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

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If Benitez Stays – There Could Be Some Summer Surprises

1:10 pm, Friday, May 13th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 65 Comments

If Rafa Benitez stays on Tyneside and it ‘s still a big if, it will be fascinating to see how he goes about building a whole new squad at the club.

The squad will be one that can not only challenge to win the Championship next season but the players will also be the foundation of Rafa’s new side for the future.

There are certain players – like Sylvain Marveaux and Gabby Obertan who have already left the club – that will be no-brainers and they include players like Steven Taylor, Yoan Gouffran and Manu Riviere, whose Newcastle careers will end this summer.

andros townsend rafa benitez anfield

Could Rafa persuade this player to stay?

Rafa will bring in players from wherever for the team, but it’s who he keeps on board that should be interesting.

Players who are expected to leave but may not could include Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse who he’s used as starters since he arrived.

It also looks like he may have created the Netherlands’ new right back – Vernon Anita – in the short nine weeks he’s been at Newcastle.

We expect younger players like Chancel Mbemba, Jamaal Lascelles, Ayoze Perez and Aleksandar Mitrovic to stay at the club.

And Rafa may want to keep one of the players who think they are stars at Newcastle – maybe Moussa Sissoko – who he has made captain – but we don’t think Moussa will want to stay.

Fabricio Coloccini is another player who has never played since Rafa arrived and we wonder if he will want to use Colo next season – or whether to allow him to leave to get him off the wage bill.

Notice that one of the important negotiating points that Rafa will be discussing with Lee Charnley is that it must be him that will decide who stays and who leaves and will have to depend on whether they are on high wages or not.

That could be a crucial negotiating point for the Spaniard.

It’s almost certain he would allow players like Gini Wijnaldum,  Siem de Jong,  and loan signing Seydou Doumbia to leave.

What happens to Henri Saivet is a good question and we hope he can persuade Andros Townsend to stay on at the club, but that could be a bridge too far.

It will be great having Rafa coach young Adam Armstrong, who scored 20 goals for Coventry on loan last season in League One.

Rafa may wan to take a look at Florian Thauvin and if he likes what he sees he may want him to be loaned out for a season,  so he is available when hopefully we are back in the Premier League next year at this time.

It will certainly be a fascinating summer for Newcastle fans it Rafa agrees to stay with us.

Here’s how you can help ensure that ……

The Chronicle have an open letter to Rafa and a petition for fans to sign – here’s where you can read the letter and sign the petition.

If you want to send a message to Rafa asking him to stay, here’s all the contact information for Newcastle United – here.

Here’s Rafa’s twitter account associated with his web-site.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Other News · Recruitment · Transfer News and Rumours

65 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Essex Geordie Bill // May 13, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Thats it can’t be *rsed think i’ll do something sensible till the blog stops moving.

  • 2 LGFUAD21 // May 13, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    Flores is leaving Watford in the summer.

    If Rafa leaves which is a possibility, he might not be a bad shout.

  • 3 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 13, 2016 at 1:23 PM

    Flores would have been a great shout last season hes a tier or 2 below Benitez but miles ahead of the likes of Mclaren and Pardew!

  • 4 Lindisfarne // May 13, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    I can not imagine Anita staying at right back in the Championship, I need only think back to how his lack of stature was utilised by Stoke.

    Having joined NUFC knowing we had a lack of scoring ability and playing in the main 4231 formation, I am surprised Rafa insisted on continuing with a sole striker. His confidence in his own methods is an obvious strength but also an indication of blind determination. The lack of a goal scoring partnership has consistently been our problem for seasons now, alongside undroppable players unbalancing the side.

  • 5 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    For some reason I’ve started getting pictures that cover post number 1 on every thread. Somebody, I can’t make out, appears to be sick of the blog moving and is off.

  • 6 Mister Tuff // May 13, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Blackley – I see your point about Rafa getting into bed with Mr Tubbs and crew long term (as opposed to this current emergency stint).
    The bloke could well and truly get his (reasonably) good name tarnished and wreck any future football aspirations – serious consideration by Rafa I would have thought.

  • 7 Essex Geordie Bill // May 13, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Oh god, pathetic!!!

  • 8 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 1:38 PM

    Is NUFC a serious proposition to anyone? When the owner makes a grand statement of intent to the footballing world on Sky TV. Then, just 12 months later, after his incompetent stooges have made us the top spenders in Europe – on dross that gets us relegated – he comes out and says don’t come crying to me for money. Howay man. The club is a basket case from top to bottom. It will continue to be a basket case as long as Ashley is the owner. You could predict what was going to happen yet give the man the benefit of the doubt. But you could not make this stuff up.

  • 9 Mister Tuff // May 13, 2016 at 1:39 PM

    Jail -afternoon – me ad cock sparra.
    Oops better translate “My old cock sparrow”.

    Don’t get yourself drawn into rucks not worth it. Please be aware that it is a full moon a week today and the howlers will be getting restless.

  • 10 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    If you compare Ashley’s statements at the start and the end of the season and put them in the category of “humour”, they would be classed as “comedy gold”.

    Your stooges have just crashed your club out of the top league after being top spenders in Europe. Do you

    (a) Leave the stooges in charge of figuring out how it all went wrong?

    (b) Trust the stooges to recognise your biggest asset and persuade him to sign a contract?

    (c) Announce to a prospective new manager, the fans and the players that there’s no more money available?

  • 11 NoahJ // May 13, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Don’t want players like sissoko or janmaat even if they wanted to stay.

    personally, I like siem de jong, I think he’s a clever player and he will probably get much more game time when tiote/sissoko/wiji leave, and if Anita is preferred in defence

  • 12 Jib // May 13, 2016 at 2:07 PM

    This could be a Rafa Summer surprise that would have the club bouncing.

    Xabi Alonso has been living in Toni Kroos’ villa in Grunewald for 2 years.
    Kroos wants it back , so with Pep Guardiola leaving Bayern the Spaniard has decided not to activate his contract extension and look for pastures new.

    He’s 34

    Andrea Pirlo was 35 when he got his last SerieA player of the season trophy.

    Bundesliga to Championship what a story !

  • 13 Wayayman // May 13, 2016 at 2:12 PM

    The more I think about it, the less I can see Rafa staying.
    I think the massive ego needed to be a successful top class manager would be attracted to the fantasy of bringing us back to where we (think) we belong but ultimately if a decent club came in for him he’d be offski. I’m not even sure he’ll stick around long after the weekend as his agents will be inundated with offers since Wednesday night. Bottom line and the major factor is that Ashley wont want to hand over control like Rafa would demand and require in order to get us back asap. Ashley, like all successful billionaire businessmen (cough) will have an ego bigger than even the top managers, and there’s only one winner there. Sadly it’s not us.

    Hope to god I’m wrong though.

  • 14 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 2:26 PM

    Messrs Charnley, Carr and Moncur have shown they have all the requisite skills and expertise to take a shed load of money and to take the club down a division. So it is very comforting and reassuring to me to receive this message from Mr Charnley:

    “We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible. The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun.”

  • 15 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they’d opened talks just to get them past Sunday and the ugly scenes that will follow, if after Sunday he doesn’t stay they will hope it’s all calmed down by August. Blackas says he’ll be going back regardless next season, I can categorically state that if he doesn’t stay and they get some second rate chancer to work under the three stooges I won’t be going anywhere near the place.

  • 16 Munster Mag // May 13, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    I cant see rafa wanting de jong or useless thauvin. Have spoken to plenty of scouse fans and they all refer to hard working players who run a lot. These aint them. None of them said they rated rafa’s style of football by the way but the champs league made him a hero. A big mobile striker will be high on his list of shopping.

  • 17 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    “We know that supporters want to know what the future holds and will want to hear more from us as soon as possible. The process of scrutinising what went wrong and planning for what is to come has already begun.”

    Last year the Fans Forum tried to encourage you, Mr Charnley, to scrutinise the mistakes of the previous season so that you could plan for the future but you brushed away their pertinent questions because you knew best. After the first few games of the season the supporters were trying to convey to you what the future held but you took no notice and continued to put faith in your good judgment.

  • 18 Jib // May 13, 2016 at 2:39 PM

    Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:32 PM
    I can categorically state that if he doesn’t stay and they get some second rate chancer to work under the three stooges I won’t be going anywhere near the place.
    Unless I get a freeby of course.

  • 19 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:40 PM

    Why do they have to scrutinise what went wrong, a blind man on a galloping horse could see wher it has gone wrong. They have let an elderly scout choose inexperienced players largely from outside of the PLand hired lower league managers to coach them and tell them they’re not here to win things but to make a profit for the club while making it very difficult if not impossible to get their promised bonus, where could that possibly go wrong.

  • 20 rozehnal // May 13, 2016 at 2:41 PM

    Chin up guys. One season in Championship will do us good. Maybe Ashley knows its either to go or just give full control to Manager as well as alot investment to wake this sleeping giant.

    I just think it is what it is with Ashley. I have been following this blog since it started but never really posted anything but I am posting now as I really feel things are going to change for the better now whether Ashley stays or not.

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:42 PM

    Never went this season on a freebie Jibberish, wrong again. Keraaashhhh!

  • 22 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    One season in the Championship will not do you good, on the contrary it will do you very bad. If it done you good clubs would be falling over themselves trying to get relegated.

  • 23 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 2:45 PM

    Charnley saying the process has begun says it all. If the idiot is just starting the process, what f@#%!## hope is there? It’s not a lengthy process to look in a mirror?

  • 24 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    What would you find more comforting? An email from Charnley telling you that he has begun the proceess of scrutinising want went wrong? Or a letter of resignation from him?

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:51 PM

    In an ideal world Rafa will stay, however if he doesn’t Charnley needs to be sacked or going back to whatever he done before with no contact with the players at all, it must be demoralising seeing that ugly mug on a regular basis. Carr needs to go back to scouting the type of players the manager asks him to regardless of their age, Beardsley and Watson need to be removed from their post and top youth coaches brought in to replace them.

  • 26 Jail for Ashley // May 13, 2016 at 2:53 PM

    It’s a shame he wasn’t Japanese and Ashley his feudal lord.

  • 27 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 13, 2016 at 2:58 PM

    I wonder if Ashley is expecting someone to fall on their sword from Charnley or Carr?

    Can imagine them shuffling nervously trying to make their case to stay on

  • 28 davetoon // May 13, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    The only slim chance I see of Rafa staying is that Mike gets to hang out with Rafa and his football contacts and he gets back into the reason he bought us in the first place – to have a good time, boost his profile and hopefully sports directs.
    So maybe if Rafa accepts Ashleys rules they could possibly work something out but thats asking a lot of Rafa who is already loaded and in demand.

  • 29 bettyswallocks // May 13, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Jail@15……… Be careful with those ambiguous statements. Things can change mid season and you might be tempted to make a one off appearance. Also you could could be caught on someone’s cellphone or on CCTV strolling past the ground even when it’s a non match day.
    To commit to not going anywhere near the place if they bring a crap manager in could land you in hot water again so be careful with the wording.
    I’m only trying to help you avoid another fracas like this morning.

  • 30 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 13, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    Mike Ashley has sent open letter to#nufcfans:”I understand and share the pain that supporters will be feeling at this difficult time.

  • 31 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 13, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    Ashley on getting promotion: “We have done it before – we can do it again.”

  • 32 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Ashley “It is now time for a period of careful consideration whilst we reflect upon lessons that need to be learned from the last 12 months”

  • 33 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Charnley has not been able to scrutinise what has gone wrong in the cups over several years. The performances in th cups have been embarrassing season after season. So how is he the man to get to grips with relegation?

    We can’t win cup games like we can’t win away games. It’s a perennial problem that Charnley and his predecessors don’t just ignore. They actually don’t want us to try to win cups. These are the people in charge. They don’t want us to try to win cups.

  • 34 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 13, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Ashley: “I thank the fans for their passionate support, in particular for Rafa and the team at recent fixtures”

  • 35 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 13, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    No mention of nailing down Benitez’s services but talks are ongoing

  • 36 Ibizatoon // May 13, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    So no video this time?

  • 37 davetoon // May 13, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    FFS Now we have 2 statements from the pen of Bishop. Not a true word in either.

  • 38 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:21 PM

    i would agree that SDJ would be a decent player to keep around granted he could stay fit and get a good pre-season in him,he could do the likes of arma and mitro the world of good having a bit of intelligence behind him,he also was captain at ajax so would be a sensible head among a few young players…..but he would need to be fit,sharp and strong…which to tbh he’s looked like he’s made of glass most of this season and thats a shame.

  • 39 davetoon // May 13, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    It should read. ” I caught up with Rafa and he asked for assurances on who could be brought in and how the club would be run. I laughed and said jog on son.”

  • 40 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:26 PM

    neither nowt nor something is it tbh.

  • 41 Graeme // May 13, 2016 at 3:27 PM

    Yep, another underwhelming missive from our Illustrious Owner!!!

  • 42 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    he could do the likes of arma and mitro the world of good having a bit intelligence behind THEM….not him…..slight bollick drop there.

  • 43 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 3:32 PM

    I am writing to you in the immediate aftermath of the relegation of our Club – a bitterly disappointing outcome for all of us.

    I have sacked Lee Charnley and Graham Carr. I trust you will understand why I have done this. The reasons we have been relegated are obvious. I have never seen so much incompetence in all of my life.

    I have secured Rafa Benitez on a long term contract and I will be writing to you in the next week to explain the club’s new structure in more detail.

  • 44 hibbitt // May 13, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    Bullshit Bishop strikes again !!

  • 45 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:34 PM

    from that ashley statement,it looks like its going to be that long ponderous wait again for them to pull there fingers oot there hoops and get things sorted and moving,…tedious movements from the club as per usual.

  • 46 Mister Tuff // May 13, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    Blackley – my shout will be no change at SJP.

    No enquiry needed to establish what went wrong – everybody knows – folk with no credentials running the show.

    Ashleys statement says absolutely nothing -delaying tactics. Some idiots will say he promises to do this and that – must be good if Rafa stays -Tubbs and Penfold promising all sorts – the dopes will take it in – again.

    If I crapped in a cardboard box and gave it to someone – they would be up in arms – calling me disgraceful and filthy.

    In a similar scenario – if Tubbs and Penfold crapped in the cardbpoard box and gave it to some of the tools/apologists/howling wolfs’ on here stating it was a chocolate cake – they would believe them.

  • 47 davetoon // May 13, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    @BandB youre dreaming!

  • 48 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:35 PM

    now that would of been the statement of statements!lol

  • 49 bettyswallocks // May 13, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Jail…… I think you should rethink your earlier post and give yourself a bit more leeway as to how close to the ground you are prepared to go if things don’t work out with Rafa. Say for example you want to go for a pint with the lads in the Gate or down the Bigg Market , or if you fancy a spot of shopping with the missus on Northumberland St. Or in Eldon Square. Rightly or wrongly there are those pedantic individuals who will construe this as being close enough to the ground for you to steal a sneaky peak.
    My suggestion is that you specify a no go radius,which will give you access to other areas of the city centre and also avoid any subsequent confusion and challenges on your integrity.

  • 50 hibbitt // May 13, 2016 at 3:37 PM


    snails pace as usual

  • 51 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    aye….. if only they were that quick!lol

  • 52 Rotonda heights // May 13, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    KB earning his coin again. Imagine Ash being able to communicate his own thoughts and ideas.

  • 53 Mister Tuff // May 13, 2016 at 3:40 PM

    Mr Tubbs…………………………………………OOT
    Pops Carr…………………………………………OOT
    Howling Wolves…………………………………OOT
    People Eating chocolate cake………………..OOT
    Ian Toon (pre-emptive strike)………………..OOT
    Maurading football thugs………………………OOT

  • 54 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    just realised i missed out the word slow!haha…..tediously slow movements…..that makes more sense….dropping bollicks all over the place today!lol

  • 55 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 3:41 PM

    That was Mike’s first draft found crumpled in a waste paper basket by a cleaner at Shirebrook. He’s managed to calm down a bit since then.

  • 56 SPRINGY // May 13, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    the cleaner will sacked for posting it before charnley for bollicking up a multi million pay day… laughing but it would probably happen!lol

  • 57 hibbitt // May 13, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    are we all standing by NUFC 83 will be back from school soon !

  • 58 Mister Tuff // May 13, 2016 at 3:43 PM

    Jail -I have a vision of you being chased around the town by Andy from Little Britain.

  • 59 Blackley and Brownlie // May 13, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    People crapping in card board boxes and giving it to someone … OOT

    Not easy to type this when PMSL

  • 60 Average_Contents // May 13, 2016 at 3:48 PM

    Fcukoff you fat slug.

    What a load if guff.

    Get out of our club!


  • 61 Rotonda heights // May 13, 2016 at 3:51 PM


    problems arise when people can never admit they’re wrong. In the case of Townsend I have been on here several times saying how pleasantly surprised I was, as I had previously held the same opinion of him as Pochetinno had probably done perhaps.

    On Martinez, when he first went to everton they came 5th got into europe and scored the most goals in their history in one season, playing great to watch football. Obviously things changed and he obviously seemed to lose the dressing room.

    But unlike some, I am not a gloating, pompous, arrogant, high and mighty wiseass with 20/20 vision in hindsight. God forbid people having an opinion that doesn’t quite tally with your own

  • 62 NoahJ // May 13, 2016 at 4:19 PM


    I think SDJ has been match fit for a while now (he’s been on the bench for over a month), but yeah, he does look rather fragile doesn’t he.

    I just think our midfield has been so imbalanced all season, and that’s because we’ve tried to include our ‘best’ 4, even they’re too similar. sissoko has been really poor all season (cannot believe he has never been dropped), and wiji has been poor since november…

    … i just think SDJ gives that balance and intelligence that no other player in our midfield has.

    would love to try the combo of:

    Aarons — SJD — tiote/saivet — Townsend

  • 63 CAC // May 13, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Blackey and Brownie…love the MA letter. Thant’s exactly what he should be saying. How Charnley and Carr are able to remain at the club is mind boggling, and I suspect part of Rafa’s unwillingness to stay may come down to having to work with those two clowns.

  • 64 anthc // May 13, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    Personally think colo’s been fit just not played by Rafael as he’s simply not good enough and possibly a bad influence to the younger ones. I reckon his attitude is also abysmal as he looks like he couldn’t give a chuff about the club just his court battle over extending his already large house which the club and fans have paid for.
    Hopefully all the free loaders and stepping stone players will be cleared out to allow people who want to play for the club and not just a meal ticket for the shop window.
    Colo, Taylor, Gini, sissoko, colback, Cisse, janmaat doumbia riviere and shelvey can all go for me and no doubt some others. This is an opportunity to clear the decks so get the board out too.

  • 65 Moonraker15 // May 14, 2016 at 2:24 PM

    I think Rafa gets on well with Charnley and obviously gives him the technical support which he would never get from previous numpties. So as long as Rafa stays, on his terms I think Charnley could stay, Carr will go and Rafa runs all things football. Happy days!

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