Benitez – This Is Our Only Priority At Newcastle

The Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has again made it extremely clear yesterday in his exclusive interview in the Chronicle – that the club’s main priority for next season is to build a strong squad and to have a strong team on the field.

He has said that whatever is done in the transfer market with players coming in or going out – will be with the sole intention of building a very strong squad that can get Newcastle promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt next May.

moussa sissoko rafa benitez spurs

Rafa Benitez and Moussa Sissoko at Newcastle

Everything else seems to be secondary and we assume that includes players wanting away like Moussa Sissoko.

The French International seems to think he is too good to play in the Championship and therefore wants to leave to play for a bigger club like Arsenal – a Champions League club in the case of Moussa.

After Moussa’s so selfish outburst earlier this week,  Newcastle did issue an official statement and Rafa has again stressed what Newcastle’s sole aims are for the summer and the for the coming season:

“It is simple in football: good players want to play with good players, in strong teams.” “So it is important that our priority is to have a strong team.”

“Our focus is on bringing high-quality players to the club to improve the group we already have.”  “We said a few days ago that we have had enquiries for some of our players, but our position is very clear on this.”

“We absolutely will keep and build a strong squad that we believe can get us promotion back to the Premier League.”

“If a player leaves, or he stays, or a new player arrives, whatever business we do in the transfer window will always be in the best interests of the club and the squad, that is certain.”

The statement is for the consumption of players like Moussa, Gini Wijnaldum and Daryl Janmaat who may have ideas of flying the coop in the summer.

It’s a good communication coming from the club and Rafa Benitez.

Rafa believes if he can keep the current squad together – with the way we played in those final six games of the season – including hammering Spurs 5-1 at home – then we must stand a very good chance of immediate promotion back to the Premier League.

That sounds like very good logic to us.

Comments welcome.

31 comments so far

  • Jib

    Jun 10, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Comment #1

    He also said
    “También estoy feliz de que mi buen amigo Mike tomó esos pajeros en Westminster a la tintorería”

  • Munster Mag

    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #2

    Average, I’m pleased that Rafa is changing things but need to wait longer to see what he really does. Any manager can come in and make pronouncements about strengthening the squad, bringing fans closer together etc so there is no point overdoing the praise for him on that front. Changing the pitches has not always worked with other clubs, with the injuries being caused by many different issues so I don’t see it as a golden answer . Not yet anyway, I’ll be happier when I see quality players come in and wasters like Sissoko sold, and NUFC attach=king teams and abandoning the two holding midfielders when possible. The Championship is not a good league, despite all the talk about it.

  • Average_Contents

    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #3

    June 10, 2016

    Has anyone trusted or felt it wasn’t a load of bollox when any other manager under fattys tenure bar kk and Houghton, spoke about anything football related and they weren’t on the bullshit parade because they hadn’t a clue and just went along with it.

    Probably very similar to how Tsunki described it earlier. Nothing to see here, just coach.

    Me neither.

    Like a breath of fresh air this rafa fella.

    I mean, who’d of thunked it eh, professional footballers who are basically finely tuned athletes playing on poor training pitches with other sub standard facilities.

    No wonder our injuries have been so diabolical for so long.

    I suppose that’s what happens when know nowts and yes men run a football club on the cheap.


    He just gets it doesn’t he!

    I thought carver got it but he put his foot in his mouth so often that he clearly didn’t and Pardew was a Billy bullshitter who pretended too.

    Wally, well he didn’t even attempt it and just smiled.

    Loving rafa.


    I agree but this time it doesn’t feel like a load of bullshit fed to the fans as it’s coming from a genuine football man who wants to win things unlike the previous incompetent arse licking yes men.

    The injury record obviously isn’t just down to training pitches but a lot of other variables.

    Having the tools in place beforehand with proper preparation is surely a step in the right direction isn’t it? Instead of just going with the flow and not wanting to upset the hiarchy like previously.

    Time will tell but I’ve more faith in a winner like rafa than a league 1 chancer and a sacked championship one.

    He’s genuine in my book. Any Liverpool fan will tell you the same (I get told all the fcuking time)

  • Average_Contents

    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #4

    It’s not gushing praise either.

    It’s just genuine optimism (cautious) that had been sucked from me and undoubtedly many others during the past nine years because of diabolical decisions and employing people who haven’t a clue

    I’m a realist so until the supposed changes take effect and he does indeed have control then I will remain just cautiously optimistic.

    Still, he’s infectious.

  • clinath@ed

    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #5

    If Rafa was trying to pull the wool over our eyes, I’d have thought he’d be promising X, Y and Z in players or that in 3 years we’d be vying for Champions league positions..etc.
    But he hasn’t. Instead he’s is taking his time, and a Holistic view of the Club, starting at the basics, foundations if you like.
    If he is …but that’s before you factor in the Ashley virus

  • clinath@ed

    Jun 10, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #6

    If he is Genuine…(that should read)


    Jun 10, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #7

    Name checking Janmatt, why? Have I missed him talking about leaving?

  • cyprus

    Jun 10, 2016 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #8

    It’s a results business. If he doesn’t take us back up and we start losing to provincial sides, all the good will will disappear.

    Like I said before, if he succeeds with us I’ll be the first to deify him. Not before.

    Still, glad about the love fest. And the feel good factor, despite the small detail that we’ve been relegated

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 10, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #9

    Sissoko is contracted to the club. I say make him play in the championship next season for his selfish get away plea. Every other player apart from him & wijnaldum know it’s there fault we’re relegated, & there looking to make am immense. They should be punished by not been allowed to leave.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 10, 2016 at 11:42 AM

    Comment #10

    I hear what you’re saying and if I had my way he’d be training with Beardsley if he didn’t shape up but we have to be practical a club can’t afford to have someone like him moping around the place causing a stink, get shot of him and bring in a player who wants to be here and who doesn’t constantly bleat on about a move to a bigger club.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 10, 2016 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #11

    Have we been relegated ?

  • jimmysmith

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #12

    Sissoko has every right to be disillusioned. He’s a top international, and we are relegated. Blame Ashley, blame Carr, blame Charnley, blame McClaren, blame 90% of the first team squad, who aren’t as good, before you blame our better players. Not as advertised on the tin Mr Ashley.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #13

    Jimmy Smith,
    Correct but Sissons has to take a long hard look at himself as well though.

  • israeli_fan

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #14

    re Eran Zehavi- he is playing in maccabi tel aviv and not haifa.

    he has amazing goalscoring record but when he tried his luck in europe (palermo) he was so poor they sent him a special flight back to israel.

    in addition he is very lazy and won’t be up to the challange of the championship.
    I hope we will looking elsewhere

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #15

    Why spoil & give sissoko his selfish ways?? He wants to move, what have we got to lose??

    If we get promoted he will forget everything he said unless arsenal will come in for him. Which is highly unlikely. He’s not good enough & newcastle will want a massive fee for him.

    He is the kind of player who needs tough love. He’s under contract, there’s no hiding place for him.

  • manxpie

    Jun 10, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Comment #16

    Jimmy I blame sisko more than any other player he’s now experienced in the prem and we know he’s got the ability the fact he only showed it once every 10-15 games means he is more to blame than any other! Top player? Not a chance

  • Mister Tuff

    Jun 10, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #18

    France v Romania – first match tonight and on ITV from 7.15pm.
    Interesting to see how Sissoko does. I’m guessing he will not start.
    If he does get on and play his “normal” game any interest elsewhere will wane.

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Jun 10, 2016 at 1:31 PM

    Comment #19

    So am I missing something or has Sissoko put in a transfer request??

    No doubt he hasn’t and wants to be sold and still get all the loyalty bonuses etc that he would get if the club sold him without a request


  • Bobbybee

    Jun 10, 2016 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #20

    No player is too good to be relegated. He played most games, so has to share the responsibility, whether his ego likes it or not. I like him as a player, but his attitude stinks and not what we need going into a new season. The whole team needs to pull in the same direction and we don’t need anybody crapping in the nest. There’s no question he has the ability to help bring us straight back up and for that reason I’d like him to stay, but if he’s going to sulk and cause problems he needs to go. I think the situation as it stands is probably best all round. If a bid that meets our valuation comes in, ie 20m, then sell him. There’s no reason to sell him cheap just to pander to his ego. If he’s as good as he claims, 20m ain’t too much, but I’ll be amazed if we get that offer. Arsenal have plenty of players in midfield and will probably only want him on the cheap, if at all. I’m just glad Rafa has to deal with this and not me!

  • AncientC

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Comment #21

    Sissoko waived his signing on fee when joining the club. The club, not the player will be much better off for his transfer. Sissoko was probably going to move, even if we stayed up – it was a long time coming. I don’t see a problem.

    I would like to think all of the players at the club believe they are “too good to play in the Championship”, otherwise we have a problem.

    If it was any other player, I would be unhappy, but let Sissoko be on his merry way.

    Personally, I was less impressed with Ba’s attitude, who was given Pardew’s personal blessing when he left the club. Sissoko is leaving the club on much better terms, with a longer notice period.

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #22

    Lee charnley bunga
    No he hasn’t put in a request. We’re just on a discussion on him.

    Sissoko will play his heart out in the euros, not for his country, but in hope of a transfer coming along. Then we will all see how little he really tried this season.

    I hope he has a bad euros, nobody will buy him so he will have to stay, plus it will be a total disgrace if he plays top class.

  • sing in the corner

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:15 PM

    Comment #23

    Come on Sissoko, are you a man or a Moussa?? Squeak squeak! / Run away!
    Just go, you perfect selfish example of the modern day football mercenary – not a care in the world about the club or the fans you are playing for. If this type of player understood even a little bit about the type of people who support this club, he wouldn’t make such a public mug of himself in this way.
    What a knob. And janmaat, Wijnaldum can be included in the same bracket. No guts, no pride..

  • Shadow_Shearer

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    Comment #24

    Sing in the corner

    I don’t believe Janmaat wants to leave. He’s happy to stay to bring the club back up.
    It’s the fact there’s clubs interested in him. Juventus been 1 of them. Similar situation to Santon.

    Sissoko & wijnaldum are most likely on the phone to there agents this very moment in time.

  • hibbitt

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #25

    dont see a queue of champions league clubs wenting to buy him not even a prem club in for him not a bid on the table
    i would love him to go but we have to find a buyer first who will pay the price Rafa wants

  • G

    Jun 10, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    Comment #26

    Who was it earlier who suggested 4g pitches have been linked to cancer? Did some reasearch on this, and they were correct… however, only in North America where they use old tyres for the grains, which is illeagal in Europe, because of the cancer issue. No need to worry about our expensive flops suing us in a couple of years then,

  • Jib

    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #27

    I have two tickets for the final of euro 2016, but I didn’t realise it will be on the same day as my wedding, so I can’t go…..
    If you are interested and want to go instead of me……
    It’s at St Andrews church in Brighton and the girl is called Sarah !!!!!!!


  • dok - the horrid colonial

    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:17 PM

    Comment #28


    that has to be your best post ever…. you owe me a new monitor, as mine has coffee all over it…

    well done lad, well done…


    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #29

    just sell sissoko we dnt need him, there are better players out there we should look at

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:37 PM

    Comment #30

    Did you just send that to Radio 2

  • Bobbybee

    Jun 10, 2016 at 3:38 PM

    Comment #31

    Jamsha, and there lies the problem. Is anybody better than Sissoko going to want to play in the Championship? It’s a sticky problem but one that Rafa has to deal with. It will be interesting to see how he goes about it.


You must log in to post a comment.