Rafa was asked yesterday about the rumors linking him with a move to West Ham United if their current manager Slaven Bilic cannot get them out of the relegation zone soon.
West Ham had almost signed Rafa as the West Ham manager last year in June before Real Madrid came in at the last minute and offered him the Madrid job, which he took.
Rafa Benitez in training at Benton
During his interviews yesterday for the game tonight at Wigan, Rafa was asked about the reports linking him with a move to the east London club and this is what he said, as reported in the Chronicle:
“I don’t see any big change now at the club as a whole.” “I am giving you my answer – I don’t see any big changes at the club in January.”
“I have a lot of respect for West Ham because when I was in contact with them, they were really good and professional.”
“But I am really happy here and then we carry on trying to win games.”
“It’s not easy for me.” “They were really nice and really good with me.” “At the moment, I’m really pleased here.”
“I’m not thinking about anything like that – just winning against Wigan and getting promoted at the end of the season.”
The thing that strikes us is the statement “At the moment, I’m really pleased here.” – with the emphasis on “at the moment”.
That could be a veiled message to owner Mike Ashley and to a lesser extent to Managing Director Lee Charnley that he wants to keep his free rein at the club and that money will be made available to bring in some top players in January and in the summer.
Also saying “it’s not easy for me” – presumably meaning if he was offered the West Ham job in the future it could be a tough decision.
Rafa Benitez will always attract clubs that see him as their potential new manager, because he has such a great record of achievement and he’s doing well at Newcastle this year and has transformed the club.
The powers that be at Newcastle should never take him for granted, because that’s when he could walk away.
Mike Ashley could offer him a new and improved long term deal in the summer to keep him at Newcastle for the foreseeable future – that means many years down the road.
That’s the only way to treat a manager as good as Rafa – and that’s what we hope Mike Ashley will do.
What do you think?