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Benitez Reveals His Biggest Worry If He Stays At Newcastle

11:30 pm, Sunday, May 15th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 60 Comments

It seems like it will be touch and go whether Rafa Benitez stays with Newcastle when we go down into the second division of English football next season.

This has been one of our worst-ever seasons in the Premier League, when after 32 games we had just 25 points – that was before Rafa staged a surge for survival and we were unbeaten in his final six games of the season, when we won three and drew three and two of the draws were at Liverpool and at home to Manchester City.

rafa benitez aston villa

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager

This is what Rafa had to say today in his program notes for the game against Tottenham – when 10 man Newcastle demolished Spurs 5-1:

“We fought hard and everybody, at all levels at the club, have put in a lot of effort to try and turn our situation around. But we were unable to save ourselves from relegation.”

“There have been injuries, missed chances and some unlucky moments over the course of the season, but we cannot make excuses. We are talking about 10 months and 38 games where we should have got more points, but we didn’t.”

“We have made mistakes and if you are in the bottom three at the end of the season, that is where you deserve to be. The table does not lie.”  “We have already started thinking about the future.”

“I have had conversations with people at the top of the club and we have been talking about what we need to move forward, and we are working on that.”

“I will need some time for reflection, to think about the last two months and what lies ahead.”  “I am very happy here, but it is a difficult decision to make and one which I need time to consider.”

“It is not just about following your heart, but being sure that I can lead this club back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.”

“I do not want to take on this challenge without the conviction that I will do well for the club, the fans and everyone who will put their confidence and trust in me.”

“What I can guarantee to you is that I am considering the option to stay, because the potential of the club, the fans, the staff and the people of Newcastle who have been even more impressive than I ever imagined it would be.”

“I have enjoyed working here, and my time at St James’ Park has exceeded my expectations, even if we were ultimately unable to achieve what we set out to do over the final 10 games.”

Rafa is right to point out that he must be able to lead Newcastle back to the Premier League next May – and the 56 year-old  needs to know what’s available from the club to help him build a good squad that can do that.

It’s imperative that we get promoted in our first season down below, otherwise the finances become very difficult: we can survive in the second division  for one season, but that’s it.

Here is Benitez’ record at Newcastle – we hope it’s not the end of the games he manages for our great club.

Premier LeaguePlayedWonDrawnLostGFGAGDPoints

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Newcastle News · Prayer · Premier League · Press Conference

60 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bettyswallocks // May 15, 2016 at 11:36 PM

    9……. Your style of writing reminds me very much of another poster on here. I can’t just think of his name at the minute but it’ll come to me.

  • 2 scout // May 15, 2016 at 11:37 PM

    When Rafa talks Mike should listen.

  • 3 JackButler // May 15, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    Will Mike allow him the control he needs?

    Answers on a postcard

  • 4 9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:40 PM

    He’s staying lucky us. Don’t spread useless speculation. Due to the not-fit-for-purpose Windows 10, it has taken me 10 minutes to get this comment typed.Do not go Windows 10

  • 5 JackButler // May 15, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    “He’s staying lucky us. Don’t spread useless speculation”

    I’ll just leave that pearl of wisdom up there!!!

  • 6 stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:42 PM

    stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    too many people on here with negative vibes about raffa staying. Everything about football and being successful comes from long term planning , building a team over a couple of seasons to kick on and gradually get a better finish in the league than the year before , then start looking at europe, Why do people think raffa is going to leave just coz we got relagated ?- i dont believe raffa has not thought about the ”long term” prospects and the advantages it could bring all for the sake of 1 year in the lower leagues, long term prospects totally outweigh the 1 year short term blip before making us great again , Raffa is an intelligent man , i’m sure hes thought that through, the problem is ashley and charnley , nothing else

  • 7 stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:46 PM

    Jack from previous, —- exactly mate , thats what i’m saying . If Raffa leaves , it wont be because we got relagated , we can deal with that , the problem is ashley and charnley . If Raffa dosnt get the what he needs to turn us into a force – he will be off . simple as that

  • 8 9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:50 PM

    Betty, suit yourself I am 9 and only 9, if you want to live in a fantasy world where people pretend to be other people, I’m sorry for you. And you would not be

  • 9 JackButler // May 15, 2016 at 11:50 PM


    The best thing if he stays is that we know that Charnley and Carr are no longer calling the shots, which is the reason why we are we’re we are. My hope is that losing out on a massive amount of money will finally convince Ashley to change things and employ footballing people

  • 10 Thump // May 15, 2016 at 11:52 PM

    Today I learned that Windows 10 impedes typing performance. Hope Penfold isn’t on it – we’ll never get his resignation.

  • 11 Munster Mag // May 15, 2016 at 11:54 PM

    Lads who is the co-commentator? Davenport??

  • 12 9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Can’t believe the incompetence of Windows 10. Never got to finish my

  • 13 stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:55 PM

    Jack–i hope he does, coz if he dosant , he will lose the same amount of money next – and the next – and the next. I hope he puts his business head on . for once .

  • 14 stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:56 PM

    * next year*

  • 15 9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:57 PM

    ………previous post. See what I mean?

  • 16 stuart no9 // May 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM

    Munster—peter davenport ????

  • 17 9 // May 16, 2016 at 12:02 AM


    I’m very happy to leave this, your point is….?

  • 18 9 // May 16, 2016 at 12:04 AM

    (ladies and) Gentlemen, please can I give you some advise: Windows 10 is not yet fit for purpose.

  • 19 Belfast // May 16, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    We would have been relegated on goal difference if we’d beat Villa.

    Wwsbrd and Bobbybee no more predictions from you two please.

  • 20 Munster Mag // May 16, 2016 at 12:08 AM

    Stuart i was thinking that. Can anyone advise who the co-commentator is?

  • 21 Belfast // May 16, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    Sunderland no chance of getting points in that run in….

    The mackems are gloating now but they’ll be in for another dog fight next year.

  • 22 Mister Tuff // May 16, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    Lesh – your query re pops Carr.
    It was suggested in Mark Douglas’ article 2 days ago that the club were haggling over valuations and it was sometimes Carrs’ third or fourth choice that was selected – clearly therefore Penfold must have been pulling rank on Carr. So perhaps some of the complaints anbout Carr might be unwarranted.

  • 23 bettyswallocks // May 16, 2016 at 12:38 AM

    Belfast………. I think we should play big Rob as a number9 next season. He’s more level headed than Mitrovic.

  • 24 lesh // May 16, 2016 at 1:07 AM

    C’mon Ed man, you’re wearing a very negative hat when talking about Rafa’s presence oot other at the Club.

    You and everyone else know that Rafa’s seeking assurances from Ashley before he commits to stay and we can but wait for Rafa to say he’s staying….. hopefully.

  • 25 lesh // May 16, 2016 at 1:08 AM

    * oot = or

  • 26 lesh // May 16, 2016 at 1:13 AM


    Charmless on Windows 10?

    Don’t be daft, he’s kept his Amstrad – in the interests of economy!

  • 27 lesh // May 16, 2016 at 1:16 AM

    Mr Tuff

    Thanks for the Chron link. Appreciated.

  • 28 Munster Mag // May 16, 2016 at 1:58 AM

    I dont think rafa’s demeanour looks good for us. I was sure he wud stay before the game. Now i doubt it.

  • 29 Essex Geordie Bill // May 16, 2016 at 2:42 AM

    Who’s being negative, there are quite a few who are wondering if he will stay but that’s not a negative response more of a worried one.

    His use of the word ‘We’ so many times suggests he is looking towards staying as manager.

  • 30 Essex Geordie Bill // May 16, 2016 at 2:48 AM


    Are you sure it’s windows 10 causing the problem, I’ve had no bother with it.

    You’re not being messed about by ads slowing the performance down perchance. They used to be a right menace till I installed AdBlocker and Ghostery.

  • 31 Our Toon // May 16, 2016 at 2:55 AM

    Darlow isn’t cut out at the club he’s not a good shot stopper

  • 32 ROSHAN MAGPIE // May 16, 2016 at 3:39 AM

    I’m pretty sure that sunderland will relegated next season only reason is because we won’t be there to gift them those 6 points to survive

  • 33 nut meg // May 16, 2016 at 3:43 AM

    Munster Mag
    The co-commentator was Gary Birtles.

  • 34 Carr Toon // May 16, 2016 at 3:49 AM

    Was looking at the final league table and thinking about:

    1. Late Winner for Norwich
    2. Aguero’s Offside Goal
    3. Injury Time Penalty for Mackems at Stoke
    4. Colback’s miss at Villa

    Wondering what we could have achieved in Rafa’s full EPLseason had these four things gone our way…… way………………..

  • 35 nut meg // May 16, 2016 at 4:28 AM

    Wouldn’t it be good to have a “real” professional football man at our club….c’mon Rafa, rebuild us from top to bottom.
    Ashley & Charnley…make it happen!

  • 36 rush_nufc // May 16, 2016 at 5:34 AM

    A pointless stat..but worth a mention
    In Rafas 10 games, if we consider only 2nd half performance, than we are unbeaten under him
    sunderland -0-0-3-pt
    man city-0-0-1pt
    Crystal palace-1-0-3pt
    Aston Villa-0-0-1pt

    Thats 20 pts. Against Tottenham we played with freedom from the 1st half and you can see the result.

  • 37 rush_nufc // May 16, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    A pointless stat..but worth a mention
    In Rafas 10 games, if we consider only 2nd half performance, than we are unbeaten under him
    sunderland -1-0-3-pt
    man city-0-0-1pt
    Crystal palace-1-0-3pt
    Aston Villa-0-0-1pt

    Thats 20 pts. Against Tottenham we played with freedom from the 1st half and you can see the result (Corrected)

  • 38 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    If this is media spin then the club are losing it badly, Benitez has all but said in public bar the exact demands he wants that he is willing to stay, wants to stay and loves it here, it sounds as though he has it all mapped out what we need for success. If he walks away then we all know it’s because Mashers wants to carry on with his reinvention of the square wheel determined it will work. The consequences will be dire. I believe Rafa will stay but even after terms are agreed both sets of legal teams will have to pore over the contracts to ensure that Rafa cannot be stitched up KK style.

  • 39 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 6:27 AM

    It is pointless to keep torturing yourself about it as what’s done is done but it’s obvious to every man and his dog that Rafa’s results point to the fact that had he been brought in earlier that we’d be safe now and us sending the mackems down. That Stoke was so winnable even with McCardew in charge, had Rafa have been at the helm with 18 days with the squad and the new manager bounce he would have got off to a winning start and the rest they say would have been history.

  • 40 jimmysmith // May 16, 2016 at 6:51 AM

    Best quote about Newcastle. “Nobody knows what they are doing down there” Jurgen Klopp. The best Rafa could come up with was he doesn’t think they are a confident group of players. I like the Pardew expression, “It’s a heavy shirt”. Of course Ashley wouldn’t hear of it.

  • 41 EllaGuru // May 16, 2016 at 7:00 AM

    Rafa has backed Charmless and Ashley into a corner with those (excellent) statements after the game on Saturday.
    With Rafa on the record as wanting to stay, then it is down to Newcastle to match his demands. If he goes, then he can simply point to this statement and claim that his demands were not met.
    Rafa being very smart, maybe a little too smart for the board.
    Still I cannot see him staying, but would be delighted if he did.

  • 42 LGFUAD21 // May 16, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    The way I see it. Rafa has 3 potential outcomes that he has to consider.

    He can go to another sizeable team competing for Europa

    He can stay here get us promoted first time and crack on being elevated to God status among the geordie nation. He can stay here fail to get us promoted first time and destroy his own career.

    I think it’s the potential for option 3 that might swing him against it.

    Yesterday’s performance was almost an insult to the fans. That we could pull that off but not win when it mattered. It pretty much confirmed the dodgy characters in the squad.

    It will be tough replacing townsend mind. He’s been our best player over the past 6 months.

  • 43 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:07 AM

    His demands should be.
    1 :Charnley going back to being an administrator or whatever he done before anyone had heard of him and his own DoF brought in if he wants one.
    2: Carr going back to being a scout and looking for the type of players that Rafa believes will help the team regardless of age or sell on value.
    3: Watson sacked and Beardsley to be given hospitality role with Moncur and his own coaches implementing the same strategy throughout all levels.
    4: Work to be carried out on the training ground as promised for years.

    These unfortunately are the easiest terms and should be quite quickly agreed on, wages as well. What will be tricky is not so much the transfer funds but the selling of players when Mikey thinks they have reached peak, the purchasing of 29 year old LB’s and who gets final say will be problematic also.

  • 44 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:18 AM

    W Ham selling 52K ST’s for the new stadium should tell them everything they need to know about the need for ambition, if they hire Rafa everyone will renew and thousands will go back if they bring in Pearce or Warnock while preparing the way for McCardew IV if we get promoted it will be the ruination of the club.

  • 45 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    ‘When asked about what Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said to him at the end of the game, Pochettino said: “It was strange – Newcastle are relegated but he felt sorry for me.”‘

  • 46 SPRINGY // May 16, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    morning all
    i cant see charnley gettin the boot coz of rafa,if at all.
    i can see carr being told he has had his decision making regarding player recruitment his now out of his hands,he will have no say as to who is brought in…effectively castrated….he works for rafa and scouts the players he wants,but final say would be rafas.
    charnley may get the boot,but that would probably be at the hands of ashley,if there is a replacement available.

  • 47 Jail for Ashley // May 16, 2016 at 7:46 AM

    I don’t think he will either but someone being held accountable for the monumental balls up is secondary to Rafa signing up at the moment.

  • 48 Slank // May 16, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    Jail @ 43

    I think you are absolutely wrong on your Point 1.

    Charnley, irrespective of what we may think of him, is the boss and Ashley’s trusted appointee.

    Any person wanting a job as an employee does not insist that the owner’s trusted appointment to run his business is sacked. Almost guaranteed to not get the job.

  • 49 Ron Knee // May 16, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Photo of the Three Stooges laughing as Newcastle get relegated:-

    Share the joke, Fatso.

  • 50 martoon // May 16, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    I was thinking if we had beaten Villa then we would have gone down on goal difference which would have been harder to take. At least we won the battle for third bottom 🙂

  • 51 OneAlanShearer // May 16, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Mr tuff – that has been my argument for Carr as well. We don’t know it was his policy to keep buying french, he didn’t set the budget that determined the type of player. For me he found gems but the budget always stopped short of buying 3 or 4 required extra players per season. For me tiote has been a success under Rafa, as has sissoko and anita. The problem wa they bought rubbish head coaches and persisted with poor buying and selling policies. This is the time to set all that straight, keep rafa, give him carte blanche over the club, beg townsend to stay, get rid of the dross at the club and build a new squad from the juniors upwards. Invest rather than cut back. Starting with defenders and a pacey clinical striker. The honest difference between us staying up and the mackems staying up was defoe and a lack of defensive options. I’d keep darow,lascelles, Mbemba, dummett, janmaat,tiote,colback,townsend,perez,sissoko, mitrovic but get rid of the rest..Wijnaldum is invisible away from home, Krul unlikely to be a top keeper after his injuries. colo, saivet,doumbia,saylor… build on that.

  • 52 BandB // May 16, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Pl`eas`e excuse JFA, Slank.
    The man obviously doesn’t know his place.

  • 53 toon kk // May 16, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    Relegation was enivitable with our players attitude under Macca, confidence was low along with quality.
    Rafa did turn us around, but why did it take until the last day of the season to show what we were capable of??
    Putting themselves in the shop window maybe?

  • 54 sing in the corner // May 16, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    The season’s over and,although we know we’re down, still toon fans are kept dangling. We have no way of knowing what the real game is here. Either Ashley fully intends to keep Rafa here without giving him absolute and complete power (negotiations are complex there)…or he is letting the dust settle, time pass, in the hope everything will come off the boil, everyone at the hierarchy of the club sods off to sunny shores and he can do what he really intends when he comes back. (ie. A McCarvdew figure with little real say in what happens)
    I prefer to go for the first option.

  • 55 banjax // May 16, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    I really think Mike Ashley gets the picture, a bit late, but better late than never. His previous lack of investment in quality players whilst selling the best for a quick buck and his belated £80+m investment in transfers to try and save the club have all come to relegation. As Keegan said earlier he has not learned his lessons very quickly. All this coupled with hiring a inexperienced Chairman and adopting a dictatorial method of supplying players that coaches do not want by having a Chief Scout pick them. Yes Mike it didn’t work and it’s going to cost you loads of dosh. You know what has to be done, so do it or be damned.

  • 56 toon kk // May 16, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    What worries me most it’s MA we’re talking about, will he be prepared to give Rafa the control he wants? I’m not so sure.

  • 57 martoon // May 16, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    The atmosphere at the match yesterday was one of the best I can remember this season. Really weird when you consider we were already relegated. I think it was because there was no pressure at all on the result and I think this spread to the players as well. If we had won at Villa and there was something to play for then it would have been completely different!

  • 58 Laurent Robert 32 // May 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

    It really is sink or swim this opportunity for the club.

    The black hole that would open up should Rafa’s wishes not be met would be excruciatingly annoying and sad.

    To hear a lot of the fans sing Rafa’s name throughout the game, not far off non-stop was brilliant, touching, and I was proud to be part of it.

    Surely Bishop’s advice to Ashley would be not to pass up this opportunity which has the fans fairly quelled, compared to usual, and it would give him an easy ride to rebuild a club that he has been appalling with.

    Rafa is like having a top football consultant come in and build a club from the ground up as well as being manager of the team. You just can’t employ that type of consultation knowledge very easily for a certain length of time.

    It’s a no-brainer to give Rafa what he wants, but unfortunately the people running the club have no football brains.

  • 59 Rotonda heights // May 16, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Jimmy smith.

    I think this is a unique situation where Rafa should be gven the keys to the castle, purely because everyone else is apparently clueless and has failed so badly and so consistently.

    rafa wants to address transfers in and out, oversee scouting, the training facilities, the youth academy etc, etc, all of which have been marked failures under Ash’s regular stooges.

    Rafa is not a bruce, pardew, warnock, pulis type figure. Rafa has credibility where the others = continued ongoing mediocrity.

    Ash isn’t hands on and doesn’t want to be, charnley has been an unmitigated disaster, carr has bought a string of duds, beardo and watson are not fit for purpose, etc, etc. Make rafa king.

  • 60 Sav // May 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    We are paying a high price for it but this work out for the best. Rafa has maximum leverage. Carr and Penfold are marginalised. We might have gone on for more years with mediocre no-hoper mid-table managers glad to get any job and happy to survive. That was never good enough but there was no sign of a change coming. Now it is costing Ashley money. But it all hangs on keeping Rafa.

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