Pundit Not At All Shocked By Rafa Staying At Newcastle

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson knows all about Newcastle United, having been a coach at the club during Kevin Keegan’s first spell in charge at the club.

So it’s not a shock to Mark that world-class manager Rafa Benitez has decided to stay on at Newcastle, even through Newcastle are now a second division side, following our self-inflicted relegation.

mark lawrenson

Mark Lawrenson – I’m not shocked

This is what Mark has said on Radio 5 Live:

“I’m not amazed, I’m not shocked.”

“Don’t understate the part that his wife and daughters have played as well. They have always kept the family home from when he managed at Liverpool.”

“And I know they love where they live, so they will be able to see a lot more of him now.”

“Newcastle, Liverpool, Valencia – teams with a massive support – very, very loyal to the team, loyal to the manager – if they think they are any good.”

“Mike Ashley is very much maligned, but he’s always putting his hand in his pocket, but the problem has been there’s just been too many managers.”

“There has never really been a manager there who can sit there and think he can build as they go along, I think that will be Rafa.”

“He is a control freak but in the nicest possible way. So I can imagine he has got everything he wanted.” 

“I would put a lot of money on Newcastle to get automatic promotion.”

“He is ruthless. He might not come across that way but he is.” “He knows players, he knows how to get the best out of players. I think he will get them organized defensively, which you need to do in this 46 game league.”

As well as building a good strong squad that is bigger than it’s been in the past under Ashley, our first goal is to get straight back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

But this summer should really be exciting for fans, as Rafa does a little wheeling and dealing in the transfer market, as the manager is now completely in charge of all scouting and all transfer business at the club.

Comments welcome.

24 comments so far

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #2

    Where is this idea that Ashley keeps putting his hands in his pockets coming from?

    Initial investments are being held against the club. It may be “interest free” (previously offset against stadium advertising…due to be revisited apparently), but it’s not a gift. He fully expects it back.

    More to the point, funds invested since promotion have been club generated profits. Self sufficient club owners don’t put their hands in their pockets.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 26, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #3

    Ibiza I also find it hard to believe that he isn’t taken money out of the club, I always think of the “Debt” as a joke and doesn’t really exist, much like UFOs.

  • Oldgit1

    May 26, 2016 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #4

    I feel good that I have lived in an era from the days of joe Harvey to have supported Newcastle under the guidance of Kevin Keegan, Sir Bobby Robson and now we have Rafa who I believe won’t be as free flowing style as football as the others but we will win something that is for sure. I just hope time is on my side.

    Since Ashley took over my beloved club he has tried to run it on the cheap, I’m a believer that you get what you pay for and I dont think Rava comes cheap but God he will be so worth it.

  • dok - the horrid colonial

    May 26, 2016 at 1:16 PM

    Comment #5

    Ibiza, gmornign lad 🙂

    to expound on your post, the “always has his hand in his pocket” is befuddling.. wasn’t long ago that we went thru how many windows without a single one brought in?

  • giimps

    May 26, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #7

    Your right, they put their hands in the fans pockets.
    To be fair to Cashley though, he has made 3 correct decisions in 10 weeks, that’s 3 more than he’s made as owner so far…….is the tide a changing ,who knows, will it be successful …..again, who knows……but I have a lot more faith in our new manager and his credentials and freedom than iv ever had since Cashley bought us, if only he had better advisors we could have been doing this for 9 year and who knows where we would be now………

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #8

    Essex….There haven’t been any direct payments. But a fair bit of outsourcing, asset stripping etc.

    Mash holdings got some useful projects out of the NUFC acquisition.

  • giimps

    May 26, 2016 at 1:22 PM

    Comment #9

    Does anyone know if the land near the strawberry has been sold yet or is it still for sale?

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #10

    Dok…Good morning to you too. Was it 3 windows? Still, that’s alright, we had no ambition then. But look at us now!

    giimps…And the good old TV sponsorship pot of gold.

    Technically, it is all Ashleys funds to do with as he pleases, but he also said he wants us to be self sufficient and that profits would go back in to the club.

    The idea of Ashley putting his hands in his pockets is that he puts money in, not just allow it to spend what it’s generated.

    I have a lot more faith in Rafa. That isn’t hard though. A character that people can actually get behind. Fans have been calling for that for ages.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #11

    giimps…Interesting question. It was for sale, but I do believe plans to develop have been taken over by Mash holdings for the time being. Planning permission under way.

    Should it be classed a club asset? Will the profits be invested back in to the club?

    “It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me, yeah….but I feel that money is mikes.” Doesn’t flow quite the same as the original, I admit.

  • JP...from The Rock

    May 26, 2016 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #12

    I don’t want Wijnaldum sold. He is class on his day. And his day is much more frequent than Sissoko’s. The funny thing is that maybe Rafa can bring out the best in Sissoko on a consistent basis, just like he did in the last few games for us. But Wijnaldum is a good goalscoring midfielder, we haven’t had one of those since Cabaye left. Let’s say he only scores goals at home, that’s still at least 15 goals in the Championship. I’ll keep him as he did pretty well in his debut year in the hardest league in the world. This league is a step down from that so it will be even easier for him to score I think.

  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #13

    Ashley’s running of the club has rightly been lambasted in the past. He got it wrong. He deserved everything he got. Not being obsessed with the man, i’ve given him grief when he’s deserved it. Now, however, he’s finally got it right, so just as he deserved to be slated, this time he deserves a little credit. Hard for some, i realise, but that’s what happens with obsessions.

  • Back Door Man

    May 26, 2016 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #14

    I’m content that ‘the blog’ is building some sort of chattering shrine to Manuel.  I also share the optimism shown by most of the commentariat that things will improve after the astounding incompetence shown over the last few years.

    Sitting in the sunshine this morning, nibbling on a croissant and sipping my silky cappuccino whilst reading the sports pages, I really did feel a warm tingling sensation in my pink wobbly bits that Manuel might be the man to lead us to glory.  The stirrings had nowt to do with watching the pretty women walking past the café.


  • Carr Toon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #15

    JP…from The Rock:-
    mate, love that statement “And his day is much more frequent than Sissoko’s”

  • Back Door Man

    May 26, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #16

    As to that plot of development land where the old St James Hall used to stand, doesn’t the City Council own the freehold? Also, do they still own the freehold of SJP?

  • Bobbybee

    May 26, 2016 at 1:40 PM

    Comment #17

    JP, gini is under contract and as Rafa has said, he doesn’t need to sell anybody. No doubt a long conversation will ensue between the two. If a player desperately wants to leave, I’ll drive them to the airport rather than have them festering in the background, but any young player who rejects the chance to learn from one of the world’s best, doesn’t deserve that chance. If Rafa wants to keep Gini, the chances are he’ll stay, or bring us one hell of a payday. 😉

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #18

    Bobby…Other than saying you have given him grief. I’ve never seen you actually do it. That isn’t a problem however.

    Who isn’t giving him credit? We’re pleased they’ve signed Rafa. It’s about time we got a manager worthy of the club and it’s fans.

    What I questioned was the idea that Ashley has been putting his hand in his pocket. Surely that’s not a problem, nor should it be considered obsessive?

    I could say peoples efforts to try and credit him are somewhat obsessive. What are they trying to prove?

    It has always been a thought, that using logic, a successful NUFC is beneficial to Ashley. It’s what bought him so much time with me. It just made sense for him to do it properly. He hadn’t though.

    This is a huge step in the right direction, at last.

  • Wayayman

    May 26, 2016 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #19

    Back Door man, why you calling him Manuel like he’s a bumbling waiter? The bloke is probably the best manager we’ve had at the club, ever so have some class or go back to watching Jim Davidson dvds to get some more comedy gold.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 26, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Comment #20

    So do we judge Rafa on ten games, just wondering!!

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:45 PM

    Comment #21

    BDM…I do believe the council have sold the freehold to it (Strawberry Place, not SJP).

    For the huge figure of £800,000.

    So, within the initial purchase of NUFC, Mash holdings, for £800k extran have access to a 1.6 acre city centre development.

  • Ian Toon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #22

    Bobby- Did you see the piece on Armstrong in our Spurs programme.
    I haven’t seen enough of him to form a view but looking forward to next season.

    I like your positive attitude and as with Rafa creating positive energy generates positive and optimistic feelings. Still a few daft comments harping back but I thought the press conference hit just the right notes.
    Positive thinking without seeking to knock people who he could well be working with.
    Betty – got it right whilst Blackley’s idea of what he should have said was more in keeping with Keegan and Shearer introduction but without a background of just being relegated.

  • Jib

    May 26, 2016 at 1:49 PM

    Comment #23

    Hall and Shepherd originally sold the car park below St James Metro station after a feasability study they commissioned into development of SJP into Strawberry Place to increase capacity to 60,000 would be knocked back by the council.
    Mash holdings bought it back.

    Ashley out campaigners accuse him of being a greedy grasper , then accuse him of refusing to increase the capacity of SJP

    As Spock would say – “illogical”

    This is the most up-to-date item on the subject.

  • Ibizatoon

    May 26, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #24

    Jib…How is that illogical?

    They think he’s greedy and want him to expand the stadium. One doesn’t contradict the other.


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