Rafa’s In Charge – Money No Longer King – Here’s What’s Important

Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has been linked with an £18M move to Chelsea over the weekend,  as the 22 year-old defender continues to improve under the guidance of manager Rafa Benitez.

The Sun on Sunday reported yesterday that manager Antonio Conte has had his scouts watch the English center-back and they like what they have seen – which is hardly surprising.

It seems the London club would like to sign Jamaal in January, but there’s little chance of Rafa Benitez wanting to lose one of his top players – who he sees as a stalwart of his (successful) Newcastle side of the future.

That’s one reason he made the player captain of the club even though he’s just 22.


Jamaal Lascelles – 22 year-old Newcastle captain

Newcastle are in good financial shape right now having made a profit of £31M in the summer transfer market and the sell-outs at St. James’ Park and on the road this season will help keep the coffers full.

And if we get promoted then we’ll be back in the big time  and the big money again.

Under Rafa Benitez the squad and the team put out on the field each game is the most important thing.

That’s so  Newcastle can put out a top team for every single game – start winning  games – keep winning games – and as soon as possible – win a trophy.

We shouldn’t forget that Rafa Benitez came to Newcastle to win trophies.

So things have changed a lot with Rafa coming in and it’s not that money takes a complete back seat either.

Rafa has already talked about how important it is for us to get back to the Premier League, so we have the money to bring in some top players.

We will need some world-class players if we are to really be a team to be reckoned with in England and in Europe in future years.

That’s the definite and fundamental shift that’s happened under Rafa and we will not sell our best players just for the money, which we have done all too often in the past when money was King.

And even owner Mike Ashley seems to have finally realized that a successful football team is one that wins games and wins trophies and sells out St. James’ Park for every home  game.

It’s not one that has a great bank balance, continually cuts costs and struggles against relegation every season.

Mike deserves credit for that – even though it took nine years for the penny to finally drop.


So Chelsea will have a really hard job to sign Jamaal Lascelles, who still has a lot of improvement to make under Rafa’s guidance so he can become a top player at Newcastle for years to come.

That sounds so very good but it also points to the fact that Newcastle United are now a very different club than we were at the start of the year, before a certain Rafa Benitez arrived on Tyneside.

He has changed everything.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

9 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #1

    This will give us a bit of insight in to how things are now if a bid comes in during January and he’s gone leaving an unhappy manager, or a bid comes in and the manager says it’s a lot of money but he’s too important to sell.

  • hibbit

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #2

    Jail i think you’re right there IF a bid comes in
    paper talk !!

  • derekm

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:18 AM

    Comment #3

    Think the biggest difference is that Ashley has seen at first hand how the previous model simply did not work. The prospect of an unhappy Rafa will simply never happen – he has proved already that he can walk away to ” bigger ” clubs if what he was promised changes.

  • c-dog

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #4

    Jamal, himself, would want to join Chelsea if they came knocking I would imagine. I’d hate to see him go as him and Clarke look like they could do the business for us for years to come. However, should that happen let’s hope we play hardball and milk them sneaky Russians dry.


    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    Comment #5

    Unfortunatley I think thats said more in hope that belief

  • cyprus

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:31 AM

    Comment #6

    Hope this isn’t for real because it will probably interest him. BTW, was impressed with Hanley, excellent to have a guy like him, ready to step in. And we have Mbemba too. Nice to have 4 good CB’s these days.

  • cyprus

    Oct 31, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #7

    See the scorers for JC’s OMONOIA were Sheridan and Derbyshire (2 goals). The latter’s career seems to have slid somewhat, always thought he was decent. He once scored a last minute goal against NUFC.

    The team remains 4th. JC will need to improve on that.

  • Sav

    Oct 31, 2016 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #8

    Ed, we will only know if the penny has dropped for Ashley when we see the extent of the backing Rafa gets if and when we come back up. So far, MA has made 30 million out of Rafa’s dealings in the transfer market and we look set fair to deliver Premiership riches once again next summer. We are yet to find out if Ashley’s goals have risen above mid-table mediocrity in the Premiership and whether he is prepared to back Benitez to achieve real success. The ‘mid-table plan’ with Carr and Charmless running everything was scrapped only when there was no viable alternative and Rafa had MA over a barrel. It is a case of wait and see whether there has been a change of heart by the man who brought us SportsDirect.com Stadium, Dennis Wise, JFK, Wonga and a whle lot more besides. He is still the same man.. Geordie fans will not be counting their chickens until we know for certain there has been change.

  • curlywatts

    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #9

    Who would take Atsu + cash?


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