So we didn’t manage to bring any players in during the January transfer window even through we went after a winger and a central midfielder and that’s a disappointment, but on the other hand we don’t want to make things worse than they actually are – we’re still in good shape.
We currently have only four players missing from the squad – Rolando Aarons, Dwight Gayle and Vurnon Anita are injured – and the low number of injuries has demonstrated just how well we have managed the injury situation this season compared with years gone by.
We also have Christian Atsu still at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, but we now have Mo Diame and Chancel Mbemba back from that tournament and we also have Sammy Ameobi and Jamie Sterry back from loan and added to the first team squad for the rest of the season.
So the squad is not in bad shape at all.
Rafa Benitez and Mike Ashley
The two most important people at Newcastle United
We don’t know exactly what happened in the transfer window this month although January is always a tough window.
But if it was that Mike Ashley has pulled back and refused to spend big money, then he will need to demonstrate to Rafa in the summer that he still wants Newcastle to become a top club capable of being in the top four in the Premier League and competing in Europe very season.
That’s the only reason Rafa stayed at Newcastle and that’s what he wants to do at the club, in what has to be his dream challenge in football.
He’s tasked with resurrecting a sleeping giant with the best fan support around and getting sell-out 52,000 crowds in the second division in a city that is simply football daft and always has been.
It’s Rafa’s exciting project.
But if he is prevented by Ashley from building the top team he wants to build on Tyneside for the supporters, that will definitely spell trouble to Rafa Benitez.
From what we know Mike Ashley did everything right in the summer when he agreed to everything Rafa wanted – so this is not meant to be a Mike Ashley bashing article.
But it’s clear Rafa has the ability and contacts and the faith of his players to be able to build something very special at Newcastle – maybe the best team we have had in many decades – that’s a real possibility.
But he must be supported in doing that.
Managing Director Lee Charnley seems only too happy to work with Rafa and they seem to get on famously.
But we need Mike to be right behind Rafa and that could still be the case.
We don’t know exactly what the financial situation is at Newcastle, but in the two transfer windows of this financial year we have made about £30M in profit.
So if we are a Premier League club in May, we surely should be in good financial shape going forward and have money to spend in the summer.
And that’s what Rafa will need to build a squad that can compete next season in the Premier League.
We hope Mike will keep supporting Rafa Benitez 100% – the Spanish manager has earned that trust.
We hope January was just a hiccup in the big scheme of things.