Mike Ashley To Meet With Rafa Benitez In Next 24 Hours


The Mirror is reporting today that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has planned a meeting in the next 24 hours with Rafa Benitez in order to try to persuade the former Liverpool manager to stay on as the Newcastle manager.

Ashley is said to be very willing to do everything possible to get Benitez to stay, with the 56 year-old world-class manager appearing in his press conference yesterday to be really keen on the job at Newcastle.

He laid out the discussions that are ongoing at Newcastle, but it was clear he’s even fallen in love with Newcastle and especially with the passionate fans – but don’t tell his wife Maria de Montserra that.

🙂

Rafael+Benitez+Liverpool+v+Newcastle+United+ChRGm_7JExsl

Rafa Benitez Mike Ashley meeting planned within 24 hours

It is generally believed that Rafa has the following four issues he needs resolved:

  1. Full control of all transfers into and out of the club
  2. A complete overhaul of the Youth Academy
  3. A complete overhaul of the Benton Training Facilities
  4. Control of the medical department

And it is thought after Rafa’s positive press conference yesterday, where he obviously wants to stay at the club – Mike Ashley will now move quickly and get the 56 year-old Spaniard committed to at least three years at Newcastle.

This is what Rafa is quoted in the Mirror today about the Ashley meeting and possibly staying on at Newcastle:

“I like the idea, I am really pleased here, I am flattered with the support that I have from everyone.”

“Mike Ashley is keen to talk and I am really pleased that we can sit down and talk. I don’t have any problem with that. The message he is sending is quite positive.”

“I have been so many years working so hard to win so many trophies that it is a question of now deciding whether you want to enjoy it, or you want to make money, or you want to win trophies.”

“And I would like to enjoy winning trophies.”

“At the moment I am really pleased with the reaction and I want to be sure that if I decide to stay it is because I want to win.”

“If I stay it is because I want to win, not because I want to stay here in the Championship for ten years. That is not my target. My target, if I stay, is one year and five in the Premier League.”

“The fans have done so much. Flattered is the word. They have been fantastic. Even today, the staff were showing me a video of the Newcastle fans singing my name.”

“It was like in Liverpool when we won the Champions League. You cannot expect more from them.”

“It is very similar to Liverpool, it was even the same song, the same way. It was very good. I was at Liverpool six years so the connection and the feelings are there.”

“The two cities are very similar.”

“They are working-class cities with the passion of the fans and the support of the team. There a lot of similarities. It is one of the reasons I decided to come.”

“This is a big club that needed to maybe wake up. It is just we have to make sure we have what we want for the future in terms of a strong team that can compete and be promoted again.”

“Relegation is really bad for anyone , no matter how big is the club, especially when you have been working so hard, fighting so much.”

“It’s really disappointing, but now you have to accept what is going on, and then think about the future.”

Those are simply great words from Rafa Benitez and his enthusiasm is infectious.

Where’s my boots!

🙂

And maybe Mike will go all in and offer more than three years on Tyneside.

It’s also known that Rafa has taken a helicopter back to his home in the Wirral (128 miles from Newcastle as the crow flies) , so maybe a helicopter will be made available to him for his commutes back home?

His vision for Newcastle  is exactly what Newcastle fans have always wanted – to have Newcastle United Football Club play at the highest level of European football.

This is very good news – and we hope Mike Ashley gives Rafa everything he asks for – after all –  it’s also within Mike’s best interests – he can (will) make the club great again.

We need Rafa signed up as the Newcastle manager for at least the next three years.

If Ashley can achieve that in tomorrow’s meeting, it will be the best thing he has ever done in his nine years at the club.

And if Benitez does sign it will also be news around the world and will show Newcastle United in good light – that a world-class manager like Rafa Benitez is willing to stay at the club – even though we have just  been relegated.

It’s the injection of ambition and real hope that Newcastle fans have been yearning for.

Comments welcome.



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95 comments so far

  • clinath@ed

    May 15, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #1

    Does anyone else feel that us fans are just bargaining chips that both sides are playing.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #2

    Morning munster. Arma is primarily a striker – a number nine who runs the channels to great effect. He can also play off a big striker, as a No10. The magic of the little man is that he can score from anywhere, so exactly where he plays doesn’t restrict him. I’d love to see him start today, ahead of Cisse. He’s quicker, controls the ball much better, has a better brain and scores goals. Everything Cisse is struggling with! 😉

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  • clinath@ed

    May 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #3

    No? Just me then.

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  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #4

    No is the answer to the earlier question.
    Rafa is the genuine article.
    He doesn’t need everyday dug out management – of course he can be involved but Cathro can run the touch line so to speak .
    His real vision is Real – turn Newcastle into the Sporting Club of Newcastle that was first mooted all those years ago ( Hall ? ) .
    You would think that even Ashley can see the potential for that global recognition as being attractive. Sadly it’s beyond Charnley to have any vision other than blurred.

    There isn’t a single club in the UK that offers this unique opportunity.
    Man City are sorted
    Man Utd are in a mess
    Arsenal is a franchise.
    Spurs are another London franchise.
    West Ham have sold their soul.
    Liverpool – been there and done it.
    There isn’t a single other club in the Premier League or possibly Europe that has a pulse as big as ours. And size matters .

    Rafa – bring it on.

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  • clinath@ed

    May 15, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #5

    I agree Bobby

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  • expatmag

    May 15, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #6

    Clibath

    Of course we are. We have always been the meat in the sandwich under this regime

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  • Nufc-83

    May 15, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #7

    Hope I am wrong but pretty certain Rafa will be at Everton next season.

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  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #8

    Clinath

    I posted a couple of responses earlier, but thought we must be writing on the bleezer.

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  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #9

    All together now
    “The Reign from Spain stays mainly in the Toon “

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #10

    Clearly the backing of the supporters is of benefit to Benitez – rather than it being of benefit to the hierarchy.
    Having support from the majority (?) populus can only strengthen his hand.
    The “other side” will know there will be a backlash against them if Benitez is not signed up – so I think they are going to have to relinquish some power. Dirty tricks later on could still happen though.
    Get a hint of Penfold not getting his just deserts and all the blame heaped on pops Carr.
    That Mark Douglas article suggests Penfold was turning down Carrs top choices for lesser players.

    Cannot see Penfold getting the boot – but with the millions he has lost – in any other busuness the whole lot of em would be pedalled.

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  • Munster Mag

    May 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #11

    Bobby cud u see him in the 4231 yes? Where in the 3?

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  • hibbitt

    May 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #12

    good morning Paul good of you to join us

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #13

    For a team just relegated, today has all the makings of a carnival atmosphere as we persuade Rafa this is where he wants to be next season. One season in the Championship is all we ask for, because one will be enough for Rafa. I know it won’t be a stroll in the park next season, but let’s not mess about – with the teams in the Championship it’s basically another PL, just not as good. A few extra games and a bit of fight more, but basically, the better teams get promoted. The Championship should hold no fears for us under Rafa. The level of the French league perhaps? As we see season on season, if you get promoted and don’t invest, you come back down rapidly. Rafa can handle the Championship nay bother. 😉

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  • Mister Tuff

    May 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #14

    Make no mistake the fans backing will be a boost for Benitez -but NOT the deciding factor – it is the deal he does with Tubbs that will decide things.

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  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #15

    Everton -nah
    Second City club that would be demotion for Rafa
    They can’t match Rafa’s ambition or his ego in a good way.
    They say you should never go back and that would be playing second fiddle to Klopp and the team he used to manage. He’s not daft and doesn’t need that sort of scrutiny.
    I know from sources that both Rafa and his family appreciate the warmth they feel at NUFC and in and around the Toon .
    He wants the challenge, he enjoys the love, he’s got the nous .

    How would you prefer to travel First Class with Newcastle or in the baggage car with Everton ?

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  • The overrated Frenchman

    May 15, 2016 at 11:03 AM

    Comment #16

    As someone said recently – can’t remember where – the fan-base and the stadium are the things the club has going for it. I guess it makes sense to make the fans (and the stadium when it’s packed with them) the focus of the pitch to Rafa. Any other decent club could match the money you’d think, and it’s not as if we have anything else to offer. We don’t have a winning culture, a thriving academy, a proper training facility, or upper echelon management providing any real vision – or intelligence for that matter.

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  • SA Toon

    May 15, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #17

    Clinath@ed You say that like it’s a bad thing. Rafa is aligning himself with the fans, and the fans with him. It’s putting pressure on management, because they know what we want and what they have to do to get it for us. I have no doubt that they also know that if they don’t get him to stay they will struggle to keep us on sides. Fan power! Let’s push that message home this afternoon.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #18

    Munster, he’d ideally be the 1, leading the line like Aguero does. Not saying he’s that good, just pointing out that a little guy can play there. If not, he’d play directly behind the 1, the No10 position. No point playing him wide, you’d be wasting his natural finishing power.

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  • Munster Mag

    May 15, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #19

    Lochinvar, everton is an answer. To be the first boss to manage red and blue? I hear an everton journo on irish radio and he said it was unlikely that mgt or fans at everton wanted rafa. Their main choice is the Sevilla guy who is obviously v good. Everton didnt seem to rate rafa. Best of luck to them.

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  • Munster Mag

    May 15, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    Comment #20

    Bobby rafa wont play him on the point i reckon. He likes more power there. A 442 manager wud suit arma more but rafa invented 4231 apparently?

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  • hibbitt

    May 15, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #21

    SA Toon

    thats what its all about
    today of all days fan power could carry Rafa over the line
    but only on his terms

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  • Nufc-83

    May 15, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #22

    Lochinvar Everton will now have major investment so if you think we are a bigger and better club at the moment you are clearly deluded. I believe the biggest factor for Rafa is being close to his family and they live in Caldy which is about 20 mins from Everton.

    If Everton approach him I think he’s gone so let’s hope they have someone else in mind

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #23

    Munster, Rafa will play whoever he feels is best imo. This kid is the next big thing and you wouldn’t leave a prolific striker – which is what he is – on the bench. Rafa will find a way to play him, if not build the attack round him. He’s going to continue improving and the Championship won’t do him any harm. When you’ve got a player who finishes like Arma does, you get him in your team regardless. 😉

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  • SA Toon

    May 15, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #24

    Hibbitt Absolutely right. Stand aside Charnley, this is all about Ashley. If Rafa stays it will be because Ashley gave him the guarantees he needs. If he goes, it will be because he did not. It’s yours to stuff up Mr Ashley!

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  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #25

    If Rafa stays I can see it swaying the likes of Townsend to remain too. Perez will probably kept also.

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  • Our Toon

    May 15, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #26

    A lot of hype over young Armstrong, he’s had a good season at Coventry, superb first half and shocking 2nd half to the season. Yes Coventry did have as strong as team 2nd half of the season but the lad failed as well which is a learning curve for him. He will have learnt more in that 2nd half to the season than the first. He can obviously make that step up next season but let’s not expect fireworks, let him ease in rather than the big pressure some are putting on him

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  • Munster Mag

    May 15, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #27

    Lochinvar dont know if you posted it before me the other nite but i think rafa sees a dynasty being built here and this being his last club if it works. Even if he got us close to the europa league final we wud love him. Mind u p**dew did that and he’s hardly loved here! :). It comes down to ashleys willingness to invest. And personally i think he is willing to spend. Its the structure around senior decision making, scouting approach and the academy and injuries history that has to change. Im not too worried about transfer budgets. Ashley has been fine on that level this year. Its who decides on the players, thats the key issue. Rafa cud probably list 11 players he would like, at fair value, on the back of a cigarette packet. He knows who he needs already i would think. Its just a question of who makes the decion to buy player x y or z. If we get a strong team and bench, the bigger strategic issues like the academy will follow.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #28

    Talk of other teams coming in for Rafa is either here nor there. He’s actually contracted to us unless he chooses his opt out clause. We are his first choice, it all depends on how Ashley approaches it. I’m not even sure if other clubs can approach him unless he does opt out. Right now he’s our manager and it’s up to the management and fans to persuade him this is where his future lies. We’ll be doing our bit today, i guarantee it. Over to you them Mike?

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  • SA Toon

    May 15, 2016 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #29

    We’ll be watching the game on TV in Johannesburg this afternoon and making a lot of noise. Those of you lucky enough to be at the game must leave MA with no doubt what he needs to do. Funny that no one’s really talking about the game, but I think the players have their own part to play. I hope they realize the importance of staging their own Rafa protest. They must show him they have the stomach for the fight. Hopefully they’ll pick up the mood in the stands and respond.

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  • hibbitt

    May 15, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #30

    SA Toon

    don’t go worrying about the fans in the WE WILL DO OUR JOB guranteed
    good luck toon army

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #31

    Our toon, Arma still got into those crucial positions in the second half of the season, but a depleted midfield failed to find him. I’ve personally watched the kid grow up as a footballer and imo hype or not, he’s going to be a star. Don’t forget he missed a good few games for Coventry, due to England youth call ups. He scored for England when he was struggling for service at Coventry, which speaks volumes. Let’s be honest, what we think, or expect, has zero bearing on his ability. Rafa will do what he feels best and Arma will do the rest.

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  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #32

    It’s a three year contract with an opt-out clause.
    I’m hoping the discussions going on now are simply to fine-tune and underline a new job description already written into Rafa’s contract. He may want to change things on the basis of what he has seen in nine weeks. That’s right and proper.
    There is one false note that’s nagging at the back of my mind.
    Rafa said he wanted was holding out for the title of manager before he came. I assumed that was his title.
    But a few weeks after he came he said he was only the head coach. My heart sank a little at that.
    Rafa has the chops and the clout to change the way this club is on and off the pitch for the foreseeable future. The future of the club lies in his hands.
    I hope he is not going to cut a lesser deal.

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  • ToonRich

    May 15, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #33

    Todays line up from what I’m reading here:

    ———–Darlow—————
    Arma – Arma – Arma – Arma
    —–Arma—–Arma—–
    Arma — Arma — Arma
    ————Arma—————–

    😀

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  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #34

    I want Rafa for manager.
    I wouldn’t sing for less.
    If has settled for head coach, I’d rather he left.

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  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #35

    BandB, I can’t see him settling for anything less than what he wants, can you? Doesn’t strike me as that sort of person. He knows exactly what he wants and it’s up to Ashley to give him it. We’ll do our bit to pile the pressure on today, that’s for certain. Let’s hope it all ends up rosy in the garden. 😉

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  • Our Toon

    May 15, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #36

    Bobby bee

    I’ve seen enough young talent come through at various clubs and fail for one reason or another, some more talented than Armstrong. Not saying Armstrong will fail but it will be tough for the kid as ability alone doesn’t dictate whether you make the step up

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  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #37

    We are on the same page bobby.
    I thought he had held out for the manager title when he signed, so I was surprised when he said he was just head coach.
    No-one has ever had the prestige to ask Ashley to tear up the recruitment blueprint. I doubt anyone will again.
    So I hope he takes his chance.

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  • hibbitt

    May 15, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #38

    i think rafa has all the cards
    if they don’t give what wants
    he will walk
    the clowns know a lot of fans will walk with him

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  • clinath@ed

    May 15, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #39

    SA Toon, good or bad? Not really important, just an observation on my part.
    Rafa knows he’s in the box seat, with the majority of the fans seeing him as the only solution for a rapid return. Also, he wants to reshape the cub from top to bottom in his image, so wants/needs as much leverage as podssible.
    Ashley may not be prepared to fund, or generally accede to that much control….but he does not want a riot at st James today, so he too is making all the right noises to keep us happy.
    As others have said, let’s see what happen after today before we judge.

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  • Nufc-83

    May 15, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #40

    Bobby Everton will make their intentions known if they did want Rafa even if not through the politically correct channels. How do you know we are Rafa’s first choice he will understand what clubs are after him and if he finds it more attractive he will activate his release clause it’s that simple. Ashley coukd offer him anything and he could still walk. Let’s hope that’s not the case but your making out he’s already made his choice.

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