Emotional Benitez Hints He Could Still Leave

Third bottom Newcastle United thrashed second top Tottenham 5-1 at St. James’ Park today and that was even after we had Aleksandar Mitrovic sent off after 67 minutes with the score at 2-1.

But three unanswered goals saw this Rafa-coached Newcastle side take the London side apart, as we scored three goals in our final 20 minutes in the Premier League for at least 15 months.

Rafa’s name was chanted throughout the game, but alas he still seems cagey about staying on Tyneside and managing Newcastle in the second division.

rafa benitez spurs 987

Rafa Benitez – Newcastle manager today

Rafa was asked what his heart was telling him – as he was interviewed on Sky Sports after the game:

“My heart is obviously telling me yes it is a fantastic opportunity, a fantastic atmosphere, everything is so good that my heart is very clear.”

“But at the same time you have to use the brain, both things have to go together. We talk with Lee Charnley, and then after we’ll see where we are.”

“I said I am quite open and I am quite pleased with everything, the staff, everything, now it’s just to be sure that we have to do what we have to do to be sure that we can go up if I stay here.”

“They know, we have been talking. I have the same feeling as the fans, they want a strong team next season to be sure we go up again.”

 “The way and the ideas will not be difficult to have, to have similar ideas, but we have to sit down and make sure of everything.”

“Yes it was emotional day. Obviously when you have a lot of people behind you and see the players working as they were working, and everybody singing, it was very, very emotional.”

“I knew before it would be like this, and now we have to wait, start talking, and see what we’ll do in the future.”

“When you are under pressure you don’t play at the level you can play.”

“Today, without fear, we wanted to give the fans something back. We know the fans have been supporting the team in difficult circumstances. I’m really pleased for them, because they needed to see a performance like this.”

The good news is that Mike Ashley was at the game so hopefully Mike will be able to talk to Rafa either tonight or tomorrow and hopefully give Rafa what he wants.

But this performance by Newcastle will only bring news about what Rafa has done in the final six game o f the season to what had been a dysfunctional team before he arrived on Tyneside.

Rafa got one point from the first four games in charge and then 12 points from the last six games.

Premier LeaguePlayedWonDrawnLostGFGAGDPoints

In contrast this is Steve McClaren’s record.

Premier LeaguePlayedWonDrawnLostGFGAGDPoints

If only he had arrived earlier we would still be  Premier League side.

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66 comments so far

  • Bambams

    May 15, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    Comment #1

    It’s simple.

    He is telling Ashley that there is only one way he will stay. Back him fully.

    We are, he wants to stay, Ash will want to get back up…..

    It’s not difficult

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #2

    Headline should be – Rafa confirms we have a squad largely comprised of bottlers.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    May 15, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    Comment #3

    Who’s got martinez number???

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #4

    Heezus Christo!
    He’s only gone and put the ball straight in Mikleys court, how can they explain they couldn’t convince him to stay now, surely they’ll lose the crowd, the fans, the City and most importantly to them them, the media battle that will ensue if they bring in Warnock or Pearce!

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 15, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #5

    Haha Neil warnock now that would be horrendous lol

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 7:22 PM

    Comment #6

    Have i missed something? I fail to see where he hints he might leave. I see hints he wants to stay like, more than i see that as anything negative. Obviously he isn’t going to challenge in the Championship – he wants to know he can win it and if the backing will be there. That’s understandable imo, he’s not coming along for the ride. All the noises coming out of both camps are positive. We just need to wait and see if Ashley is going to grab defeat from the jaws of victory, but if he does, he’ll have nowhere to hide. Personally i think he’ll stay, but i know as little as everybody else.

  • ShirebrookToon

    May 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #7

    Gotta say though what a game and what an atmosphere


  • lesh

    May 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #8

    Of course Rafa’s not fully convinced about staying with us.

    He’s said his heart’s saying yes but he needs to be sure. Or more to the appoint, obtain assurances of Ashley’s commitment to responsibilities and realistic transfer budgets, authority over player recruitment etc.

    Without those cast-iron guarantees, Rafa’ll be off.

    It’s up to Ashley to deliver

  • Laurent Robert 32

    May 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM

    Comment #9

    Really good atmosphere and a lot of fans did a great job in chanting for Rafa throughout the game.

    Crazy match, shame it couldn’t have been done earlier, but that can’t be changed now, so the win is still a plus. I think it’s unbeaten in 6. Liverpool, Spurs, Man City some of the names in that run. The general improvement is very obvious and to me, not surprising.

    Looking forward to seeing Adam Armstrong next year. Hopefully he can do well.

    By the sounds of Rafa, it looks like he’ll stay, as long as his demands are met. Let’s hope they are. If they’re not, the morons running the club have nowhere to turn and would have messed up a gift that has fallen into their lap to rebuild the whole club – something which they haven’t a clue how to do.

  • Bambams

    May 15, 2016 at 7:27 PM

    Comment #10


    We all see it.

    Ash is backed up against a wall….We just thumped spuds 5-1…..A team that was already relegated against a team that was second in the league.

    No way can Ash walk away from this with any spin. He backs Rafa or will be torn to pieces by the whole footballing world, business, Sponsors, Press…….


    May 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #11

    Bloody good for him because it is down to them he doesn’t want to be in the championship but he wants to be at our club, he sounds willing to drop a year of his life into us if they are serious about it

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    Comment #12

    He hints heavily that he wants to stay but he also hints that he might leave if the clowns running the show don’t give him what he wants.

  • The Vicar

    May 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #13

    It would be great if Rafa stayed, but the problem is that it will mean Charnley and Carr voting to sack themselves. They will not vote to sack themselves.

    The only way forward is for Ashley to disband “the Football Board” and give Rafa everything he needs with the support he expects. The support will mean a switched on scouting network, a professional front office and some money.

    Ashley needs to go back on what he said last year and take action as the main shareholder. He has to sack the board and start again with Rafa as a key player.

  • stuart no9

    May 15, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    Comment #14

    Ed — even if raffa has made his mind up , he wasnt going to announce it on a sky inyerview. we will have to wait untill he has got everything down on paper , if it means waiting 2 weeks , then so be it. calm down

  • Whistler

    May 15, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Comment #15

    What a superb job Rafa has done turning what looked like a group of overpriced misfits into a cohesive and effective team…..if he stays I think he’ll want the core of this side to also stay….would be interesting to see what he could do with Thauvin should he return…. masses of potential., I’m sure he’d want a good look…..Rafa simply has to stay….great performance today!

  • GeordieTwo

    May 15, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Comment #16

    Ashley doesn’t have a single card to play. Rafa will get what he wants or leave. Ashley can’t afford to let that happen. Mike will have one chance to get this right.

  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 7:45 PM

    Comment #17

    The “football board” was just an Aunt Sally.
    A lightening conductor for the failure built into the system.
    IF Rafa stays on his terms, it has no purpose.
    IF Rafa leaves, I hope this blog is gone by early July, before the attempts to justify the appointment of Cathro or worse as some kind of brave new world invariably start.

  • Yo-yo

    May 15, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Comment #18

    Now who is in the driving seat ?
    If Ashley doesn’t come up with enough incentives to keep Rafa he is going to look a bigger tool than just the owner who managed a club so badly it got relegated twice in 7 years

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 7:53 PM

    Comment #19

    The Vicar

    Yeah that’s the only stumbling block I now see. Perhaps Carr and Charnley will just have to demote themselves rather than outright sack?

    Carr back to a normal scout position to supplement Rafa’s team and Charnley the face of negotiations, but Rafa decides incoming/outgoings and outlines the limits on fees and wages to be negotiated, with Charnley just a gopher errand boy.

    Only way I can see them remaining.

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #20

    Since when did you become tbis voice of tranquility, stop telling people to calm down and let them deal with their emotions their own way.

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #21

    Yo yo, did ya proud today marra. I actually had the daft buggers around me chanting your names as well. We had a bit of fun with it. 😉 Ashley must have a death wish if he lets this slip. He’s said he won’t give up and then this drops in his lap. A chance to back his words with actions. If he genuinely wants us to succeed, then he will never get a better chance than this. Ever. Over to you Ashley.

  • ToonTiger

    May 15, 2016 at 7:58 PM

    Comment #22

    Give Rafa what he wants. Sack Charnley & Carr dare i say bring Llambias back as the go-between?

  • stuart no9

    May 15, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    Comment #23

    Can someone help me out here ????
    As confused as i am about the game today,
    i still cant understand where that performance came from.

    We know the old saying ” wonder what newcastle is going to turn up today” but this is differant gear.

    Why did it happen ??? was it .. a shop window performance for some of our ” star players ‘ ??

    was it a performance for Raffa and their way of telling him to stay ??
    was it the fact that we just clicked today ??

    was it spurs were that bad ??
    i just cant put my finger on it al all,
    in 50years ofb watching newcastle , i thiought i had seen everything , but today has totally out done everything i have seen in the past , not football wise , but for the unexpected turn of events that can only happen to NUFC.
    If anyone has any answers to this ( and i dont expect them to ) feel free , coz i havnt got a dolly blue what happened this afternoon—— but i loved it

  • The Newcastle Armchair

    May 15, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #24

    SkySports saying Rafa’s gone to meet Mike Ashley

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 15, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Comment #25

    Carr and Charnley don’t have to do anything, Mikey will tell them what he wants and they will do it, if he tells them to let Rafa know the deals off, they will and half the fans will blame them for not convincing him to stay.

  • Ketsbaia9

    May 15, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Comment #26

    Got to keep Rafa if we want to get promoted. We’ve proved today that we’re too good for that league. We should’ve finished ahead of Man Utd. We’re better than them. The Premier League has been very poor this season. If we get promoted, there’s no reason why we can’t do the same as Leicester.

  • GeordieTwo

    May 15, 2016 at 8:07 PM

    Comment #27

    Charnley can stay and clean the teapots. But that’s all. Rafa will want somebody he can work with properly. If Rafa thinks Carr is worth keeping he’ll stay. If it doesn’t work this way and Ashley tries to impose his own conditions it’s all over and we’ll be left looking for another mediocre or worse manager.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 15, 2016 at 8:12 PM

    Comment #28

    Just hope the hyperactive fans didn’t scare him off, he might be thinking ‘Ze fanz, zay are very excitable what happens if I not succeed, zay no like me no more’

  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Comment #29


    You could say Spurs were on the beach, and the wheels had fallen off because you really can’t expect any professional footballers to share the hopes and dreams of their manager and fans if there is nothing in it for them.
    That doesn’t explain how we scored three more goals after they started trying and went down to 10 men though.
    You could say some of our stars turned up for a shop-window game against high profile opposition, because that has been happening for several seasons now.
    But the noise the crowd created and the (yes bobby, carnival) atmosphere in general must have shocked and unnerved them to some degree too.
    We were also playing without pressure, and I believe Rafa has hinted again in his post match comment that he thinks this group of players simply don’t handle pressure well.
    And without that pressure, the obvious improvements in our organisation, pressing, movement and generally more joined-up play became more ….obvious.
    Together, it was a perfect storm for Spurs, especially as one manager was basking in a sea of love while the other looked as if he wished his bench would open up and swallow him.

  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 8:17 PM

    Comment #30

    I was thinking Ashley would be here to meet with Rafa tonight.
    Let’s hope Rafa gets him drunk.
    Ashers can be very decisive and even suggestible after a few ales.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #31

    I’m just waiting for Wikileaks to produce an internal memo from the refs association instructing the ones in charge of our games to give us nowt until we are actually relegated.

    Just like today!!!

  • bettyswallocks

    May 15, 2016 at 8:18 PM

    Comment #32

    Ed has confirmed that he will be keeping the blog going as long as Rafa stays. I think we’re all seeing the possibilities under Rafa and if given the choice of a season in the championship with Rafa to stay and restructure the club and make us competitive or yet another season struggling in the relegation zone with a crap manager, what would be the preferred choice?

  • NoahJ

    May 15, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Comment #33

    to be honest, I’m surprised him staying is even a possibility. Other, self-serving, managers would have already lined up their next move.

    It’s clear to me that rafa, after being at the best clubs in the world, and winning so much, he wants somewhere that respects him and which is a challenge to make his own (not to mention his family life etc). This is why I think he is torn. and this is why I hope he will stay

  • Yo-yo

    May 15, 2016 at 8:29 PM

    Comment #34

    The only possible redemption after being relegated is that when we are on our way up, we meet the Scum on their way down.

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    May 15, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #35

    Lee Charnley needs time to think about the appointment of the manager and then try to negotiate a deal. These things can’t be rushed. It might take a couple of weeks. The fans don’t understand the complexity. They think it’s just a simple case of sitting down with Rafa for two or three hours, hearing what he has to say and then thrashing things out. They don’t realise that running a football club is not like that. It might even be more than two weeks. But the fans can rest assured that Lee Charnley will not be rushed when seeking the best deal for Newcastle United and the Board will only strike a deal if it’s in the club’s very best interests. These are things that need careful scrutiny and consideration. Before making any significant decisions, the club needs time to carry out investigations and conduct an analysis of what went wrong. Only when that exercise is complete will the club be entering into discussions with Rafa. The fans need to be patient. Everything is in hand.

  • magscar

    May 15, 2016 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #36

    What a strange day and far better than a beach ball demonstration for team” celebrating” it’s last day in PL. The crowd could do no more.

    Rafa’s heart is clearly in it and I dare say that the keys to the castle are his for next season as Ashley wants us straight back up.

    BUT I think the deal breaker could be what Rafa judges is on offer for the seasons after promotion if we do succeed. He won’t be prepared to make up the numbers and stay mid-table as an ambition. He will want to build a team that challenges at the top in a few years.

    Ashley will need to convince him that he fully and sincerely shares that ambition and will provide full backing or he won’t stay.

    Ashley must see what can be achieved with a decent manager and a crowd fully onside. If he doesn’t go for it he will be in for more grief as I think not only has he reached a crossroads but the crowd has as well. Yes, a sizeable number will turn up but without the right manager then it won’t be pretty.

  • Dragon64

    May 15, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Comment #37

    Rafa is supposed to be having a meeting now with jabber so tonights chronicle is saying is this true or just paper here say????

  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    Comment #38

    Ironically Ashley more than anyone in recent years at any of the top clubs now has a unique opportunity to invent the future.
    If there are obstacles he can still fix it by agreeing to :
    1. Sack the entire current Board.
    2. Retire Carr, make Moncur a Club Ambassador and move Charnley into a non football position of Club Secretary ( the Financial not the ting version ) .
    3. Let Rafa decide on their outcome.

    It’s all possible and Rafa knows that – he’s got the vision.
    Has Ashley ?

  • benjohnsen

    May 15, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #39

    Benitez had no pre-season. He inherited a bunch of unmotivated player, with no belief in their own team and quite possible many internal conflicts.

    I am not shocked to see Sissoko perform like today, because it not just him that have started to shine as of late. All the players have turned it up a couple of notches. What we saw today, was probably more the normal level that some of this players can deliver, but under a manager like McClaren were not able to produce simple because of the mentality in the team.

    Rafa went away from possession football to a more direct style that suit our players better, where we take the team on the break not unlike Leicester.

    I am hoping Rafa stays, because I believe he can not only change our club, but also make us great again. Rafa is what we have been lacking under Mike Ashley. He is someone who is actually a manager and tells how he wants things.

  • BandB

    May 15, 2016 at 8:41 PM

    Comment #40

    I suppose the sinking ship will encourage the real rats in the dressing room to leave, and the club will have a financial imperative to offload them.
    But aren’t going to get back up with 11 kids.
    Those who absolutely know they are two good for Championship football and say they simply have to consider their careers should be provided with Habib Beye’s telephone number forthwith.


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