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Howay The Lads!!

The Work Benitez Has Completed As Nervous Fans Wait

9:49 am, Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 78 Comments

Rafa Benitez is the classic workaholic, who is driven to be successful in his work, and as the agreements with Newcastle – given by owner Mike Ashley 10 days ago – have been drawn up at a snail’s pace – it seems that Rafa is wasting no time in getting down to real work.

So while Newcastle fans are rightly asking questions about why is this thing taking so long, once Rafa is announced as the new manager, we expect a number of announcements to come from Newcastle which should show the club is in pretty  decent shape for the pre-season.

Rafa benitez confident

Rafa Benitez – getting through lots of work for Newcastle

Here’s some of the work that’s been reported to have been completed by Rafa:

  • Rafa and Lee Charnley have already drawn up pre-season plans with friendlies being played in Ireland and on the continent, but no long haul trips will take place like last summer.
    Rafa wants to concentrate on coaching and getting his idea through to the players.
    The payers will report back on June 28th as the Championship season is due to start on Saturday August 6th.
  • The manager has gone through a  list  of  players who are coming up for new contracts – and has made decisions on those – plus decisions on players who will be offered up for transfer and are surplus to requirements.
    That could be quite a long list.
  • Benitez has also looked at players like Adam Armstrong including video of the Newcastle players who have been away on loan and will return this summer,  including players like Sammy Ameobi and Haris Vuckic.
  • It could even be that Rafa has already made a signing – maybe he has already agreed to sign former Liverpool Daniel Agger as a free agent – Agger would be a great signing for us.
    We have also been linked with Fulham striker Ross McCormack and Bournemouth midfielder Lee Tomlin and Rafa wants to bring new signings in early, so he can work with them in pre-season.
  • There’s news also that Rafa has called a number of Championship managers, as he tries to get a handle on exactly what it will be like in the Championship.
    Hopefully he will build a bigger squad than we’ve had for many years with the extended schedule of 46 games in the Championship.
    We also hope to have a couple of good cup runs next season.

So those are some items of work Rafa has been engaged in since the season ended.

The latest from the Chronicle today is that the announcement could come tomorrow, but that it’s probably too early to be made today – but Rafa is due on Tyneside later this week.

Once it’s announced there will be a huge relief for Newcastle fans – and it will be accompanied by some celebrating that we now have a world-class coach at the club.

A very ambitious and hard-working manager who is obsessed with football – just like the Newcastle fans.

Now that is the perfect manager for Newcastle United.

It will be exciting to see how Rafa goes about  reshaping both the team and the club, starting this summer.

Signing Rafa will begin a whole new era at Newcastle United – one in  which we should be able to win a trophy or two …. or three.

Howay The Lads!!

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Management · Newcastle News · Pre-season · Transfer News and Rumours

78 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    39Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 8:20 AM

    Joey Barton to Rangers, shame he couldn’t have buried the hatchet somewhere. He would have very useful in the Championship, his experience and knowledge of the teams we’ll be facing would be invaluable.

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM


    Most of us ar NOT asking that question. We are only into the 10th day (not 14th) of negotiations, and there is likely lots to re arrange because of the division drop. Stop trying to create panic.

  • 3 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    I think he’s coming but I’m still getting a little bit nervous that they could screw it up over some piddling details like the bonus scheme or goal bonuses for players.

  • 4 Bobbybee // May 25, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    Which lends some support to my post – he’s managing the club. I can’t wait for the season to start – or just the pre season will do. 😉 We’re a ridiculous price to win the league already, so nobody will be making a killing this season off the bookies. I love the sat/tues/sat of the championship myself – even more so when we’re winning!

  • 5 shaun83 // May 25, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    I don’t buy the length of time being purely paperwork though. It would just be additional or replacement of some contract schedules. Lawyers do work hard, through the night and weekends too if this needed doing. I’m not saying it’s not going to happen or even anything sinister, I’m just saying the lawyers could get it done in a couple of days.

  • 6 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    I don’t think that these negotiations are a continuation of the original three year deal at all, we’re in a different league now, the battle lines will jave to be completely redrawn.

  • 7 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 25, 2016 at 10:07 AM


    Yeah, i suppose if ANYONE can fcuk it up at this stage, it’s NUFC. I still think it’s all still on target. Man u fans on the other hand are moaning because its been 2 whole days!

  • 8 Jib // May 25, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Burnley are supposed to have offered Barton a new contract for their new PL season.
    It was Barton’s choice to go to Rangers , he obviously at the age of 33 fancies the more sedate pace of the SPL.

  • 9 BandB // May 25, 2016 at 10:10 AM


    He is still under contract while the new exigencies are negotiated.

  • 10 Bobbybee // May 25, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    If the three years go as well as we’re all hoping it will, there’s no reason that won’t be extended in the future. I can’t imagine Rafa will be just happy laying the foundations for success, rather he’ll want to see it through. That will probably start the following season, once we’re back up, so he might well want longer. We can but hope! 😉

  • 11 Ibizatoon // May 25, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Jib…I read Barton was looking for more than a 1 year contract, which is all Burnley were offering him.

  • 12 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:12 AM

    I suppose that’s Bartons last shot of joining a CL club. I lost a bit of respect for him when he said he’d only leave if a CL club came in for him and tgen was off like a shot when QPR offered him ridiculous money.

  • 13 Bobbybee // May 25, 2016 at 10:14 AM

    Jib, i believe he said that he prefers the idea of challenging for trophies with Rangers ahead of a relegation battle with Burnley. Fair enough really.

  • 14 giimps // May 25, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    Yeah Bobby,
    It’s an alien feeling ,going into a season with high hopes and actually having a good chance of reaching them……..but it’s the hope that kills you, maybe not next season, no more 14 game winless runs or being scared your manager is going to head butt an opposition player, no more having a manager who looks simple in the interviews ( smiling and smirking when we’ve just lost 5-1) no more having a manager sat with his head in his hands wishing the ground will swallow him up cos he knows he’s out of his depth……..instead, calmness personified ,tactical awareness, organisation and structure and that’s in 3 weeks, a 6 game unbeaten run and a team that looks like it knows what it’s doing, and here’s the kicker for me……a manager who talks to the players through the game, guiding and instructing………..that’s what a manager is, and we will have one, a great one who will have the players he wants, and who want to fight for us and him………if carlsberg did relegations

  • 15 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    He’s coming to Tyneside later this week. Is there a reliable source for that?

  • 16 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    My old samsung used to show a red line under typos like tge snd I jave msde a typi,

  • 17 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 25, 2016 at 10:16 AM


    But hadn’t Barton also fallen out with Mash? It changes things when you fall out with the owner. QPR were offering stupid money all over the place. Can’t believe they didn’t get thrashed by ffp.

  • 18 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    You only get eight year deals if you throw cups and finish tenth with a minus GD. Anything more than that is disobedience and will see your squad stripped bare.

  • 19 BandB // May 25, 2016 at 10:19 AM

    What would you define as a reliable source Ron?

  • 20 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 25, 2016 at 10:20 AM


    “If carlsberg did relegations”

    Well played! 😀

  • 21 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Aye a big falling out but he did say this.

  • 22 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 10:23 AM


    Anything in the Chronic!!!

  • 23 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 25, 2016 at 10:25 AM


    I do remember that. I still wonder whether he was given no choice. I wouldn’t have put it past the powers that be to freeze him out if he didnt leave.

  • 24 Bobbybee // May 25, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Giimps, it’s like i said the other week, what’s the worse that can happen? I’ll be sat in the same old seat, surrounded by the same faces, watching the lads in B&W and screaming my head off. The difference is we’ll be winning more than losing and more games to enjoy. After a few seasons of struggling, i can live with that. I think we will bounce back and the players we retain will be better for it. I’m far from happy with being relegated, but past experience tells me I’ll get over it.

  • 25 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    We might not win anything with Rafa but at least we have hope, something we have not had much of for the first couple of years of Ashleys reign and none at all for the last four years when it actually became official club policy that success wasn’t a part of the plan. The only bit of truth we’ve had out of them.

  • 26 Jib // May 25, 2016 at 10:28 AM

    Ed checked with National Express he’s booked on Fridays 9am 580 Lpool to Ncle (stopping at Leeds Bus Station – right next to the market – great curry and chips £3)

  • 27 martoon // May 25, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    As there have been no sightings of Rafa recently I’m actually wondering if he has taken a small holiday (everybody is entitled to one) before he starts – hence the reason for the delay in the official announcement.
    I should stress this is just a my own theory I don’t have any basis for it.

  • 28 Jib // May 25, 2016 at 10:33 AM

    I’m in Spain at the mo’
    I haven’t seen him here !

  • 29 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Churnley deserves his holiday in a gulag.

  • 30 martoon // May 25, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Bobbybee @24 – I said the other day that in a perverse way I’m actually looking forward to next season if Rafa stays. Different teams to play, more home games to attend, more games on TV and hopefully more wins 🙂

  • 31 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    He doesn’t play bingo, watch second rate Elvis impersonaters or enjoy €1 pints in the afternoon, that’s maybe why you haven’t seen him!

  • 32 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    I don’t think you’re alone there mate. I said before that I think the majority of fans would prefer to watch us in the Championship than labour on with McCardew having us safe by March and convenient cup exits. We’ll see some big wins next year with a new sense of hope.

  • 33 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    It’s Gouffran’s birthday today. What would be a suitable present for one of our ‘star’ players?

  • 34 martoon // May 25, 2016 at 10:39 AM

    Jail @29 – I had to Google that word – Lol 🙂

  • 35 lesh // May 25, 2016 at 10:43 AM


    You’re right in that legals can sort things quicklyish when the urgency’s there. Where there’s a will etc.

    So, let’s hope it’s not a case of somebody such as Charnley dithering or trying to be too clever. Maybe Charnley hasn’t got the guts to bite the bullet and be rid of Carr? But in saying that, there’s no reason why that should delay Rafa’s signing. A good MD would be able to deal with that.

  • 36 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Ron Knee,
    I think Gouffran was bought in an emergency and is not good enough for the PL I don’t think you could knock his effort though just his ability. It’s ironic that one of my least favourite players of all time, Obretoron, could have been good in the Championship and should have been offered a one year deal, although having his sulki g ugly mug round the place didn’t help moral.

  • 37 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 10:53 AM


    Re Obertan. You still need some basic skills, even in the Championship!

  • 38 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Gouffran, like many of our signings, was good for 6 months and was played LW and occasionally as a ST, usually switching there during a match. To think he was once regarded a snip and had people affectionately calling him Gouffran-ran-ran and similar nicknames due to his work ethic. 6-12 months to become jaded seems the norm for NUFC recruits, hopefully Rafa changes that.

  • 39 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Ron Knee,
    You’re right, what was I thinking, his dribbling and crossing skills might be ok at schoolboy level.

  • 40 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Seeing a lot of NUFC fans softening to the idea of keeping the likes of Gini and Sissoko in recent days, now the embers of the season are going out.

    Really hope they’re both sold, along with Krul, Colo, Saylor, Janmaat, Cisse, Gouffran and Riviere at the very least.

  • 41 The overrated Frenchman // May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    lesh@35 – I think something that Jib said on a previous post is probably right. Charnley is only comfortable with mundane, day to day tasks, and the complexity of signing up Rafa on an extended contract is more than he is really capable of. Hence the procrastinating because he terrified of making a hash of it.

  • 42 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

    Do you think Gouffran could score fifteen in the Championship. I did but then I looked at his goal stats, excellent for a winger, pretty bloody awful for a striker. Depends where he’s been played to judge his goal stats. He certainly wasn’t going to bag a hatful playing as a wing back.

  • 43 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM


    I think Haidara has the same faults.

  • 44 Sav // May 25, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Ed, you are a grand fella, no doubt, but I remember you telling us Remy Cabella was a ‘must have’ signing and then you were gasping for Thauvin and disappointed when that seemed like it might not happen. So please, regarding Daniel Agger or any of the other signings we are linked with this summer, lets just sign them and we’ll find out if they are good for us or not. Too much yakkety-yak.

  • 45 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:06 AM

    If that’s the case then why was he allowed to judge players values, I would not in a million years be able to value a bronze sculpture of a man sitting on a bench by a well known artist, how did someone who KK described as having enough football knowledge to fill the back of a stamp be given free reign on such important footballing matters.

  • 46 JP...from The Rock // May 25, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I hope we keep Gini Wijnaldum but sell the likes of Krul, Cisse, Sissoko, Janmaat, Riviere, Saylor, Colo, Sammy Ameobi, Tiote, Obertan, Vuckic, Good and Bigi.

    Am I forgetting someone? Lol

  • 47 JP...from The Rock // May 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM did he escape me..Gouffran out the door as well please!

  • 48 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 25, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    See the Mourinho deal is being held up because of image rights with Jose being tied to Jaguar and Man Utd with Chevrolet ?

    I mean Rafa could have that deal where is tied to Nike and we are tied to Donnay and Londsdale ……

  • 49 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    I’m trying to refrain from saying who I want to keep etc because my heart is saying get shot of Jaanmat, Wini, Colo and Sissoko because of their antics over the last couple of years but Rafa might want to keep them so we’ll have to wait and see. I think people are deluded if they think Wijnaldum will fetch £17M.

  • 50 Jib // May 25, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    You have to love an infrequent poster like Sav coming onto a blog ——–

    Telling the administrator that there is too much yakety yak.

    Cheeky bugger.

    If it were my blog I’d moderate the berk for a month.

  • 51 Toon-Prodigy // May 25, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Morning lads! What is the hold up with Benitez? It’s making me nervous. Great if he stays and all the dumb policies change. It’s about time!

  • 52 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Aye the deals stalled because Rafa won’t wear a Kangol cap for his pressers as it doesn’t match with his official Hot Tuna club suit.

  • 53 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:28 AM


    If you asked me that when he first signed, I’d say yes, but having not played as a ST for a long time I can’t see him recapturing the knack for scoring with any regularity. Looking at his stats, baffled how he went from 10 in 22 in his last 6 months at Bordeaux, to 7 in 21 playing LW for us in the first 6 months of 13/14 season to then becoming a defensive winger and finally a backup holding midfielder. I imagine his own morale from that decline more than anything will prevent him from ever becoming a decent goalscorer again. Needs to leave for the benefit of both parties.

    Perez will go the same way unless he’s played as a ST and is allowed to develop there. Players like those 2 become victims of their willingness to follow team instructions and carry them out without complaint. In general our players need to be a lot more frank with the manager and say “this is my position.”. The team suffers because not enough specialists stick to their guns on where they want to play and come out with the I’ll play anywhere for the team clap-trap.

    Utility players used to be specialists in doing just that, plugging gaps. These days seems almostevery player at NUFC has played 2 or 3 roles.

  • 54 The overrated Frenchman // May 25, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Jail @45 – I think those are fair questions that really need to be posed to Ashley. It is beyond my meagre comprehension. Is there someone on the blog, perhaps a supporter of the Ashley regime who could enlighten us?

  • 55 Toon-Prodigy // May 25, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    How sad!

  • 56 trimac // May 25, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    Chris Waugh/Lee Ryder reporting Benitez travelling up to Tyneside today to complete deal and will be announced later today

  • 57 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:30 AM


    I always forget Haidara, Thauvin and Cabella, add those to my list and you’ve got £60m to play with.

  • 58 Slank // May 25, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    From NUFC.COM

    Rafa: it’s done

    Benitez has confirmed to Newcastle United that he will remain as their manager – an official announcement from both parties will follow.

  • 59 Toon-Prodigy // May 25, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Micky Quinn reckons Rafa will be sorted today. Get in!

  • 60 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 11:37 AM


    Have you got a link for that?

  • 61 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    If that’s the case we need to bring in a proven Championship goal scorer and hope he steps up to the PL when we get there. There is a danger of having a Championship player on the books when we get back but the goals he would score would counter balance that, plus we’ve managed to keep half a squad of Championship players on five year deals for a few years now without going bankrupt.

  • 62 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Get in Slank you beauty.
    Whoop whoop

  • 63 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Think we can look at £12-15m each for Sissoko and Gini.

    Managers will look at 11 goals in debut PL season from ‘midfield’, former Dutch player of the year and won’t be as clued up as to how anonymous he was for 80% of matches as NUFC fans are.

    Sissoko finished in good form, managers love players with the running power and strength he has and he just generally has a rep belying his ability. They’ll see it as, if we can get him playing consistently we’ll have a Yaya on our hands – alas Sisyphus had more chance of reaching the summit with a picnic awaiting him.

  • 64 Tim the toon // May 25, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    SSN saying deal for Rafa is done and dusted!

  • 65 Slank // May 25, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Jail for Ashley @ 62

    What’s what all the women say to me, how did you know !

  • 66 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Good stuff if Rafa is wrapped up and announced today. Can get on with business, going to be a very busy June I think!

  • 67 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Expect 45000+ gates every home match with Rafa staying on. Without I’d see it being chronically under 40000.

  • 68 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Woman at the box office saying there’s nothing official yet !

  • 69 giimps // May 25, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Thank ……….for that, no warnock, sherwood or Rodney mcsmogg who is the toilet cleaner at Edinburgh zoo managing the club for three years, we have our man……..congratulations to Chumpley for at least not f@cking this up

  • 70 Slank // May 25, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Hail Wor Ashley @ 63

    Why having said that all managers would love to have Gini and Sissoko for their particular attributes to you then exclude Rafa ?

    Isn’t Rafa a manager ?

  • 71 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    I’m going to get drunk for his press conference:D

  • 72 Jail for Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 11:53 AM


  • 73 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 11:54 AM


    In the myth, Sisyphus reaches the summit many times, only to watch the rock roll downhill again.

  • 74 magscar // May 25, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Sounds like wait is over and within the 14 days Rafa himself had speculated.

    We can hopefully now leave the doom and gloom expectations behind us and look forward to some promising announcements about signings, sales and retentions to get us all embracing the future with positivity 🙂

  • 75 Ron Knee // May 25, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Rafa Benitez is on his way to Tyneside, and BBC Newcastle understands the 56 year old will be reconfirmed as Newcastle United’s manager.

  • 76 Ibizatoon // May 25, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Sky Sports: “A three-year deal is expected to be announced later on Wednesday which will contain written assurances for the Spaniard on full control of player recruitment and budgets set for the summer and winter transfer windows.”

    Now this is a proper step towards a brighter future.

  • 77 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 12:01 PM


    There’s a difference between seeing stats, the odd match and generally going with consensus than working with a player. Sissoko has probably really impressed Rafa in since he’s been here, but I’m sure he’s had time to pour over footage from the entire season if not previous seasons also to see how flaky he is and will also be aware of fan opinion of him, Gini obviously hasn’t impressed given he was dropped for a period.

    In any case both will privately want away and will have expressed so, it’s just up to us to maximise what we get for them. Think Rafa knows a culture change is needed and anybody not 100% committed to the club will be gone.

  • 78 Hail Wor Ashley // May 25, 2016 at 12:02 PM


    Yeah, but there’s never a picnic awaiting for him to relax and enjoy having completed his task.

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