Rafa Benitez Very Clear – I Want To Manage Newcastle My Way

Rafa Benitez didn’t say too much during his press conference today, but in other interviews he has opened up more about what he wants to do at Newcastle and basically he says he wants to be able to manage the club his way.

He also says that if he cannot he cannot – whatever that exactly means.

Benitez doesn’t seem to talk directly to Mike Ashley, but his interface upwards is through Managing Director Lee Charnley, who reports directly to Mike.

Rafa Benitez – wants to manage his way

This is what Rafa has said in his interviews today:

“The main thing, for us, is if I can try to do things in the way that I want to do things.”

“If I cannot, I cannot. But at the moment we continue and we still have time to do what we have to do in the transfer window.”

“The club cannot sign anyone without the say so from me, but you do not always get everything you want, it is difficult, especially in January.”

“I still have confidence that we will get the players we want and need to improve the team.”  “If I find a player who is 32 I like, I will try to sign them.”

“But ’m not looking for any 32-year-olds at the moment.”  “Some players with experience can make the difference, I don’t see a problem.”

“I’m not concerned about anything.”  “At the moment, we have lost some targets because they were very expensive or the clubs did not want to sell, but I’m still confident we can do what we need to do.”

“I’m happier now than I was in the summer because we are top of the table.

“My understanding is that Ashley was really happy with the team and everything we are doing.”  “Hopefully that continues, because it means we are still winning games.”

“When I was in Europe, I had Technical Directors, and in England I have been a manager.”

“The main thing, for us, is if I can try to do things in the way that I want to do things.”

So there you have it – you can’t accuse Rafa of not being straight and what he says shouldn’t surprise anybody.

And that includes Mike Ashley, because we’re quite sure these are the things Rafa had written down in his contract before he agreed to stay on at Newcastle for three years on May 25th last year.

Rafa is  simply being very transparent with his views – this should not be a surprise at all to owner Mike Ashley.

And if Ashley really wants to become a successful owner, then at some point he has to trust his manager completely and give control over to somebody very experienced in the game of football.

And nobody knows the game of football better than Rafa Benitez.

Comments welcome.

30 comments so far

  • Steak and Kidney Pie

    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:00 PM

    Comment #1

    Ok, I’ll just forward that to Mike as part of our daily correspondence.

  • G

    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:01 PM

    Comment #2

    For gods sake, let him do it MA!

  • kimbo

    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:27 PM

    Comment #3

    Well least we wont have Anita for 2 months or more. Got to be one of the worst players we have.
    To think we got rid of Abeid instead, wish we still had him now.

  • MadisonToon

    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:49 PM

    Comment #4

    Confirmed Rafa Bingo for FA replay

    Yedlin Hanley Lascelles Lazaar
    Hayden Shelvey
    Ritchie Perez Gouffran

  • toon22

    Jan 17, 2017 at 11:55 PM

    Comment #5

    Is the 32year old Fernando Torres ?


  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #6

    You gallantly put everyone in their place the other day who suggested we deliberately threw cups by naming the managers in charge and the years we went out, you had Pardew in charge during January of 2010 when we were under Hughton and in the Championship and then you had Mclaren in charge of a team that went out to a title winning Leicester, you know fcuk all when you have to access your knowledge of Nufc and even when you rely on wiki you screw it up you ignoramus.

  • nufc786

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09 AM

    Comment #7

    Watford are set to bid for Bournemouth’s 29-year-old winger Max Gradel. (The Sun)

    If we are not going in for townsend maybe go for Max Gradel

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:10 AM

    Comment #8

    Dors the blog have to put up with this again???

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #9

    The Football website nufc.com is a long established Internet publication centred on all things Newcastle United.

    The two guys, who are the proprietors and writers, are respected regarding their straight forward factual reporting of NUFC.

    Yesterday they gave space to the comments in a Sunday tabloid, regarding Benitez’s authority, or possible lack of, at SJP.

    There was a reaction on this blog to nufc.com’s inclusion of this heresay, that is that if nufc.com report the gossip it must be true.

    Monday morning, 16th of January, nufc.com have deleted their post. This was before Rafa’s presentation. Common sense had returned.

    However, just when you t….

  • expatmag

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #10

    So many panic merchants on this blog.

    Firstly, Ashley has always maintained that he DOES NOT want any involvement in the running of the club. It appears that by luck and good fortune, he has stumbled upon a system of management that works with incumbents in positions they are skilled in. Rafa in charge of ALL football matters. Charnley in charge of Finance and Administration. Carr in charge of world wide scouting.

    Secondly, he has disbanded the board and director of football roles because they clearly dont work.

    Thirdly, I am fairly certain that the further spreading of scouting networks and the recruitment of younger players for the academy was high on the list at the beginning of the season. Hence the signing of players like Findlay from Celtic, the young lad from non league football and recent acquisitions from South Africa and Spain.

    Finally, Ashley is a businessman with his fingers in a lot of pies. Controversial he is. Successful he is . Rich he is. Stupid he is NOT. He currently has major issues to deal with well away from NUFC and whilst the least problematic area of his business portfolio is NUFC, it is obvious to most but the drama queens on here that he is NOT going to interfere in an area that is going along quite nicely.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:18 AM

    Comment #11

    Rafa’s presentation on Tuesday was precise and professional.

    He obviously knew he would have to respond to questions, about tabloid speculation, as to the terms of his authority regarding transfer actions.

    He answered the question politely, and gave it as much importance as it deserved. That is, minimal.

    He addressed the difficulty of the transfer procedure, the problem is not the yes/no to a specific choice, (that’s easy) it’s who is available to choose from, which is the difficulty.

    (He said it slightly different, but he’s not a full Geordie yet,)…

  • expatmag

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #12


    Would that be the same Abeid who failed miserably in Greece and now plays for a third rate team in France?

    As far as I remember, he was an average performer in the PL I well remember his pass to Young in the last minute against Man Utd that cost us the game. Schoolboy stuff.

    Furthermore, your assessment of Anita displays a clear lack of football knowledge. I doubt you have ever seen him play.

  • TyneMouth

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #13


    With you all the way…

  • expatmag

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #14

    TOON 22

    On Torres. Why not!

    If we get promoted and he is out of contract at the end of the season, his previous relationship with Rafa is good.

    Others that might be considered on short term deals are Carrick of Man Utd and Alonso at Bayern Munich

  • Sav

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #15

    Consternation has been caused by this non-news story published with no facts or attributed quotes. As Lyndon Johnson is supposed to have said, ‘It may not be true, but lets see him deny it’.

  • expatmag

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:38 AM

    Comment #16


    Too many excitable types lacking in the basic knowledge of the the game on here mate…..lol

  • lesh

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:43 AM

    Comment #17

    Reading Ed’s narrative, I must say I pictured storm clouds abrewing over SJP.

    There’s no attribution to the sourcer of the words attributed to Rafa and the language in some parts was obviously confrontational. Would you really expect Rafa to refer to Ashley as ‘Ashley’ in the course of an interview? Thought not

  • expatmag

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:44 AM

    Comment #18


    Hell mate. I live in Australia and read the English tabloids online daily, especially rags like the Mirror Star Express etc because I get a damn good laugh out of most of their storylines particular stories about UFOs, WW3 and pissed women fighting in the streets of England……lol

    The football stories are usually and obviously made up crap and not just about NUFC either.

    They contradict themselves daily.

    Naybe they should change their names to yhe DAILY CONTRADICTION


    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:07 AM

    Comment #19

    rafa bingo
    think lascelles had a poor game so could do with a rest and murphy will be kept fot the league game….shelvey eased in to the second half.

  • funlovingexpress

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:12 AM

    Comment #20

    When he is on about “if you cannot, you cannot” he means get the first choice players he wants.
    There is nothing new there. All managers work with a list and very very few get all of their first choice picks.

    Another thing I read somewhere else was people panicking because they are going to focus on youth. Nothing here either. Benitez bought many youth players at Liverpool. He understands that many fail but if one or two do come through it can save you millions of pounds in the future.

    Man Utd knew this, Spurs know this and even chelsea have a really strong youth set up.

    As for the first team, at Liverpool they had a policy where they would only buy players under the age of 24 and older players had to be on frees. Rafa didnt mind working under that. What he did mind was players being bought and sold under him.

    At Newcastle Ashley will let Benitez and his team spend what the club generates. That is a dream to Benitez.

    Most other clubs are paying off players that dont even play for them anymore so money earned has to be offset with huge old transfer bills. Sunderland is a perfect example. They got their tv money but were skint.

    Lastly, I think many of my fellow fans misunderstand something that is fundamental in football. They criticize because in the past we have deemed to be a selling club whereas that was never the case.

    What the club said was that they want players with a saleable value. It is common sense.

    If a player doesnt increaser in value then he has been a failure. Players often spend less than 3 years at a club so common sense dictates that you want the players leaving a club to generate as much money as they can so replacements can be bought. The more money you make the better chance of a better player arriving.

    Some of our fans seem to argue that we should basically give players away and then spend fortunes on a replacement.

    Why give a player away that cost say 10 million? It makes no sense to me.

    You might only have six million left to spend so you ditch the 10 million pound player and hope the 6 million pound player is better. Its daft.

    Benitez though is a shrewd operator. He always gets top dollar for his players. He understands that the more money your club generates the better the market that is available.

    Benitez will sell top stars and fan favourites, people will put it down to Ashley but its not. Benitez has always been like that. He will get top dollar and then buy a better cheaper alternative and use the rest of the money to upgrade another player or the squad.

    Look at Sissoko with us, can we not buy a better midfielder than Sissoko for 30 million?

    Rafa also knows that all buys dont work and he will have to take a loss on some, so he has to offset it by selling players at a premium price when they are on top of their game.

    Next season we, with the possible exception of murphy, make a huge profit on players rafa felt were needed in the championmship but not in the premiership.

    Ashley suits Benitez because unlike other clubs where he only receives a small percentage of transfer revenue, (think of poor Moyes), he can invest it on how he wants. Whether it is youth team players or the first team, it is his choice.

    He understands that first team is a priority but does invest heavily in youth set ups and our fans need to get used to that.

    Too many see only our first team and not the club as a whole.

    Look at how many youth players he bought at Liverpool and I think you will be shocked. He has done it almost everywhere he has been.

    The bloke knows his stuff. Results are for today, but to challenge the elite you need players coming through the ranks.


    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:40 AM

    Comment #21

    its such a fine line with transfers,
    we have to have quality that is able to step up to the premier if promoted,young enough to balance the price the club will be asking for him and be willing to come to the club…..
    snodgrass for example…
    granted good player,….theres the quality.
    done it in champ and in premier,….theres the step up.
    but at 29 and hull wanting 10+million for him is he value for money for his age?…. or is it worth keeping the money for another younger option,i doubt the club,if many clubs would pay that much for him…at his age.
    would he join probably but means nothing if club are not willing to pay the money.

  • Jib

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:13 AM

    Comment #22

    Jail for Ashley@6
    I’m sure the vast majority on here are fed up to the back teeth with our bickering.

    Suffice to say you missed the point I was making by a mile (a fairly regular occurence) if you find the post in question I’ll take you through it syllable by syllable and promise to speak slowly.


  • Jib

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:19 AM

    Comment #23

    For tonights cuptie.
    I’ve got a feeling Rafa may play Perez at number 9 with one of the bairns in a 4-4-2 and keep Murphy for the Rotherham game on Saturday.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:20 AM

    Comment #24

    Monday morning, 16th of January, nufc.com have deleted their post. This was before Rafa’s presentation. Common sense had returned.
    They haven’t deleted it, it is still there under the sub heading of match report. I don’t think people were getting in to blind panic only discussing an article that appeared in a media partners paper, and it is cause for concern when the guy in question has hired Joe Kinnear twice. Despite what Jib says I did not claim in any way shape or form to know that Rafa had fallen out with Ashley, I just pointed out that he didn’t look happy as he walked off the pitch.

  • Jib

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    Comment #25
  • Jib

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #26

    According to the majority of the “red tops”
    Sunlun are favourites to sign James McCarthy.

  • giimps

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:36 AM

    Comment #27

    Most teams wont sell unless their player is either surplus to requirements, as in not good enough anymore , or in the last year of their contract, quite often teams put huge fees on players because that is how much it will cost them to replace the player, take scumberland and Defoe, he sot worth 15 mil, but to replace him with a player capable of scoring the same amount of goals or more would cost them more.
    Finding the value players, scouring players contracts for buy out clauses is what we have done for years now, i cant see that changing, but if we have to pay top dollar it will only be for who Rafa is sure will compete in the Premier league and improve one or two positions at the same time (imho)

  • Jail for Ashley

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:45 AM

    Comment #28

    What post Jib,
    You talking shite about our throwing cups or you claiming to that I knew Rafa had fallen out with Ashley because he didn’t look happy.

  • lochinvar

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:49 AM

    Comment #29

    If the Red Tops are reporting that Sunlun are after McCarthy then that is an amazing piece of journalism based on the deduction that Moyes has connections with Everton.

    If he turns up there if can only mean that our targets are elsewhere and that he will have a “get me of here ” escape clause when they are relegated.


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