Rafa On Why He Overhauled The Newcastle Squad

It could well have been the busiest transfer window in Newcastle’s history, that we were able to bring in 12 good players and allow 21 players to leave the club – either on loan or permanently.

And in the process we made a staggering £31M in profit – so the finances at Newcastle must be in very good shape –  they were in good shape even before the transfer window started.

Rafa Benitez has answered a number of good questions on the Newcastle site after the window closed on Wednesday evening at 11:00 pm – just a few minutes after we completed the £30M deal to send Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham.

rafa benitez training

Rafa Benitez – world-class manager – and it shows

Moussa was an unpopular player who was probably worth around £10M in May after a poor season for Newcastle.

But it was very kind of Moussa to put in some great performances for France in Euro 2016 and we got an extra £20M for a player the Newcastle fans wanted to see the back of for a couple of years.

Here’s one of the questions Rafa was asked and his answer in quotes.

There’s been a significant number of changes to the squad, both incoming and outgoing – what has been your thinking for the major overhaul?

“We needed every single player in the squad to be dedicated and to want to help in the campaign for promotion.”

“I said in a lot of interviews this group of players have been very good professionals, but when a player doesn’t have that desire then we need to move him on to another club.”

“It affects moral and atmosphere in the group and that can be damaging.”

“Also, we have had some players who were happy at Newcastle, but they would not have been a big part of my plans this season.”

“These players want to play football, that is normal, so sometimes it is in the best interests of everyone that they leave.”

“We have brought in 12 players, which is more business than the Club have ever done in a transfer window.”

“But after the relegation and the atmosphere you could sense we needed to make sure that we were strong in every position and that we had the right players and the right characters with experience for the Championship.”

“We know we couldn’t get some names that we wanted, but we brought players in the positions and with the experience required for this division.”

That’s a good answer by Rafa and one of the players who couldn’t get a move was Cheick Tiote, so we’re not sure whet will happen with Cheick this year, but he will probably leave the club in January.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Novocastrian66

    Sep 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #1

    Blackie; The questions is by what degree was Sissoko involved? Involved in the build up? Involved by making a dummy run? Involved by being on the pitch? There appears to be a lot of people trying their best to justify Sissoko’s fee. It’s great for us he has gone. It’s great for us we’ve managed to extort a large fee. It’s great for us that he is someone else’s problem. Reasons to be cheerful 1,2,3.

  • sparky55

    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #2

    Although I can’t stand Sissoko because of his very poor attitude I believe he is worth every single penny of the 30 million we got for him.

    I think you have to remember he was sold a pup at newcastle and you have to remember he was coached by the three worst managers newcastle have ever had…all in succession!

    He was a CDM art Toulon…he was coached by one of the best coaches in France, he was brought up the french way and these guys know how to play football.

    Pardew signs him a plays him as right wing with the strongest message being defend defend defend.

    We then get shot off Pardew and he gets Carver. nuff said

    We then get Maclaren…nuff said.

    Whilst no-one can ever defend his attitude you can certainly understand his desire to leave after this succession of very poor management appointments leading to an overdue relegation.

    A proper t0ss@ in my book but I get why he wanted to leave and I think he’ll be huge success at spurs


  • emperor

    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #3

    We got relegated at a bad tine if we stayed up we would have been challenging for bony remy wilshere benteke
    sunderland and hull just wasting premier league spaces lol.
    Im worried that when we go up it will take HUGE investment and rebuilding just to even get on par with stoke palace etc… anyway in rafa we trust

  • Blackley and Brownlie

    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #4

    I take it “involved in” means scored, assisted and perhaps assisted in an assist but not by somply being on the pitch. Whatever it means, he was involved more than any other player. Personally, I think he was an asset. I’d rather have Sissoko tearing up championship midfields and defences this season than have £30m in instalments. That’s because I would like to see us promoted first time of asking.

    I know Ian wants to bestow an award on old man Carr for his part in the transfer dealings this summer. Indeed it sounds as if Ian is very pleased with our transfer window and considers there should be a good deal of congratulations, not least to Carr. Of course, when Rafa wasn’t here we kept the deadwood that were Carr’s signings. Now he’s here, they’ve largely gone. They would have gone much sooner too if the fans had had their way and not Carr. And Carr’s biggest gamble, the one that probably did most to sink us, is still here, injured when not suspended.

    So for what else should we be grateful to Carr? Oh yes, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle. Big money signings.

  • Oldgit1

    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #5

    My take on Sissoko transfer.
    He is now claiming that Everton did not make any contact with him and had not rebuffed them in any way.

    I can recall early days when Rooney was the target of Manu and they put in a very derisory bid. They were the only club in for him, then Shepherd put a bid in for him for 20 million, he eventually went to Manu for 25 million.

    None of our supporters believed we could afford him as we were skint, ( this was prior to sky payouts) and believed we just helped Everton to get more money out of Manu which it did.

    I see this as Everton returning the favour and forcing the Spurs to up their bid.

    I see a lot of this going on with clubs not showing any interest in a player then suddenly puts a late bid in. With initial club always increasing their bid.

    A conspiracy theory maybe, but I do wonder if clubs do help each other out.

  • Moonraker15

    Sep 2, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #6

    Sissoko won’t succeed at Spurs simply because of the way they pass it you need a superb first touch which he doesn’t have. Also his final pass is rarely a good one. He just isn’t a top player although he thinks he is. ZZ would have taken him to Madrid if he was or Wenger who never even considered him !


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