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Benitez Could Struggle To Keep His Best Players At Newcastle

9:16 am, Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by Dr. Ed Harrison · 44 Comments

With news last night that both Liverpool and Manchester City are interested in activating Andros Townsend’s release clause of around £13M in his contract, it could be that Rafa Benitez will have some difficulty in keeping his best players at Newcastle in the Championship next season.

Players likely to push for a move are Moussa Sissoko, Gini Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and even Townsend, who has quickly become a fan favorite on Tyneside.

However there’s another report in the Chronicle today that players will not be allowed to leave the club without the approval of manager Rafa Benitez.

rafa benitez spurs 98

Rafa Benitez – expected to take hard-line with some players

Benitez will take a hard-line with those players he wants to keep on Tyneside – players like Sissoko and Wijnaldum.

Those players who have not been involved in Internationals during the break will report back for pre-season training next week and that’s a large portion of the squad.

It will be just over six weeks of intense pre-season training before the Championship season starts on the weekend of Saturday 6th August, with the fixture list being released tomorrow.

Rafa will have the time to get his ideas across fully before the season starts – and we expect to see a Rafa Benitez like team start the season and hopefully get off to a great start, which will be important.

We expect the defense to be much improved from the last four years, when we conceded a massive 255 league goals yet the defense was never strengthened significantly during that time.


Rafa also wants about five or six new players brought in and a couple will be loan signings and he’s also expected to bring in some experienced players with leadership skills to augment the fairly young squad we have.

The problem Rafa may have with some of the top players is they react negatively to not being allowed to leave the club and it will be interesting to see how Rafa deals with that – if it happens.

He will explain to the likes of Wijnaldum and Sissoko it’s only one season down below and they can be part of the top team he intends to build at Newcastle United and that team can be challenging soon for a top four position in the Premier League – that’s Rafa’s ambition.

But stories about Newcastle players being wanted by other top clubs will continue until the end of the transfer window – unfortunately – and that could be a distraction for the team and maybe for Rafa too.

We think the manager will cash in on at least one top player if Newcastle get the right kind of offer coming in – a huge one.

Comments welcome.

Tags: Championship · Coaching · Georginio Wijnaldum · Loan Moves · Management · Moussa Sissoko · Newcastle News · Transfer News and Rumours

44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    “Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    Sorry Tsunki
    All you sneering snides look the same to me.
    I think I got you confused with YCMIU.”

    Your day is getting better. I pull you on yet another of your unfounded snipes and you attempt to deflect it to me. Ho ho, you chump.

  • 2 lesh // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Spurs dug in over Bale and eventually sold him for a massive fee.

    Sissoko and Wijnaldum could be managed in the same way – they leave when the Club’s ready to let them go, not when they’re ready!

  • 3 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    a. It wasn’t a snipe – it was a poor attempt at humour (hence the smiley).
    b. One of the Aussies said after the Brisbane game that the Wallabies would smash England at Melbourne.
    c. It was Rugby talk twixt me and an Aussie poster.
    d.If you want to join in with the big boys I can give you some good links to learn more about Rugby.
    e.Your behaviour reminds me of a harmonica band that used to be on black and white TV where there was this dwarf who kept trying to push in and get attention.

  • 4 expatmag // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:03 AM


    I would say… Advantage JIB there mate

    Backline lob after enticing him to the net, might be needed here……lol

  • 5 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    On topic, there’s a saying which has the name ‘Sherlock’ in it. How does it go, now?

    It all depends on what is defined as a ‘Top ‘ player. Imo a Top Player must have the right professional attitude toward his current employer and show up for work regardless of his seemingly thwarted aspirations or disappointments.

    By that score the likes of Wijnaldum, sissoko, Shelvey need not apply.

  • 6 expatmag // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:24 AM

    Hmmmm……conveniently ignored.

  • 7 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 10:26 AM

    Jib, the attempt at humour thing might wash if you actually had a sense of it. Unfortunately just comes across as your usual misinformed and priapic attempt at putting another blogger down, which let’s be honest now, it was.

    As for the dwarf comment, make your mind up, you have me down as bald, overweight and now a dwarf. it’s a pretty picture but not quite right. But it does align with your inner Jib. 🙂

    Have you ever played rugby Jib? I bet you were a cauliflower ear.

  • 8 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Your male genetalia reference and the general tenor of that post is pure B and B.
    When I first thought about that months ago I thought “Nah – it’s only a footy blog – nobody is that screwed up”
    But I think you may be what the Croatians call “kiselo stara krava”

  • 9 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    when it comes down to it, the only player that can move on his own terms is townsend, the rest can be held to contract. No way the club lets any of them go without them putting in a transfer request as this waives their percentage of the deal.
    My guess – Gini and Janmaat to go bringing in about 25-30m, townesend excercising his clause and going for 13m.Reckon the club would go for getting shelvey off the wage bill too but can’t see it happening.
    Can also see Coloccini riding out his final year and Krul signing a new contract and sissoko being forced to stay

  • 10 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    Shelvey would shine in the Championship don’t you think ?

  • 11 martoon // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    My biggest concern is Townsend. He is the player I would most like to keep. However he is probably the most sort after and has the that clause in his contract bit of a catch 22 really 🙁

  • 12 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    The worrying thing for me is every forward players name we have been linked with ( I know , I know – press talk) has been a striker/winger

  • 13 Mister Tuff // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:20 AM

    Hahaha – good stuff this morning. Couple of gaffes by Jib Jibberish – no surprises there (too much cheap cider).

    Now Jib is entering the multiple hunter group by accusing Tsunki of being BandB – with an extra pot shot of calling her “a sour old cow”.

    I would think that those who condemn accusations of multiples, super supporter et al will be on scolding him for such mischief. They will have no truck with hypocrisy. Will they???

  • 14 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    @Jib, I reckon most of our players will shine in the championship, the difference in quality between the premier league and teams outside the top 6 in the Championship is huge, So much greater than people realise. I live near Burton, seen them a few times, they are honestly terrible! A conference squad of players! Wigan similar! Rotherham, Barnsley etc
    Remember last year, before he was injured, 21 championship clubs were in for Riviere on loan which says it all
    Just think shelvey might be on too much money and didn’t show enough to warrant them particularly wanting to keep him. Personally i’d build a team around him but i’m not 100% Rafa seemed to rate him
    The one for me i’m interested to see is Sissoko. Reckon he’ll tear the championship to shreds if they keep him!

  • 15 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Looking forward to the Pirelli
    I’ll get the train.
    The Toon plus the home of real good beer what more could you want ?

  • 16 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Ha ha Jib you can’t be accused of failing to deliver quality. I remember implanting gender uncertainty some time back which I recall truly knocked you off balance. Didn’t you once suggest I was Ibizatoon? Now I am BandB? I think the lady may have something to say about that, not least the insult that I am her ha ha.

    As for your Croatian ‘saying’ I’m not going to bother following in your search engine footsteps, ta. I’d give up, there’s a boulder, a bucket of hot oil, a stick of dynamite, a trap door or some other hazard of your own making just waiting for you to stumble upon.

  • 17 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    @Jib -The grounds a bit far out but theres a couple fantastic ale pubs near the train station! I recommend the Coopers if you like your ale!
    Burtons fan base is great! It’s small, but they love their football! Nice people, no nastiness or trouble! Most of them been going since the side was part time playing 8 divisions further down, really pleased for them with what and who they’ll get to watch next season!
    They still speak about the time they played man utd 15 years back
    Worth remembering the toons biggest ever defeat came in Burton 😉

  • 18 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM

    Yes Mr T, I can hear the sound of many bloggers tripping over each other to decry the accusations that Multiple Posters exist 🙂

  • 19 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Townsend is the one who can decide his own future due to the ridiculous get out clause now confirmed at £10.5m. Adamance that relegation wasn’t even a possibility can be the only reason they signed such a stupid agreement and its bitten them on the arse big time now.

    Maybe if we were to let Andros know that we value his services and would love him to stay ala. Rafa then it might help to sway his decision.
    Certainly a letter from Rotonda withdrawing his headless chicken comments and acknowledging his excellent contribution wouldn’t go amiss.

  • 20 clinath@ed // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    “you have me down as bald, overweight and now a dwarf. ”
    Oi, leave me out of it!

  • 21 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    Was amazing how a good 2 thirds of fans on here (myself included) didn’t want Townsend when the rumours we were interested first came about! The lad was ripped apart on here by more than a few.
    Got to admit, he’s so much better than I had realised beforehand!

  • 22 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Tsunki…. I just had a vision of you flash up and I have to say a bald, fat, transgender , schizophrenic dwarf did make me chuckle.

  • 23 Jib // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    How much in a taxi to the ground from near the station

  • 24 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:51 AM

    Jay photo………. I knew he was class all along.

  • 25 Tsunki // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Betty I suppose it does help to preserve anonymity though.

  • 26 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    @jib – probably about £7! Theres sod all out near the ground, its right on the edge of town!
    @betty – I wasn’t sold at first but he really won me over, great effort and quality! Hope we keep him

  • 27 Bambams // Jun 21, 2016 at 12:45 PM

    I think it might help keep our ‘Top Players’ if Rafa can bring in one or two good signings to show we intend to be in the Championship for only one season…..
    Worst case scenario loan players for one season rather than selling them.

    I had hoped Townsend wanted to stay….He could still yet but agents don’t get paid unless players move !

  • 28 Spoof // Jun 21, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Liverpool apparently are not interested in Townsend which is a relief as I could have seen him being tempted to go there, however to my knowledge there has been no denial from Man City but in all honesty I’m not really concerned about there interest as I would be very surprised if Townsend would entertain a move to the Etihad, bearing in my how stagnant and unhappy Townsend was at being a bit part player at Tottenham and how desperate he was to get away that role down there I very much doubt that 4/5 months of regular first team spots would allow him to forget just how much he wanted to get away from being a bit part player, I cannot see him wanting to go to City, Liverpool I could see as he could and possibly would play a hell of a lot of games, but City, no, I just can’t see it.

  • 29 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM


    Totally agree there mate, Townsend knows he will get first team action here, with man city i think there will be no chance of that.

  • 30 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:02 PM

    Don’t think he would go to Liverpool, they have got a few wingers there anyway.

  • 31 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    Welshie …….. Apparently Gareth has had a good night’s sleep on his very large pillow.

  • 32 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:07 PM

    Can’t see townesend going to one of the big teams,hed be benched more times than not and he could have stayed at spurs if that was the case.
    Think theres a few teams we could lose him to, West Ham, Southampton, maybe Leicester? Can’t see him going to a Palace/Swansea/WBA though

  • 33 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    interesting reports in the French media today that sissoko has shown enough in training and against the swiss to take matuidi’s place in the French starting line up for the next round!

  • 34 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM


    I couldn’t give a rats arse if Bale has got a big head, small head or two frigging heads as long as he’s putting the ball in the net then i don’t care.

  • 35 geordie157 // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Although I was in the Townsend is a good signing camp when he joined, I did kinda base that on the fact he was better than the wingers we already had at the club.

    He’s actually got more to his game than I thought, he tracks back, scores free kicks and his final ball is actually better than I thought.

    For me based on the current squad, him, mbemba and lascelles are the must keep players.

  • 36 Blackley and Brownlie // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    To pass the time in the queue at Costa, Eldon Square, Old Blackas dips into the blog. The first thing he reads has him spontaneously guffaw like a loon, getting queer looks from the barista and other customers. What was it, you ask?

    “As for the dwarf comment, make your mind up, you have me down as bald, overweight and now a dwarf. it’s a pretty picture but not quite right.”

    Haha. Good to know the blog remains alive, well and in good cheer.

  • 37 welshgeordie9 // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:21 PM


    If he gets in the first team becasue he did one good move in the entire match then there’s something wrong somewhere, would like to know what’s he done in training to make the coach put him in the team.

  • 38 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    @welsh – maybe his effort has been high? he looked solid against Switzerland and he has always been a favourite of deschamps who likes his attitude.
    might be a case Matuidi hasn’t impressed?

  • 39 Blackley and Brownlie // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:25 PM

    Many of us thought England could do with Townsend and Defoe. It looks like Roy might well have plenty time on his hands to reflect on that.

  • 40 Blackley and Brownlie // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:30 PM

    Apart from one cameo appearance down to wing, Sissoko did nothing. Having said that, I was watching on TV so that criticism might be somewhat unfair.

  • 41 Rotonda heights // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:39 PM


    Ah look still desperately trying to take the mick. Why is that Betty? Inner demons won’t let you be. Just couldn’t let it go could you doll.

    don’t think we could ever accuse you of being the swiftest. I withdrew my, probably along with many other people’s comments re – Townsend some considerable time ago bonny lad. Do try and keep up there’s a good chap.

  • 42 jayphoto // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    @blackley – my French is only semi fluent so might have got the jist wrong but it seems to be to do with getting the best out of Pogba and setting up more around him . Maybe sissoko links well with him or compliments his play?

  • 43 bettyswallocks // Jun 21, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    Rotonda ….. As I pointed out to you in my original post on your Townsend abuse, the headless chicken comments obviously didn’t make him flap. You didn’t pick up on it at the time and proceeded to get into a right flap yourself. Sharpen up a bit soft lad.

    A nice apologetic letter to him is the least you can offer under the circumstances. I’m sure the players do read these blogs.

  • 44 lochinvar // Jun 21, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Townsend know that it takes a REAL man to stand up and be counted – just like Rafa.

    If he makes a statement of intent to stay and support Rafa in winning the Championship that would strengthen everyone’s resolve.

    Are our odds on being promoted based on the current team squad or does losing those players changes the bookies thinking ? Keeping the so called big players must be key to scaring off some off the opposition and winning the league.

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