The Newcastle United Blog

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

The Newcastle United Blog header image 2
Howay The Lads!!

Charnley Talks About Phenomenal World-Class Rafa Benitez

8:29 am, Thursday, May 26th, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 35 Comments

We heard Managing Director Lee Charnley speak for the very first time last night as we watched him on nufcTV talk about Rafa Benitez.

We suppose since he was born in Lancashire it isn’t too surprising he has a Lancashire accent.

It seems Rafa has taken to Charnley, who seems to have been so helpful to the former Liverpool manager that was one of the things that persuaded him to stay on at Newcastle and Rafa said more than once last night he has a (very) good relationship with Lee and likes working with him.

lee charnely rafa benitez

Rafa Benitez with Lee Charnley – finally signs along the dotted line

It would appear the two of them will run Newcastle for Mike Ashley, but we’ll have to wait to see what transpires and who else may be on the Board.

This is what Lee said about Rafa Benitez last night and Lee has said he think Rafa is the best manager in the world in one interview he gave:

“When we brought Rafa to the club in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from him since has only served to reinforce that.”

“We are therefore delighted to have secured his services for the next three years and I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and delivering success for this football club beyond that.”

“It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the club’s supporters and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay.”

“He has captured the hearts and minds not just of the fans, but of everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him at the club thus far.”

“As a world-class manager we had no doubt in our minds as to the importance of retaining him at Newcastle United.”

Lee says there that in every area Rafa has been involved he has impressed those at the club and it will be interesting tos ee what changes to the club ar made with in the next year.

Rafa will make changes to the team and hopefully can get us straight back up which is the number one goal for the season.

But as Rafa said last night – we cannot be over-confident and his players have to work really hard to ensure we are promoted back to the Premier League and the big time next May.

Sounds good to us.

Howay The Lads!!

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Newcastle News · Prayer · Pre-season · Premier League

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 8:37 AM


    I hope you’re right about confidence. I still think we have a few ‘rotten apples’ who’ve dragged morale down.

  • 2 YouCouldn'tMakeItUp // May 26, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    Thats right, Rafa. Get those slackers kicked into shape. I want to see determined, focused faces all over the pitch in every game. Even a slightly arrogant “lets get out of this sh1t league” attitude.

  • 3 beermonkey // May 26, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    looks like charnley will keep his job
    to be honest if rafa has control over football matters then it shouldn’t be to bad

    but can rafa turn charnley into the director we need at the club
    rafa is the first decent manager we have had in the last 10 years that knows how to run a club

  • 4 Lee Charnley Bunga Party // May 26, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    If we keep the majority of the squad we will still have problems as the squad is unbalanced as to get our best players on the pitch a few need to be played out of position

    We dont have a left winger/or a forward of senior level Perez and Wijnaldum are not that effective or happy playing that role

    In the championship teams will make it hard for us to break them down so having Dummett at full back will not allow width on either side and we lack creativity through the middle as well so we need new creative players who know how to unlock a defence

    Mccormack is a great championship player which is what we need he can play wide left or up front , can create goals himself and also can cross we would easily make money back on him when we go back up so not sure why people having a moan about him really if we get him hes an improvement on Doumbia, Marveux and Obertan which is what the squad needs !

    On Cisse in the championship he wont be up for the physical battle and needs chances on a plate plus his link up play is terrible we need to be getting rid and getting a replacement for him as well

  • 5 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 8:54 AM

    That’s a good picture of a man who has just secured a job for another few years in English football, and Rafa Benitez.

  • 6 Tsunki // May 26, 2016 at 8:56 AM

    Mr Bishops finest hour.

  • 7 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    I think if we reshape the side to a large degree now, then you have the problem of needing to do it again if we go straight back up. It’s a big leap in quality. I agree Widjnaldum is out of position on the left, but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t tear it up at a lower level, or that Dummet wouldn’t be a far more than capable fullback in both directions. By Championship standards the current squad looks very formidable, and of course will have the benefit of Benitez from the off.

  • 8 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 8:57 AM


    Have you heard him speak?

  • 9 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Rafa needs to sign CBs a RB, Wingers, and STs.

    It’s a great opportunity to form his own team and it will be interesting who he goes for. We could do with some Real Madrid and Barcelona B team players. There is an abundance of skillful players in those teams reserves, and that’s where I would look first.

    We need pace and guts in the team as has been evident for years now. I bet Rafa has realized this himself by now.

    Really looking forward to seeing how he shapes our team and makes them much harder to beat and more effective with the ball.

  • 10 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:03 AM

    On this pro or for Ashley debate….. I will never forget or forgive that fat tw@t for the nine years of humiliation and suffering he has put us through.

    Nothing he has done including Rafa has been done for the fans, he created this mess, and now needs to act to get his advertising back on the telly.

    He is a greedy fat waist of oxygen.

    It is great to see that the fans have united behind Rafa, and I think he will take us back up next season. I am not worried about who he brings in or gets rid of, I look at our last few games in the prem and see where he made a big difference.

    He took that dross, lacklustre shambles, and turned them into a team that was unbeaten in the last six games and so I will trust him.

    But always in the back of my mind will be that nagging that Charmless or the fat man can pull the rug from under us at any minute given their incompetence in running a football club.

    Onwards and upwards I hope.

  • 11 hibbitt // May 26, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    players will come to play under Rafa not many young players will turn us down if Rafa comes a knocking

    a new dawn a new day a new club
    good luck toon army

  • 12 Spoof // May 26, 2016 at 9:06 AM


    if anyone can turn this club around and make us a force again it is Rafa, and if all goes well and Rafa does indeed turn us around then I will be eternally grateful to him and to Lee Charnley, yes that’s right to Lee Charnley as it was he who was instrumental in bringing Rafa to us, yes he has made mistakes, some very severe mistakes but by god has he learnt from them, yes he has so well done to him, don’t forget that without Lee Charnley the chances are we would not now have Rafa, that is something which we all seem to have lost sight of, but should we, well I certainly haven’t and I have no intention of doing so.

    Have a go at mistakes by all means, but when they are corrected and we become much stronger because of that then we should congratulate.

  • 13 Jail for Ashley // May 26, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    My last bit on the pro Ashley bit. If we win three league titles in a row, a double, treble and Super cup via the CL I will become pro Ashley!

  • 14 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 9:08 AM


    Is that the Nina Simone version?

  • 15 Slank // May 26, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    The additional games in the Championship together with perhaps more cup games will possibly mean a larger squad is required.

    This could mean:

    a) fewer players sold
    b) fewer players bought
    c) greater emphasis on those current players at the fringe of the first team.

    Despite Rafa’s reputation even with a sizeable transfer pot he may have more problems buying players than selling them because of the club’s league position. He shouldn’t have any problems attracting players from the Championship and lower leagues but is this what he has in mind for the medium to long term ?

    It will be interesting to see whether he can attract foreign players to the club.

    Players like Haidara, Aarons, Sterry, Armstrong and Mbabu should expect greater first team involvement with Rafa. I was pleasantly surprised that Rafa selected Sterry for the match against Spurs so I’m expecting more surprises.

  • 16 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:09 AM


    I would settle for a CL spot, then the fat man can honour his promise to sell up!

  • 17 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 9:10 AM


    But wasn’t it Charmless who was holding out for McClaren to stay?

  • 18 beermonkey // May 26, 2016 at 9:11 AM


    its a good opportunity for him to learn from rafa

    has any more been said on sd paying for there advertising

  • 19 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:12 AM


    Maybe he could bring in some cracking loan players with a purchase clause at the end of the season depending on what league we are in.

  • 20 Rotonda heights // May 26, 2016 at 9:13 AM


    Is aarons not a left winger.

    I’m so chuffed about Rafa, but very disappointed that neither Charnley nor carr have had the dignity to walk or been peddled. I guess it means Beardo and watson stay as well. Not good.

  • 21 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    And whose bright idea was it to appoint McClaren in the first place? ‘Was it Bill or was it Ben?’

  • 22 Rotonda heights // May 26, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    even more disappointed if Taylor stays too. we need a clean sweep of all the deadwood on and off field.

  • 23 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:17 AM


    Was it not Rafa’s people that approached Ashley, rather than a concious choice made by Charmless?

  • 24 Spoof // May 26, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Ron Knee

    the biggest mistake Charnley made was to take advice from Graham Carr, it was Graham Carr who was responsible for Macca, Carr was desperate to get him here and he did get his man, this is what I was referring to when I said that Charnley has learnt from his mistakes, Macca out and by getting Rafa, Carr no longer has a meaningful say in the club, I honestly feel that the biggest criticism we can have towards Charnley is that he left it about two months to late to react

  • 25 JP...from The Rock // May 26, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    How good is Rafa at buying players? I now he’s a great manager and all but how successful has he been buying good players, has he had many flops? Just wondering.

  • 26 Rotonda heights // May 26, 2016 at 9:20 AM


    do you not think ash may have had something to do with rafa coming. he probably finally said stop getting me nuggets and get the real deal, ergo charnley goes cap in hand to rafa, offering the world to cover all Charnley’s previous gaffes and keep the job where he sanctioned 82M to get relegated and miss out on another TV 100M+. Good work if you can get it.

  • 27 beermonkey // May 26, 2016 at 9:20 AM


    while we don’t know how much rafa has to spend over the next few windows
    it might be wise to use the loan system to save some of what he has for when we return to the prem

  • 28 Slank // May 26, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    firebug666 @ 19

    That’s a good shout.

    It will be a good test of his scouting team and his reputation if he can convince players to join the club even if it means ‘jam tomorrow’.

    In many respects that is what happened to Perez who was never intended for the first team straight away.

  • 29 Ron Knee // May 26, 2016 at 9:21 AM


    Yes, that’s the version I heard.


    Are you sure it was Carr who wanted McClaren? I heard it was Charmless’ idea.

  • 30 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    JP…from The Rock

    I don’t think he is any better or worse than any other manager in his league, they all find a few flops, but look at what he did with our flops mate.

    We just have to trust him to know what he is doing, and how the players will fit into what he wants.

  • 31 WLtoon // May 26, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Fpr once , our future looks bright with Rafa in charge.
    I doubt there will be many empty seats at any game next season, home or away.
    I think we will be the team all fans want to see ,and for a change , i cant wait for the season to start, whereas last season i was very apprehensive with Maclaren in charge.

  • 32 Spoof // May 26, 2016 at 9:24 AM


    it had nothing to do with Ashley, it was solely down to Charnley, Rafa met Ashley for the first time after the Spurs game, Ashley just stood back and allowed Charnley to get on with it, and as persuasive as Rafa and his people may be, they couldn’t have sacked Rafa, for me it looked as if Charnley was looking for a replacement and then got it done.

  • 33 Spoof // May 26, 2016 at 9:26 AM

    Ron Knee

    it was defo Carr, they have been very pally for a long time.

  • 34 firebug666 // May 26, 2016 at 9:28 AM


    I did say the rumour was Rafa’s “people” approached Ashley. This was the rumour that was doing the rounds even before talks with Charmless had taken place.

  • 35 jimmysmith // May 26, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Janmaat and Anita, both current Dutch internationals, as well as Mbabu to play right back, easily the best cover for that position in the Championship I’d wager.

    Centre backs? Meaning both Collo and Taylor aren’t fit for purpose in the Championship even as understudies I guess.

    And strikers? Suggesting that Mitro, Cisse, Perez, Arma, Gouffran, Toney, Rivierre and Gouffran are also all of a sudden not good enough to succeed at a lower level either.

    Wingers? Townsend, Perez, Aarons and Thauvin. As well as Sissoko and Widjnaldum who can also play there in an attacking midfield three.

    The squad wasn’t handled well, over the latter half of the season before last, and three quarters of the last. I think that’s primarily why we dropped, along with being 3 to 4 quality players light for that standard.

    But now we have first rate management, a more seasoned group, and we will be playing in an inferior league.

    I see far less need for great change, unless we somehow can attract and pay for better players, only to have to change again in 12 months, which we certainly will, because we aren’t a top EPL squad.

    But we are a very good Championship squad, particularly under Benitez who’ll be far and away the best manager in the league.

previous post: Alan Shearer Surprised Rafa Is Staying At Newcastle

next post: Unbelievable – Rafa’s Wife And Two Daughters Key In Decision