will help get us through the season financially with our significantly reduced revenues.

But the most important thing as far as we are concerned is the manager – and only the manager.

That has been shown the way John Carver (it was the players’ fault) and Steve McClaren (one step forward two steps back) struggled so much, but now that Rafa Benitez is on board the place has lightened up considerably and is much more positive and the players seem a lot happier too.

That’s even when it looks like the former Liverpool manager will not be able to save us, after all.

Newcastle are down and just about out at the moment as a Premier League club.

But the summer and next season could be a time of rebuilding and rejuvenation for the Newcastle club and the Newcastle team too, if Rafa stays with us for next season and starts to rebuild the club and the team this summer.

He has improved some of our players already, so it’s not like he would be starting from scratch and he will now know better the areas of the club that need work.

Maybe the £2M bonus he will not get for keeping us up, can be applied as a bonus if he can get us promoted straight back to the Premier League – that would be a good use of£2M.

Rafa has been very disciplined and has refused to talk about what will happen if he doesn’t save us from relegation – so it’s hard to read the tea leaves – because there aren’t any.

But let’s just point out very clearly that it will be another tragedy to go with relegation – a much worse tragedy in fact – if Rafa leaves us this summer.

We’re hoping for the best and that he stays – it’s the only thing that really matters now.

Comments welcome.



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184 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #1

    Tsunki,
    Spare you the repost on last thread.
    Rafa IN and Ashley Oot@

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  • Bambams

    May 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #2

    I can’t see Rafa staying to be honest. I think had we survived he could possibly have seen him given the chance to rebuild.

    But other clubs will come in and I can’t see Ash releasing much coin for the right type of players.

    Ash will expect our youth team to step up with just the odd player to be signed.

    I can see Carr now trying to convince Ash he knows the players we need…All from the second division in France.

    I know we are not down yet but Sunderland won’t squander this chance. They deserve to stay up on their last 6 performances. …unlike us

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  • stuart no9

    May 8, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #3

    Bambams — but we havnt lost in our last 5 games either so why dont we deserve to stay up //

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #4

    Jail I don’t think its so much a conspiracy theory as a plausible financial scenario for several players who’ve seen the plot hole in the “bonus sysyem” and think they can make a fee-earning move by steering the club toward a clause-triggering get-out. It would be their way of playing Mike at his own game. I doubt they started that way, but once they saw us drop to the dregs and stay there, it must been a viable option. Looks like they get their wish, whoever is packing his bags last day of the season.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #5

    Their bags…

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #6

    Bamboos it isn’t a step up from the reserves never mind the youths. They are so dire it would require a helicopter to lift them up to championship level.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #7

    Bambams. …this phone is starting to make life decisions for me now.

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  • lesh

    May 8, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #8

    Those words of Charnley when he said they have every confidence we’ll be in the Prem next season are damning in themselves.

    The clown misjudged that one and add to that his taking Carr’s advise and getting Ashley’s approval to waste £82m in one season, his ill-judged appointment of McLaren, his failure to dismiss said same man when relegation became a real possibility before Christmas, his high-handed arrogance in his contempt for the Fans Forum and taking fans for granted.

    In decent companies, such arrogance coupled with his obvious incompetence as MD would have seen Charnley removed and replaced as MD.

    But oh no, not under Ashley who I’m confident would not tolerate such incompetence within his SD businesses.

    This is an opportunity for Ashley to make amends and we can only but hope he’s read the runes and is ready to appoint a competent MD who knows the business and offer Rafa whatever it takes to keep him at the Club – whether money, authority or both.

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  • wolfshead@toon

    May 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #9

    @2
    I can see Carr now trying to convince Ash he knows the players we need…All from the second division in France. it would be funny if it wasnt true

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #10

    There was definitely something off about yesterday’s game. It was back to normal service like someone had just re-hired McCarvew. Something funny went on there, I think there are a few in the dressing room who determined they wouldn’t show up.

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  • lesh

    May 8, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #11

    Tsunki

    Maybe you could get your phone to make little decisions for Ashley? Now where would it start?

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  • BandB

    May 8, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #12

    Stuart

    We have exactly the same number of points – nine – from our last six games as Sunderland.
    Which is mid-table form, and a decent hike in our points per game percentage.
    The damage, as we all know, had been done and was still being done while Charnley was waving away the concerns of Fans’ Forum members in the early Spring.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #13

    Lesh – they said they hadn’t discussed relegation contingencies at hoard level full stop. Not ” we aren’t talking about it at the minute” or “we will leave that until it becomes necessary” but they hadn’t even discussed alternative strategy. No plan B, nothing. Why would they have had it’s only a multi-million pound marketing and sports club? I wonder if they might stick it on the June agenda? Above the need for more domestos in the gents but below the allocation of staff parking bays.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #14

    Tsunki,
    You invented it, is it McCardew or McCarvew?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #15

    Tsunki,
    You haven’t just got an S6 by any chance have you ?

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  • stuart no9

    May 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #16

    Tsunki@ 10 yep i think your right , and hopefully raffa has identified the culprits and have booked them on the first flight out of newcastle on sunday night with a one way ticket , assuming he his still manager of course!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #17

    lesh,
    I don’t get you, are you pro or anti Ashley.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:48 PM

    Comment #18

    Lesh – perhaps Mike is thinking he’s texting to Lee:

    “Buy whatever fresh players you need to make sure we’re top in the premiership”

    But Lee actually receives:

    “Buy whatever french players you need to make sure we drop into the championship”

    Righto boss! Good as Done! – Graaaaahaaaaaammm!

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #19

    Jail – whichever you like, I don’t scorn rewrites 🙂

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  • stuart no9

    May 8, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    Comment #20

    BandB Yep , the only difference being we have lost none in five while sunderland have one in five , so someone saying sunderland deserve to stay up for their last 6 performances is not exactly fair on our lads.

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  • SPRINGY

    May 8, 2016 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #21

    i would hope newcastle have a statement ready regarding rafa’s,charnley and carrs future’s as soon as the season is over…not dilly dallying and dragging it out…it wont happen coz they are about as organised as a barrel of funkin monkeys tbh.

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  • BandB

    May 8, 2016 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #22

    I bet Mike wishes Charnley hadn’t bullied him into the football board idea.
    That Charnley ….eeeeee… he’s got a lot to answer for.
    You can see the way Mike defers to him in their body language.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #23

    Jail no it’s my work phone and for security and stability, BlackBerry still holds the fort. it’s a z30 but one of the lads has a Priv and they are pretty decent. Probably still send stupid emails you didn’t mean to entirely the wrong person of course but what can you do? Technology!

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #24

    Now Armstrong has played the final game of Coventry’s season, I’d bring him back and start him next weekend if possible. Might as well give him a taste of St James in the PL and he’s definitely a better finisher than any of the fraudsters we have.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    Comment #25

    Only previous in the PL he has that I can remember was him getting threw on to the RW a couple of times with 5mins to go, when in losing positions. Pardew the master man manager at work.

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  • stuart no9

    May 8, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    Comment #26

    HAIL—– I would go with that. a striker whos been scoring , ok in a lower league , but he could fit in just nicely instead of cisse, nother to pick from cant be that bad,

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  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 5:03 PM

    Comment #27

    Hail, you took the words right out of my mouth marra. 20 goals this season. What’s that? More than all our strike force put together? He certainly wouldn’t miss the sitters we’ve been missing – the chances that have put us in this position. Of course, i would say that, as i’ve been championing Arma for years now, so it’s nice to hear i ain’t alone. Get him in, give him chances and watch the goals flow. 😉

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  • JP...from The Rock

    May 8, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #28

    I agree nothing to lose in putting Armstrong up front with Mitro beside him for our last game in this league.

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  • Sir Braveheart

    May 8, 2016 at 5:08 PM

    Comment #29

    Didn’t Ashley say that he was basically leaving the board to get on with running the club but there was no more money being poured in?

    So basically whatever money we have as a club that’s all we have to work with. And given how we splurged most of it this season I’m guessing the coffers are empty and we’ll have to sell before we can buy.

    Grim prospects.

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  • Ron Knee

    May 8, 2016 at 5:09 PM

    Comment #30

    That De Bryne’s not bad!

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  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #31

    City 2-1. Another goal the keeper won’t want to see again. Still, that might confirm spuds as second place so wtf.

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #32

    OK ok order…Orderrrr!

    Right. First item on the agenda. Relegation Contingencies.

    Now this is very important, and must be settled today. As you know, we are officially relegated – I say this as we have just been passed a piece of paper saying so by players representative Mr Wijnam I think.it says there – so it’s official. So we need to discuss what we are going to do now that we are depending on parachute payments rather than all that lovely TV lolly we were expecting to go on holi…invest in playing staff and the academy. Top and bottom of the plan is we must decide whether we stick with the balti *#+*ing pies or try out a new chicken and mushroom for our less discerning championship visitors. And like I say it has to be decided quickly because the Ginsters van is idling outside and the driver says the refrigeration Unit has packed in…

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  • wolfshead@toon

    May 8, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Comment #33

    tsunki

    reading your posts makes me think of nufc as a 70;s sitcom i would say a cross between fawlty towers and are you being served

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  • Ron Knee

    May 8, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #34

    De Bruyne even, as jeff would say.

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  • SPRINGY

    May 8, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    Comment #35

    if the worst happens on wed i would think making wholesale changes….
    —————————–darlow——————————
    mbabu———–mbemba—-lascelles———dummett
    ———————tiote———saivet————————
    townsend—————-arma———————–aarons
    —————————-mitro——————————–
    i say wholesale but not that many different

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #36

    ….much like our first team has ha ha ha sorry…

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  • Bobbybee

    May 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #37

    Sir braveheart, i think Ashley’s comment that they would get no more money was aimed fairly and squarely at the current board. They blew over 80m and enough is enough. I think if Rafa stays, there will be money to spend, or he wouldn’t have signed for three years.

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  • SPRINGY

    May 8, 2016 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #38

    bobby
    i agree…i dont think rafa would of joined unless there was a warchest involved

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  • Tsunki

    May 8, 2016 at 5:17 PM

    Comment #39

    Wolf’s head when hasn’t it looked like that? I picture Charnley with a pink shirt bursting at the buttons, with the round quarter stitched collar worn over the lapel of his fake tartan undersize sports jacket, complemented by half mast perma-crease mauve crimplene slacks with chukka boots to finish the ensemble. Heavy chain an medallion around around open neck, beads of sweat on his bright pink face as he strains to lean over to the drinks tray and spray the spatklets into a jolt of VAT69.

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 8, 2016 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #40

    Yeah, hindsight is great, I was all for him staying out on loan in Jan, but can’t help feel he’d have tucked away more than our sorry excuses have and he’s certainly more zippy and lively.

    Will be huge for us if we’re Championship and he’s one of very few silver linings.

    Alternatively Perez could’ve been the man to score our goals. He is an instinctive finisher in the box, a good opportunist that understands gambling, reacts quick and yet he’s always overlooked and played elsewhere because of his willingness to graft. For me he’s a ST only and could be a great poacher in the mould of Chicarito. doesn’t have the pace, vision or passing ability to play deeper or wide.

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